You May be Guilty of Using These 5 Excuses to Avoid Crisis Planning
Preparing for a disaster may not be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. Deadlines, proposals, and meetings fill the day, let alone the roles and responsibilities we all encounter at home. Is crisis planning glamorous? Maybe not. Is it necessary? Absolutely.
In our 7th Edition Crisis Event Impact Management Report, 75.6 percent of respondents revealed they activated their crisis plan in 2017.
These incidences ranged from major events that simultaneously affected thousands of people (hurricanes, government shutdowns, and winter storms) to individual catastrophes (fires, communicable illness, workplace violence, and power outages). Yet, 56 percent of professionals indicated they haven’t updated their plans in the last year, or they’re currently developing their plans.*
We all know disasters can and do hit. One could strike you, your family, and your organization at any moment. We’re all busy with our lives, so it’s convenient to believe it won’t happen to us. The reasons we give for not preparing:
- “I don’t know what to do.”
- “It will take too much time.”
- “It’s too expensive!”
- “What’s the point?”
- “It won’t happen to me.”
To sum up the excuses in two words: Disaster. Denial.
Preparing for Disaster Reduces Anxiety
Like it or not, disasters are a natural part of living. Hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear about a crisis striking somewhere in the country. The media invites and encourages worry and stress. In fact, because many people are so bombarded with “fear messaging,” they shut out any threat that could apply to their organization. “It won’t happen here,” is a common disaster denial phrase. They consciously avoid thinking about any potential harm that could come to their organization or loved ones. But the uneasiness is there.
With structured preparation, organizations can start reversing course today and turn energy and misguided helplessness into confidence. Imagine how you would feel right now if you were fully prepared for a disaster: your plans are in place, they’ve been updated during the last six months, critical supplies are within easy reach, and you know what to do. You’d be feeling confident, right?
It’s Up To You
There’s simply no way around it, preparing for a disaster is your responsibility. Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, your state government, and your local government all plan to help in a disaster, the truth is you can’t count on them being where you need them when you need them. The same is true for your power company, land line, cell phone company, internet provider, water company, or even private agencies like the American Red Cross.
Each of the above entities work hard to solve problems when disaster strikes, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to address your problems in a timely fashion. By default, you are your own first responder, so you need to take charge now! The sooner you start the better.
Preparing Employees for a Disaster at the Workplace
Every employer must have a business continuity plan (a contingency plan for how they will continue to provide their services in the face of a major disruption) and an emergency and workplace violence plan.
Creating a crisis plan is only part of the process, ensure employees know:
- What they are expected to do if the work location is damaged and/or closed.
- Have you implemented a work-from-home plan like 93 percent of our Crisis Event Impact Management Study participants?*
- What plans have been made if the workplace must be evacuated.
- 203 employees were displaced and 26 employees were placed at a recovery center due to 2017 crises*
- How to contact their employer during an emergency.
- After a combined business and personal email, mobile and text are the most leveraged forms of communication during a crisis*
- How to find out if and when it’s okay to return to work.
- Require all employees to read and comprehend the company crisis communication plan.
- Provide extra evacuation kits for each employee; stored in desks or another designated area.
- 1,104 employees were negatively impacted by crises in 2017*
Do not allow the same disaster denial attitude to permeate your organization. Prepare ahead for disaster. If you do not know where to start, contact Firestorm; we’re here to help.