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200 Words on… Disaster Plan Execution (Part II)

Previously, we looked at aspects of what to include in a disaster plan. Now we’ll briefly talk about how to handle an emergency if or when it happens.

Part II – If a disaster/crisis happens – execution of your pre-prepared disaster plan.

1 – Insure the safety of all personnel.
2 – Notify outside agencies/authorities. (If it’s a physical event, call 911 before calling the CEO.)
3 – Follow the disaster plan.
4 – Notify the person who will become the business’s internal “incident commander.” This could be the PR person, the CEO, or someone else. (This is separate from any emergency-management incident command – fire, police, etc.)
5 – Have the spokesperson gather as much information as possible before speaking publicly.
6 – Proactively contact all affected parties (employees, media, contractors, vendors, etc.).
7 – The company spokesperson may not necessarily be the same as the person crafting the messages – the CEO may be “on camera” but the PR manager may be writing the script.
8 – Only discuss what you know, not what you might speculate.
9 – Do necessary damage control – media, facilities, product, vendors, etc.
10 – Try to resume normal business operations as promptly as possible. This is beneficial psychologically as well as operationally.

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