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What is involved in crisis planning?

by D. Power

Crisis planning is a bit of a misnomer. One is not planning to create a crisis, rather one is planning to take actions to avoid a crisis or if the crisis should occur to manage the crisis response.

Crisis anticipation leads to proactive crisis planning and risk mitigation. So how should managers plan the response to a crisis or disaster?

Carefully! It is important that crisis planning doesn't increase the likelihood that the anticipated crisis will occur. Rather the goal is to reduce the negative impacts of a crisis if and when it should occur.

The following steps should be a part of crisis contingency planning:

  • Assess the situation especially examine vulnerabilities and exposures
  • Assess crisis capabilities
  • Select a response team
  • Develop a detailed plan
  • Make sure appropriate personnel have read and understand the plan
  • Be prepared to act by holding drills and practice exercises
  • Prepare post crisis evaluation criteria

A crisis situation often involves making decisions quickly and predicting the consequences. In problem situations it is important to assess the pros, cons, and “what ifs”, but in a crisis situation, one often must perform analyses quickly and with limited information. With advance preparation and planning, one can better manage a crisis situation and respond and react more appropriately to such a situation if it occurs.




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