When an emergency strikes, response times are extremely important — which is why you need to make sure you have the right people involved from the start. Once you have notified your people of the crisis and mobilized your resources — it’s just as important to collaborate to discuss the next steps of the crisis management plan with your team during the first moments of an emergency.
Initiating collaboration with members of your Crisis Communication Team (CCT) within the first few moments of an emergency allows you to be more agile, and respond to issues as they occur, rather than working them up the chain of command. It is imperative that you assemble a team who will take the lead in developing and delivering critical communications when a sudden emergency event occurs.
Each CCT should include at least one person from an authoritative level of your organization. You’ll need members who not only have the confidence and steadiness to help with planning but who are also capable of taking complete charge when quick decisions need to be made. The clarification of the roles and responsibilities of CCT members is an important element during this preparatory stage. This should be done long before an emergency ever occurs. Having a prepared and confident CCT could help save you time when minutes, and even seconds, matter the most. It is highly recommended that you develop formalized relationships or memorandums of understanding with local law enforcement and first responders and have them participate in every step of your planning, response, and recovery.
There are a number of different methods and ways you can collaborate with your CCT during an emergency. One way you can bring your predetermined CCT together during a crisis is to include the link to your telephone or web conference in your outbound message and automatically initiating an outbound conference bridge to serve as a ‘crisis management room’. Using a web-conference affords the opportunity to screen share enabling a visual element to the collaboration that will help inform the next steps to take in your response. Having everyone together in person (or virtually) enables an instant unified command regardless of the proximity of your CCT.
Using Scenarios allows you to align, capture, and immediately initiate your organization’s crisis communications and management plan’s predefined series of unique actions, increasing your probability of a successful emergency or crisis response outcome.
Another basic tactic for your CCT to implement is pre-planned message templates. Emergency notification scripts written into templates provide a way to send perfectly crafted messages to the masses instantaneously. These templates can be as diverse as the potential crises that could arise within your organization. For example, using a severe weather template enables you to send out the closure of your building or other helpful information during inclement weather.
You can’t plan when emergencies will happen, but you can plan for emergencies by ensuring your CCT is knowledgeable of your crisis communications plan and has exercised it. Creating and developing a successful CCT could help save you minutes and possibly lives.
Use these Top 5 Emergency Templates to help your CCT have a successful crisis management strategy and associated outcomes when they need them most.