What’s happening as a result of the earthquake in Haiti is so overwhelming that no amount of preparation could have mitigated the worst of the disaster. Yet, the basics of crisis management could have and still can make a meaningful difference: preparation, planning, implementing, reviewing. (1) These basics are useful in almost any crisis management situation whether its origin is natural, man-made, or competitor-made.
Have an incident/crisis management team and process in place and ready to go in advance.
Pause for a moment to figure out what you know and don’t know, but need to know.
Decide what you want to happen, what you need to do to make that happen and what you’ll communicate.
Contain and control the incident; implement your plan, adjusting and communicating along the way.
Review and Prepare
Debrief what worked and what could go better as the start of preparing for the next crisis.
(1) Adapted from the crisis management section of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan – Bradt, Check, Pedraza – Wiley, 2009