Your organization can’t possibly plan completely for all positive crises or disasters, but these eight steps can help you pivot and respond more quickly and effectively when unexpected surprises hit:
- Define the types of crises you could face. Determine what disasters are most likely to affect your business and put the greatest effort into planning for those. At the same time, determine what planning elements for these might apply to other issues or crises that may arise.
- Trigger the plan. Identify levels of urgency and determine what will trigger responses for each level.
- Determine the base of operations location. Designate at least one offsite command center in case of a situation that requires to evacuate your premises.
- Identify a chain of command. Then appoint a backup for each person in case he or she can’t fulfill his or her responsibilities in a crisis.
- Plan for internal and external communication. Have a clear set of rules for how you will get information to and from your employees, what information you will share with who, and how to achieve all of this.
- Train, train, and train. Make sure that everyone gets the necessary training to execute their part of the crisis plan. This isn’t one and done. Conduct regular training and refresher courses. Don’t forget to train new employees from day one.
- Test the plan. Conduct regular drills. Identify and address flaws in the plan before an actual emergency arises.