Q. How do I develope a crisis management plan?
A. When planning meetings and events small or large, there is one thing you can count on that no matter how much one plans, things still things go wrong. Planning puts a framework in place that allows crises in any form to be dealt with without bringing everyone to their knees.
Just imagine, you are at an event when without warning you hear a thud and someone obviously very ill nearby. The next sounds that follow are of people rushing to their fellow employee’s side, each one taking the lead in some way or another. A pillow for comfort. Hands to soothe. A voice calling “Someone call 911!” A voice answering “I’m on it!” In the flurry of the next few minutes, someone takes the elevators to the lobby of the building to guide emergency crews. Another gathered medical information which was relayed to the emergency crew on the way. A guest was kept company by another employee. And finally, one employee rode to the hospital in the ambulance so this person wouldn’t be alone.
This example of teamwork is incredible. After the crews leave and the initial excitement dies down a bit, one asks if the group had a crisis plan in place. Things had gone so smoothly. The answer - No, we didn't. Stopped in your tracks you realize the importance of reviewing your own crisis plan.
Crisis Preparedness Basics: Plan, Practice and Perfect
Plan: Don't wait to be knee-deep in a disaster to wish you had taken the time to plan for it. There are many things at stake in a crisis such as: reputation, money, jobs, public confidence and opinion. By not preparing, you are putting yourself at high risk. Your plan may take many forms, but no matter what else you do, be sure that securing your own oxygen mask is your first action step.
Practice: Once you have identified the types of crisis scenarios that can impact your business, it's important to put these into practice. Consider that when managing a meeting or event you are often at a rented venue and working with people with whom you aren’t very familiar. Make sure you are prepared to get everyone ready to act under the same direction.
Perfect: In order to be confident in your organization’s ability to respond to a crisis situation, it's imperative to practice your drill testing again and again.