Establishing a Strong Crisis Management Plan
We cannot avoid natural or man-made disasters, but we can prepare for them. The best preparation is to have a thorough crisis management plan in place. Solid crisis management plans should deal with issues which threaten the safety of individuals and property. The scope of a crisis management plan should be limitless and include procedures to deal with:
- Natural disasters
- Criminal activities
- Workplace violence
- Medical emergencies
- Outbreaks of disease or infections
- Acts of war and terrorism
For any and all of these situations, the protection of human life and health is the main objective. Following that, measures to insure the protection and preservation of assets should be taken. A good crisis management plan states clearly the goals, objectives, and responsibilities of each member of the team.
For a crisis, a plan should be developed consisting of skills and techniques required to identify, assess, understand, and cope with a serious situation. Attention should be paid to actions that need to take place as soon as the crisis first occurs.
Crisis management generally consists of:
- Response methods to both real and perceived crises.
- Establishment of scenarios that constitute a crisis and appropriate response mechanisms.
- Communication that is necessary during the response phase of emergencies.
It has never been more critical for businesses and organizations to develop a comprehensive crisis management plan. Some crises are so severe that businesses and organizations must temporarily cease all activities. In these cases, a crisis management plan is essential to insure the viability of the organization. Even in the midst of a crisis, it is often possible for businesses and organizations to carry on with their business. While carrying out the day-to-day functions, these organizations need to have a plan for damage recovery. A plan must be in place to develop new routines and procedures when necessary.
A crisis management plan should address the following three phases:
- A crisis management team should be aware of the signs of impending danger. While every scenario cannot be foreseen, a comprehensive plan to diagnose impending trouble is critical. Dangers can come from natural or man-made causes.
- Strategies should be in place to insure the safety of life and property and then to resume operations as quickly as possible.
- Individuals must be trained to implement and monitor the crisis management plan.
To have an effective crisis management plan, an organization should have an effective crisis management leader. Leadership during, or in the aftermath of, a crisis reflects the company’s leadership and goals. That leader should have the ability to:
- Build an environment of trust
- Identify the organization’s vulnerabilities
- Make quick and sound decisions
- Be willing to take courageous action
- Learn from the disaster in order to effect change
A thorough crisis management plan can not only save lives, it can save companies. In any disaster, the saving of human lives must always be the first priority. Securing the organization’s tangible and non-tangible assets is secondary, but monumentally important to the viability or any organization.
We understand the devastating effects that disasters can have on a family, home, school, business, or community. While we cannot shelter you from all disasters, we have the ability and the resources to help you get back on your feet following a catastrophe. Let us help you develop your own crisis management plan.