Predicting Your Next Crisis—Natural Disasters
- Posted by Poston Communications
- On May 17, 2021
- crisis, crisis communications
Most crises are (to some degree) predictable. And yes, you did read that correctly.
While you may not know the specific details of the next crisis you will be faced with, you can know the type of crisis.
Almost all crisis situations fall into one of several major categories, and that makes them something you not only can—but should—plan for in advance. The best place to start is with a risk assessment of your organization. Setting aside time to comprehensively think through and evaluate possible crisis scenarios you might face in these categories (spoiler alert: natural disasters are one of them) is an essential part of building a resilient organization.
It may sound overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be.
To help you make 2021 the year of resiliency, our team will provide questions and key considerations each month to help you evaluate your organization’s potential risks in each main crisis category. And because hurricane season officially begins this month, we will start with the most obvious—natural disasters.
Below are several questions to help you assess your organization’s readiness:
- What are the major types of natural disasters you are likely to encounter? List them in order of probability and identify the varying levels of potential impacts on your employees and business operations.
- Do you have a crisis team in place for situations involving natural disasters? If so, are the roles, functions, and responsibilities for each member clear and specific? Is communication protocol addressed?
- How will you communicate with employees during a natural disaster? What are the protocols and procedures? Do you have personal contact information for all employees? Do you have emergency contact information for all employees? How will you communicate if power and/or internet are down?
- Do you have emergency protocols in place for physical office buildings? Do you know what your insurance policy covers related to natural disaster damage? Do you have a backup up plan for essential operations if a particular location is impacted?
- What are your procedures for remote workers? If employees in one location are impacted, how does your organization respond? How does it continue business operations?
- How might your clients be impacted? Do you have clients in natural disaster “hot spots”? If so, how is your team prepared to assist and communicate with them? How will you communicate with clients if your team is impacted by a natural disaster?
- How might your suppliers and vendor partners by impacted by disasters? How would a disruption to their business operations affect your business continuity or ability to serve your clients?
To help catalog your findings, we encourage you to download our risk assessment template and schedule time on your calendar to think through these questions. We also recommend inviting key leaders and colleagues from other functions to gain a comprehensive picture of this area for your organization.
Want to connect with us about preparing your organization for its next crisis? Connect with our team today.