Five Steps for Implementing an Effective Crisis Response Program

This blog post is a summary of a previous webinar that outlined a five-step approach for implementing a crisis response program. A link to that webinar appears at the conclusion of this post.

Crisis response failures occur due to inadequate vulnerability assessments, poor planning against identified risks, and lack of training and evaluation,” says Jim Minninger, director of professional services for Integrated Security Systems in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, and a retired police sergeant.

“It’s important to take an all-hazards approach to identify anything that can affect business continuity.” In fact, crisis preparation is a living, breathing process that should never be static. “Constant review and improvement is key, especially because the human element is the weak link,” he cautions.

The first few minutes of an emergency are critical in determining the outcome, so both on- and off-site responders need to know what’s happening, where it’s happening, who it’s affecting, and what should be done in response. Human error can prevent fluid crisis response by impeding communication, which in turn leads to confusion, panic, delayed responses, and costly mistakes. 

Emergency operations plans have to be specific to your campus and its unique characteristics and vulnerabilities, then evaluate their success by testing them and making necessary changes. Table-top, functional and full-scale exercises should be part of ongoing training, and after-action reports also are critical.

This is just some of the valuable information Jim shared during the webinar he led for us on Jan. 28. Have you dusted off your crisis response plan lately? Does it explore all likely hazards on and around your campus? Do you practice your crisis response? 

Here’s the Webinar on Effective Crisis Response Hosted by Jim Minninger

You can view the webinar in which Jim discusses a five-step approach for implementing a crisis response program. You’ll learn what’s involved in each of the steps and how using this approach will help you more effectively prepare for and respond to an emergency. Although geared toward education campuses, most of the information applies to any environment.

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