Imagine if there were a natural disaster, or a high-level security breach. How would your business be impacted? Do you know what your emergency plan is? Many companies are operating on the assumption they’ll simply deal with situations as they occur. Or if they do have an emergency plan; it is unhelpful – or worse, confusing – when the time comes to use it. There are a number of ways you can make sure your company is hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. Here are a few key elements that should be ingrained in your emergency plans.
A Strong Communication Plan
One of the most difficult things to handle during an emergency is communication. Getting a hold of the right people in a chaotic time is unreliable at best, but having a strong communication plan that everyone is aware of will help ensure that information is flowing as best as possible. A good communication plan is one that informs employees who to contact in a variety of different scenarios, and what to do if they are unable to reach those individuals. Keep in mind that in times of natural disaster, phone lines are often busy or down, so it’s smart to provide a variety of communication methods (such as email, Skype, word of mouth, meeting points, etc.) and options for situations where key people cannot be reached.
Prepare Your Employees With Training
A well-prepared team is one who has been through the motions of an emergency situation before. That way they are familiar with the actions required to respond appropriately. Training helps make sure your company is ready for when the worst should happen. Fire and hurricane drills, safety and CPR training are all excellent lessons to weave into your employee’s internal education. But have you considered training on how to respond in case of cyberattack? How about in the case of loss of critical leadership? These are all emergencies that will have a severe impact on your bottom line. Make sure your team has the resources and training they need to make it through the crisis.
Internal vs. External Resources
One of the most important aspects of leading a company is appropriate allocation of resources. In the case of an emergency, those resources are even more critical. Should something catastrophic occur, major loss of files or a breakdown in processes, knowing whether you have the internal resources to handle the emergency or if you need to hire from outside the company is important information to have. It can mean the difference between responding quickly and effectively to mitigate disaster or floundering until you realize you need external help. Know what you have so that when the time comes, you can make a quick decision.
Knowing your role in an emergency is as important as training or communicating your plans to your staff. What will you do during and following an emergency? How will you make sure that critical tasks are accomplished while providing the guidance and reassurance that is required from leadership? Make sure you know what your own role will be so you are able to rise to the challenge as well.
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