Talking about Crisis Management Planning and Crisis Response Plan is not easy, but when it comes to definitions, it gets even harder…
Reflections from day 1 of the World Conference on Disaster Management
Are definitions really important in the incident management space? The first hour of the World Conference on Disaster Management workshop focused on the definitions of an incident, emergency or a crisis. At the end of the hour there was no agreement on the definition of these terms.
Does it matter what we call the event? Surely it’s more important to have the appropriate processes and plans in place so you can achieve the following outcomes:
- Minimise the impact on people’s health and wellbeing
- Minimise the impact on the environment or animal welfare
- Minimise the impact on the organisation
So what crisis management plans do you need to achieve these outcomes? This depends in part, on an organisation’s needs and risk profile, however the following is a list that you may want to consider:
- Crisis response plan
- Incident response plan (could be a subset of the crisis response plan that highlights how an incident can be dealt with before it escalates into a crisis)
- Crisis communication plan
- Emergency response plan
- Business continuity plan; and
- IT disaster recovery plan.
However, having the process and plans in place may not be enough. If a learner driver needs 120 hours of practice to drive a car before being eligible to sit a driving test, how much training and practice do crisis response teams need to be able to:
- Work with each other under pressure
- Demonstrate sound leadership skills
- Make good decisions in a timely way with limited information
- Understand their role
- Understand and use the processes outlined in the plans
That’s a question that I will leave to you to ponder for your own organisation.
By having good processes, functional plans and a trained team, an organisation will be able to analyse information, make decisions and undertake actions in a timely way, maximising its chances of implementing an incident or crisis response that all staff will be proud.
Not only is it the pathway to enlightenment but also to an enhanced reputation!
By David Hawkins