Crisis management refers to the process in which the government of a country or the management of an organization consults with and implements advice from expert crisis managers on how to limit the damage from a particular crisis. The danger that the country or company faces could be a threat to public safety, loss of money or loss of reputation. Experts employ a four-phase crisis management model.
Planning is a very important part of crisis management. This stage is also called the prevention stage, because a well-laid-out plan helps the management or government minimize any damage that may occur. It is important to foresee the different kinds of crises that may occur and reduce the risks that are known to create these crises. However, this does not work in some situations -- for example, natural disasters.
Once an effective crisis management plan is in place, it should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. Test the crisis management team by creating mock crises or drills and get a clearer picture of the team's ability to practice plans into operations effectively. This gives the team an idea of any loopholes or important aspects that have been overlooked and provides a chance to correct them.
The crisis response phase is that in which the actual crisis occurs. Having a dedicated crisis management plan and team allows an entity to tackle a crisis or disaster in a calm way, thereby minimizing loss of life, property or reputation. Each person on the disaster management team must carry out the duties assigned to her. This team must swing into action the moment there is a threat of an actual crisis. For instance, if there is threat of a tsunami, the team must immediately evacuate all the areas that are under threat, have emergency services on standby and prepare to treat those who are injured.
The process of recovery from any crisis can take a long time. When the crisis is over, the focus has to shift on rebuilding, which can be time-consuming and expensive. So the government or organization has to make adequate financial arrangements beforehand, should there be a threat of any such crisis occurring. All damages and losses should be accounted for in detail, with photographs and/or video proof maintained along with them. Having an effective crisis management plan helps the organization or the entity get back to normal without losing too much time or money. Once the crisis has passed, it is very important to review the effectiveness of the crisis management plan to correct any shortcomings.