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Tips for Developing a Crisis Management Plan

written by: Kevin-F • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 1/16/2011

Developing a crisis management plan should not be difficult for an organization. However, management of a crisis is complex since the actual crisis event may not be precisely anticipated. However, careful planning can minimize the disastrous effects of a crisis.

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    What Is a Crisis?

    It is essential to understand the meaning of a crisis while developing a crisis management plan. A crisis is considered to be a volatile periodcrisis management plan  for a business, with a conspicuous prospect for a detrimental conclusion. This adverse situation may intervene in the normal business functioning, endanger the organization's reputation, or may necessitate scrutiny by the government. Other project disasters requiring a written recovery plan are floods, ire, earthquakes, bombings, etc., all of which may seriously affect the business. Crises directly related to the organization are failure of a product, shift of the product in the market, incidents that may cause loss of reputation, international developments that have an adverse effect on the product or organization, and monetary troubles. A crisis may also be a useful opportunity for the organization.

    Image Credit: sxc.hu/ilco

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    Developing a Crisis Management Plan

    The Crisis Management Plan is a vital component of the project plans that provides a methodological response on the occurrence of a crisis, or an emergency in the organization. Responsibilities are assigned to respective individuals and groups to undertake specific tasks on the occurrence of a crisis, and all concerned are informed accordingly. All crises are responded according to the guidelines mentioned in the crisis management plan, unless as directed by the executive according to a particular situation.

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    Purpose of a Crisis Management Plan

    The purpose of a Crisis Management Plan is the effective utilization of project resources for the protection of life, machines, equipment, and other project assets on the occurrence of a disturbance. This plan is operational when an adverse situation affects the organization, and cannot be managed through normal procedures. Every type of business plan has to be proactive and plan ahead so as to be fully effective, and useful.

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    Content off Crisis Management Plan

    The essential features of this plan involve the following steps:

    Select the individual, who will establish contact with the press, on the occurrence of a crisis. He or she should possess all necessary information, should be from the closely-connected senior project team, be good in communications, and be confident. In a crisis, collection of relevant information is vital, and should be completed at the earliest opportunity. The press should not be intimated any details unless precisely verified by a responsible person who has been assigned this task.

    Create a plan for action that includes the details of senior management, including their contact information, person who will be assigned to start the crisis management plan and inform the project team accordingly on occurrence of a crisis. Responsibility for the creation of a draft statement for the press will also be decided.

    Explain the most likely crisis situations that may cause difficulties for the organization, including their response plans. The project team should conduct periodic rehearsals on the action plans to ensure perfection.

    Make the plan proactive to either prevent a crisis or mitigate the effects of a crisis when it has occurred.

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    Priorities of the Crisis Management Plan

    The priorities for developing a crisis management plan should be identified, and accordingly implemented. The top priorities should be addressed initially, and subsequently action should be taken on the objectives of lower priorities. The objectives of greatest priority may involve the provision of first aid medical treatment and the restoration of the communications network, including telephone, radio, public address system, internet, etc. Control of fire may also be included in the objectives of a high priority. Subsequently, resources are applied on the objectives of lower priority, like search and rescue operations. Teams should be detailed for these tasks, including the allocation of transport and appropriate equipment. Finally, a survey may be conducted to evaluate the damage to equipment, and control the biological, radiological, and chemical effects. The facilities are surveyed to assess the damage, and identify contaminated areas.

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    References

    • Lewis & Clark University - Intro to Crisis Management Plan, crisis types, responsibilities and more. URL: http://www.lclark.edu/offices/human_resources/employee_resources/policies/institutional/general/crisis_management_plan/

    • Cowley College - How to create a Crisis Management Plan - URL: http://www.cowley.edu/security/crisismanagement.pdf

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