It can be tempting to avoid planning for a crisis. Why think about the worst possible scenario. While you cannot anticipate everything, having a plan in place is a smart idea. It provides a starting point for tackling major disasters, and can avoid bad decisions once a crisis occurs.
Whether you are preparing for a fire or moving your big event virtual because of a pandemic. Here are the steps to follow:
Build your dream team
To create a strategy that considers all the important factors, you need a diverse group of people. Include individuals from all your divisions, senior executives, department leaders, legal council, PR. Every person that will be affected needs to be involved.
You need to identify all the areas of weakness that could impact your organization. Brainstorm all your weak points and possible disasters. Due to the times, it may be difficult to meet in person, so you can ask your team to do an individual brainstorming session. If more than one person is having the same problem, you’ve identified a key issue.
Draft the Crisis Plan
Let’s brainstorm some more and come up with some ideas to turn our weaknesses into strengths. Categorize by crisis type.
- Outside Forces
Set reasonable goals. Assign responsibilities to appropriate team members.
Customize your crisis plan to your own association/organization. Train and plan drills to test your response plan.
At a minimum, your crisis plan should address the following:
- Internal and external stakeholders/ Dream Team
- Primary spokespeople for each communication channel
- Communication infrastructure and complications
- Decision-making chain of command
- Access to emergency funds
- Holding statements
- Contingency plans
Revise your plan as appropriate.