Planning for Crisis, Emergencies & Disaster Recovery
Contingency planning and emergency preparedness are not insurance, nor do they reflect unnecessary pessimism.
Organizations that practice contingency and emergency planning are more
likely to survive a crisis.
Solid emergency plans are good business sense.
Following a disaster, the first organizations back on line are often well
positioned to create new business.
This is particularly relevant for smaller organizations, who may risk more
than larger organizations; yet may not invest the time, effort and resources
for emergency preparedness. We provide coaching and training in most aspects of
emergency planning. We start with:
- What plans are in place?
- Do you regularly test your plans?
- What could disrupt your people or resources?
- Which key resources does your company need to survive?
- Which key people does your organization need to function?
Fire Plans are legal requirements. An organization sited on low ground or
below a dam may also have a Flood Plan. Some organizations have Tornado Plans
or Hurricane Plans … and possibly Bomb Alert Plans or Hijacking Plans. Do you
have emergency plans for Theft and Armed Robbery? Why not?
Other types of crisis include the loss of critical suppliers, bankruptcy or
near-bankruptcy, or threats of hostile takeover. Equally important, and often
ignored, are plans for workplace sickness and the mental health of staff following
a crisis. Is psychiatric or professional psychological assistance needed - or is
individual counseling adequate for helping your staff regain their balance?
In a crisis, success depends as much on people skills as on
professional competence. Our systemic coaching provides guidance and objectivity
needed for crisis environments. Poor people skills can threaten
careers, and organizations. We can help you improve leadership and teamwork skills.
Emergency Planning often provides unexpected benefits. Creating
and exercising contingency plans causes management to examine and re-evaluate
the critical aspects of their organization; which may identify opportunities
to become more efficient. We can assist this process!
Systemic Solutions for Crisis Management
1. Big Picture
We make a skeleton plan. We consider what can go wrong:
fire, flood, tornado, disease, workplace violence, hurricane, bomb threats,
the loss of key employees, burglary, computer crashes and more.
2. Critical Situations
We identify which situations are most relevant to your organization, and
we develop contingency plans for those situations first, with less detailed
plans for less likely events.
3. Team Members
We select a contingency planning team. We include people with different
perspectives of the company’s vulnerabilities. Include people with detailed
knowledge of the building, and of the computer network. We include department
managers and a human resources person, if you have one.
4. Contact Staff
We list all staff names, and ways that people can communicate with each other.
We include home phone numbers, pager numbers, non-work e-mail addresses, and
mobile phone numbers.
5. Designate Authority
Designate a decision-maker and alternate. Those persons must know the steps to
take in various crises, and how to reach staff and other essential contacts
(police specialists, fire department, clients, customers, etc). We can inform
staff who will give directions about what during times of chaos.
6. Chain of command
Consider a clear chain of command and authority. We consider military chain
of command, or that of governmental succession; and how to apply that
for your organization. If key people are missing, who will make decisions?
Do you work in an office with no alarm system? Might
layoffs occur in the future? What if all telephones were disconnected?
What if a key supplier can’t move shipments? What if all computers were
"down"? How would each situation affect
core activities, revenue streams, customer service and staff?
8. Alternative Workspace
Can employees work out of their homes? Will another company share their facilities
until space at a new location is rented and equipped? We get answers now, and we
9. Backup Information
Most people back up computer data. Where are your important papers and files
– both print and electronic? Do you have recently backed data up - stored off site?
We help you find your weaknesses.
10. Backup Knowledge
Are assets vested in a key people? Model the expertise
and skills of those individuals and pass them on. We can start an
expert modeling program to model
and replicate expert performance.
11. Define Essential Resources
What can keep the organization running in a crisis? If part of an organization
shuts down, where would revenue flow come from? We identify what people, equipment,
space, supplies, or services are needed to keep your revenue flowing during a disruption?
12. Experienced Consultant
As you develop your contingency plan, we can streamline the plan and
identify holes. We can write or edit emergency manuals, present emergency
preparedness training and liaise with local authorities.
13. Educate Staff
Once your outline plan is in place, we write manuals and educate
staff. We can arrange seminars and visits by emergency workers, police and
fire officials, etc.
14. Exercise Contingencies
We simulate scenarios. Shut down systems and monitor how staff react.
We may ask, for example, a director of a location to disconnect
the computer network and not answer the telephone.
15. Systemic Coaching
Disaster preparedness and emergency response training is needed
by all organizations, yet is especially important in small organizations, where
each employee matters more to company survival.
Martyn Carruthers was a Royal Navy paramedic / technician
who served on
nuclear submarines during the Cold War. He was a health physics and
safety officer at nuclear power stations, and later Radiation Protection
Officer for the Canadian government. He founded
a complete system of counseling and training.
Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2007-2018
All rights reserved.