Responding appropriately to a situation that has the potential to cause damage to the organisation, starts with an effective incident reporting process.
The process should be simple, incorporate swift escalation paths and should be designed for the reporting of incidents that have already caused business disruption, as well as cater for smaller events that have the potential to grow into something more serious if left unattended.
Incidents should be assessed and categorised for business impact.
For major incidents that are beyond the organisation’s immediate capability to resolve through business as usual procedures, and are disrupting the core activities and/ or credibility of the organisation; a predefined Crisis Management (or Emergency Management) response structure should be activated promptly.
A Crisis Management or Emergency Management response structure should include individuals and teams from around the organisation who are knowledgeable about the business operations, perform well with others, are rational, methodical, and are good communicators.
Business Continuity plans and IT Disaster Recovery plans should also be available to these teams when the structure is invoked, and should not require costly labour intensive activities to retrieve them.
Crisis Management teams/ Emergency Management teams should be trained in their roles as responders. Training should incorporate the roles and responsibilities they assume when called upon, as well as include activities to familiarise them with the tools, systems and other resources available to them when the pressure is on.
DisasterComUK consulting practitioners work with many organisations to establish, train and rehearse Crisis Management teams and the incident reporting methodologies that activate them, extending to include Crisis Communications and Media Management.