When Disaster Calls: Do You Have A Crisis Management Program In Place?

Any competent business management planning will include a plan for potential disasters. Disasters come in all shapes and sizes and at any given moment. Disaster plans help to reduce the negative impact that the company will face in such hard times. Crisis management planning is the component to disaster recovery that can make or break the future of the business.

Creating a Crisis Management Planning Team to handle any and all potentially disastrous situations should be a top priority for business management planning. This team will absorb all of the research, planning, and development of disaster recovery plans.

The first thing the team will want to do is identify what threats there are to the company. What disasters, foreseen and unforeseen, can demolish the business? For example, consider the physical location of the business. Is the business on a potential flood plain? Are earthquakes a possibility? Do tornados frequent the area in the spring? Successful business management planning relies heavily on the ability to handle these crisis situations.

Next, your team needs to identify what to do to prevent a disaster (if possible), handle a disaster as it is occurring, and recover from the disaster. This is where details are extremely important. In the event that the Crisis Management Planning Team determines that there is potential for a terrorist threat, a detailed prevention plan is crucial.

Steps indicating the business management practices that should occur or should not occur will help with the prevention. This may sound over simplistic but is very necessary. Sometimes stating things that may seem like common sense to one will help the entire group to understand that which they did not know or consider before. The Crisis Management Planning Team needs to indicate what programs and firewalls need implementation.

The language that the team uses in the disaster plans should be simplistic. So simple, as a matter of fact, that a third grader could understand it. In disaster situations, panic is high and logical thinking is low. The plan needs to state simply what the employees need to do without too much thought into interpreting the directives.

After creating the plan, your team needs to test the plan. That is, verifying that the plan is workable. Many times in business, a strategy or concept may look very appropriate on paper but in the real world, falls to pieces instantly. In a disaster situation, this cannot happen. Too much is at stake.

Testing the plan and holding drills on a routine basis is a good investment in business management planning when it comes to disaster recovery. In the world of science and technology, scientists test and retest theories and experiments to ensure that the results are consistent. Fluke occurrences are possible with anything. The same holds true in the business world.

Putting the plan in writing and making it accessible to all employees is the last step for success in crisis management planning. It is important to realize that while employees may do a specific job, in a disaster setting, there are no longer boundaries of what will happen based on job titles and classifications. Everyone is in the same boat and everyone needs to be aware of the location of the lifeboats.


Eric Reed is a principal consultant with Integrated Global Business Solutions. Eric has implemented many customized consulting strategies for clients ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Learn more about Integrated Global Business Solutions at http://www.igbsinc.com.

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