Creating an Effective Crisis Management Plan

October 13th, 2016

Inevitably, emergency and crisis situations will occur within the workplace. Having a crisis management plan in effect before they happen is essential. How your company plans for and responds to these crisis scenarios will ultimately affect the health of your organization.

The main goals of a successful crisis management plan should include preserving human life, mitigating damages and restoring normal business operations as quickly as possible following an emergency situation. The first step in preparing a crisis management plan involves identifying key members within your organization and forming a crisis management team. Your team will need to conduct a thorough risk management assessment to identify emergencies and disasters that may occur and create a response plan for each scenario. The plan should be simple and direct and contain easily understandable step-by-step instructions. Types of crisis situations may include the following:

Natural- earthquake, tornado, flood, severe storm
Environmental- fire, gas leak, chemical spill, pandemic
Man-made- disgruntled employee, terrorism, theft, riots
Technological- computer virus, loss of data, system failure, hacker attack

It is also important that all members of your team receive proper training. Whether it’s basic life-saving techniques such as CPR, or advanced communications training, be sure that your team receives the proper knowledge to carry out their duties in the crisis management plan.

After your plan has been finalized and your team members are properly trained, you should conduct regular simulation exercises and drills. These exercises should be realistic enough to effectively simulate a real emergency and allow you to review and fine tune as needed.

Another vital aspect of a crisis management strategy is having a recovery plan in place to deal with the aftereffects of the emergency and allow for the quick return to normal business functions. You should consider creating a plan that handles everything from data recovery and facility repairs to supply chain interruptions and an executive succession plan. Remember that a crisis within your organization will not only effect your company, but your suppliers, partners, customers and the general public as well.

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