September 11, 2001 is the day the world remembers it as 9/11 wherein a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks (two airplanes at the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, one plane at the Pentagon, and one just luckily crashed at a field in Pennsylvania) by the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda against the United States on that fateful Tuesday morning which left 2,996 people dead and over 6,000 injured and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. You may also see action plan examples.
Several others have died afterwards. That was over 17 years ago. But what’s going to happen if another incident similar to that strikes again? Do you think that the company or organization might be ready for that? Well, before diving in further, let us first analyze on what a crisis is. You may also see emergency plan examples if you think this article does not seem to help.
According to Merriam-Webster, a crisis is defined as an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome that could affect not only the people inside, but also to its surroundings as well. Such a crisis can either be caused naturally (e.g. earthquakes, wildfires, tsunamis) or even man-made (e.g. terrorist attacks, people doing crazy things that can cause harm to himself or herself and to others). You may also like project plan examples.
In addition, often stimulates extensive news and media coverage. Public scrutiny resulting from the disruption/event will affect the organization’s normal operations and also could have a legal, financial, political and governmental impact on its business. It is important to note that no matter how big or how small the company is, it is imperative that the company must abide by it. Otherwise, there would not only be consequences that they have to pay, but it also increases the risk of more people getting hurt if there are no clear instructions on what to do. Which is why it is utmost importance to start formulating a crisis management plan.
A Crisis Management Plan is the communications and decision-making component of an overall Business Continuity Plan (BCP). A thorough, detailed and well-drafted Crisis Management Plan facilitates rapid communication to ensure overall safety to both internal and external stakeholders. It also incorporates policies and procedures in order to perform an impact assessment, and a plan to control media interaction during an event or crisis.
There is no standard crisis management plan as it varies per organization. Understand that the key to Crisis Management Planning is to have a set of processes and procedures that can be utilized as a guideline for crisis management. You may also see implementation plan examples & samples.
Pre-drafted crisis management plans that have accounted for every possible accident or incident that might befall the company can help prevent extensive damages and loss of life since they either might have thought it through and listed it down in case that possibility happens or they might have encountered it before and have learned from their mistakes. Specifically, these are some of the aspects that a crisis management plan should focus on:
1. Identification of the crisis management team. Before even drafting up the said plan, you need a team first. It is during a crisis that they are the most important people right now and without them, your crisis management plan will cease to exist. Assign people who are knowledgable in knowing what to do when a disaster strikes. You may also like advertising plan examples & samples.
2. Predefined organizational responsibilities for the crisis management team members that include concise procedures defining a person’s functions, duties and tasks for a crisis declaration. Once you have assigned your members, it is about time to start listing down on the tasks and duties of what each member should be doing.
3. Sub- team composition and a notification process to bring together the appropriate internal and external individuals and organizational disciplines at the time of a crisis. Other than the Crisis Management team, there should other teams that should somehow assist the Crisis Management team when the damage is said and done. One of them is forming the Damage Assessment Team which analyzes on how many lives were lost and as to the extent of the damage being done to the building. You may also check out risk plan examples & samples.
4. A process for evaluating the response after the conclusion of any event that requires activation of the Corporate Crisis Management Plan and documentation of the Lessons learned and applied. If this is your first drafted crisis management plan, then try your best to analyze as to how to make it better and further improve it so that the response time can be better and that the same result will not happen once more the next time it happens. You might be interested in business plan examples in pdf.
5. Contact lists for all internal and external stakeholders. It is important that everyone should be informed about this. Even towards your clients and suppliers so that they may be prepared for any eventuality that might occur. Once they know about this, there is no doubt that they will feel safer. You may also see work plan examples & samples.
6. An outline for Executive Managers and their alternates to react on a consistent basis to a potential or existing crisis. Psychologically speaking, they should also be ready to face the tragedy without panicking too much or creating a ruckus.
7. Identification and establishment of a Crisis Management/Emergency Operations Command Center for directing the crisis event coordination with effected entities, such as the community, neighboring industries, and identified support entities . If there are no casualties, the better. But keep in mind that it’s always best to come in prepared and ready to face the impending disaster ahead. You may also like event plan examples & samples.
Once you understand that a disaster is imminent, do not forget to coordinate with the local fire department, police station or even the nearest hospitals to respond immediately to the disaster at hand. Once it’s too late, you will feel the guilt and the burden you carry.
8. The logistical details for notification and mobilization of the Crisis Management Centers and supplies/equipment needed, call notification lists and instructions, transportation options, identification of external authorities, organizations and individuals that may be required to be notified or can assist in the Crisis Management process. As mentioned before, everything must be identified and listed early on to prevent delayed intervention by the people you need the most. You may also check out job plan examples & samples.
9. Guidelines for communicating to the public and the media, which includes who is authorized to represent the organization and what information, can/should be shared. This ensures that communication is accurate and consistent throughout all channels. You might be interested in sales plan examples.
Minutes after the crisis has been subdued or averted, the media dogs will surely come after you with questions and concerns that would need answering to. It is advisable not to let anybody just answer their questions. Once he or she gets wrong, it will bring a bad light to the company. Whoever the assigned person to talk to the media people should be trained and knowledgeable about the situation, as well as knowing what to say and what not to say.
10. Guidelines for Social Media usage which should outline policies and procedures on utilizing this method and also a plan to respond if an unauthorized individual breaks the news prior to your release and how you manage the situation.
11. Guidelines for communicating crisis situations to both internal and external stakeholders. Social media is a very powerful and influential tool. No doubt about that. But the thing with people is tat they do not really like to read as their attention span is rather short. In journalism, there are many angles to a certain story. Let us say that the situation is in fact Angle A and not Angle B. Without knowing the full and complete story, passers-by would show the rest of the world Angle B, as they want to get the news out fast without bothering to check for accuracy and truth. You may also see transition plan examples & samples.
12. A process for communicating, training, and maintaining the currency of the Crisis Management Plan. After drafting the crisis management plan, it is about time that you begin to disclose and inform the other members and personnel with regards to the crisis management plan. You may also like audit plan examples & samples.
The Keep It Short and Simple (K.I.S.S.) rule should still apply so that everyone can easily understand the general directions on what needs to be done. They have to be trained to make sure that everyone would know what to do when an earthquake suddenly happens. Make sure that the crisis management plan is retained in the minds of the employees.
13. A process for testing and verification of the processes contained in the Crisis Management Plan. Once the communication plan is in full motion, it is time for you to test it out to make sure that all the loopholes are filled. If you think that after the drill that it might still need work, go back to the drawing board and make a few ore adjustments.
The relative importance of the crisis may vary based on the situation encountered and significance to the company. A disaster declaration should be based on the anticipated length of the disruption and the projected impact of the crisis on the business units involved. You may also see personal plan examples & samples.
Impacted business units should determine the number of hours that normal business operations can be interrupted before a disaster must be declared. This time frame will vary among business units and is directly tied to the critical nature of the service being provided. When the period of time that processing has been interrupted reaches the predetermined threshold, a disaster should be declared. You may also like company plan examples & samples.
Only those who have been authorized to declare a disaster may do so.
Considerations when declaring a disaster:
We hope that the examples we provided will assist you in creating your own Crisis Management Plan. You may also check out service plan examples & samples.