Protecting brand, image, and reputation & relationships with stakeholders.
A major incident—fire, explosion, or act of violence—brings emergency vehicles and an army of journalists to your doorstep. Swirling reports of a serious product defect make customers skittish. A natural disaster half-way around the world cuts off the sole source supply for a profitable product line. An allegation of impropriety casts a dark cloud over the organization and sparks regulator interest.
A crisis can be an issue, event, or series of events that severely impacts or has the potential to severely impact an organization. The organization’s reputation and its relationships with stakeholders—critical to long-term success and viability—can be severely strained. Lost sales, lost market share, and increased expenses can challenge any organization.
A crisis can emerge suddenly or emerge from an incident or series of incidents that have not been properly managed. Latent problems in management, business practices, product design, quality control, and customer service are often exposed by the scrutiny of customers, media, and regulators. Real or perceived problems that are improperly managed can severely impact brand, image, and reputation.
No crisis follows a script. No holding statement, emergency procedure, or recovery strategy will be enough to navigate through the uncertainty, potential magnitude, and duration of a crisis. A crisis management team that thinks strategically, is creative, flexible, and able to sustain a response that is supported by the core values of the company is needed to manage a crisis to the best possible resolution.
A crisis management program protects brand, image, reputation and important relationships. It focuses senior management attention and supports employees, families, facilities, and operations that have been or could be impacted by the crisis-causing incident. Preparedness, LLC can develop your program by following an international standards-based approach that includes:
Our preparedness bulletins provide guidance for program development, implementation, and evaluation.
Conduct a risk assessment to identify the threats and hazards that could cause unacceptable impacts to the assets of your organization. Potential impacts are determined by the location and magnitude of the hazard, and vulnerabilities of the infrastructure, site, buildings, operations, systems, equipment, and people. A comprehensive risk assessment will provide a picture of risk that can be used to prioritize hazard mitigation and build other preparedness programs.
A BIA is a management-level analysis that identifies the potential impacts of business interruption and their escalation over time. Loss of revenue, loss of market share, deferred revenue (cash flow), increased expenses, regulatory fines, and contractual penalties (or loss of incentive bonuses) can be estimated. Impacts on relationships with customers, regulators, and other stakeholders are also considered.
There are many potential causes for supplier failure, and the impact to business operations can be significant. Analysis of supplier risk should begin by identifying the products that generate the most value to the organization. Next, identify the suppliers for those product lines. Survey all suppliers that are sole or single source then others that are considered highly valued. Construct a risk survey to help you understand the resiliency of your critical suppliers.
Emergency plans should include actions to protect life safety from foreseeable hazards identified during the risk assessment. Protective actions include evacuation, lockdown, and shelter-in-place. If an armed perpetrator is inside a building threatening or actively using a weapon to harm people, occupants must know whether to “run” from the building; “hide” from the perpetrator(s) (also known as “lockdown”), or “fight” (counter) the perpetrator.
Before the heavy snow warnings are broadcast and the frigid blasts of arctic weather arrive, it’s important to prepare your facility and your employees. Preparations before the severe weather can save costly damage to equipment and facilities and maintain important fire and life safety systems. Plans should also include actions to be taken if power or other utilities are interrupted.
Melting snow can combine with rain in the winter and early spring; severe thunderstorms can bring heavy rain in the spring and summer; or tropical cyclones can bring intense rainfall to the coastal and inland states in the summer and fall. Flash floods occur within six hours of a rain event, after a dam or levee failure, or following a sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam.
Hurricane season begins each year on June 1. No matter the forecast for number of storms, major hurricanes, and land-falling hurricanes, it only takes one storm to cause many deaths and billions in damages. “Superstorm” Sandy was not technically a hurricane when it made landfall, but it caused billions in damages. Recovery efforts continue years later.
Summer is thunderstorm season, and thunderstorms bring lightning, heavy rainfall, hail, and tornadoes. Resulting fatalities, property damage, and losses from business interruption are significant. Natural hazards can’t be prevented, but emergency management can protect life, mitigation can reduce property damage, and business continuity planning can speed recovery and reduce operational impacts.
Since 2009 the world has not faced a significant pandemic, but experts warn it is just a matter of time. The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) reports that pandemics occur on average roughly three times per century. However, “scientists wouldn’t be all that shocked if pandemics started coming more frequently.” Now is the time to review, update, and exercise a pandemic preparedness program.
Will your preparedness program safeguard lives if there is a fire or active shooter? Will business continuity strategies enable you to continue priority operations when your building can’t be reoccupied? Will your communications plan enable you to quickly and effectively communicate with your customers and stakeholders as news is tweeted and blogged soon after emergency vehicles arrive? Auditing your program will answer these questions and identify opportunities for program improvement.