Planning for a crisis

We recently put together a blog asking, ‘Are you prepared for a crisis?’ and we hoped that would get you thinking about your business and your overall preparedness. Preparing for a crisis can seem quite intimidating and we understand that many businesses might not know where to start. However, in this blog, we will help explain how to plan for a crisis, and the steps business owners need to consider.

Why plan?

The impact of a mismanaged crises could be detrimental to your organisational reputation and have a significant impact on unexpected business costs. Therefore, it is essential that crisis management protocols are followed and every member of your team understands what it is expected of them.

Elements of essential planning for any organisation include:

  • Vulnerability assessments – A multidisciplinary risk assessment to determine current and potential areas of operational and communications weakness and strength, and to identify potential solutions. Any weaknesses in these areas can result in emergencies or crises of varying magnitudes if not corrected. Ideally, every functional area of an organization is examined to identify anything that could lead to or exacerbate a crisis.
  • Operational protocols – Clearly define roles and responsibilities, how to respond and when.
  • Communication protocols – What to say, when and how to get the message out.
  • Effectively, planning involves sharing information internally and then communicating the outcomes externally, ensuring that everyone understands and has the ability to execute their roles and responsibilities.

Two really simple steps that any organisation can take to ensure that they plan and are well prepared for a crisis are:

  • Implementing training – providing staff with sufficient training is one of the easiest and most effective ways of guaranteeing that a crisis can be managed effectively. Staff who have no knowledge of how to deal with difficult situations will inevitably make mistakes under pressure which could be incredibly costly.
  • Investing in expertise – involving external security and crisis experts to provide training and expertise focusing specifically on the protection of people, reputation, assets and information immediately reduces the risks involved with regards to all those things that are most important to any business.