Establish and practice a crisis management plan
Assign specific responsibilities to staff members so there is no confusion about who should evacuate employees, records, and crucial business equipment. Very importantly, have a backup plan in case critical personnel are out at the time of a catastrophe. Know ahead of time what you need to take with you in an emergency. Identify alternate power sources, and evaluate the crisis response capabilities of your vendors. According to the Insurance Institute of America, the following information is most often included in a crisis management procedures manual:
- The purpose, scope, and organization of the manual.
- The structure of the crisis management hierarchy, including the chain of command, composition, and general responsibilities of the emergency teams appointed.
- Evacuation instructions, including explanations of alarm signals and diagrams of exit routes.
- Loss prevention and loss reduction procedures organized by peril (natural, human, or economic) and separated into pre- and post-event measures.
- Procedures, addresses, and telephone numbers for contacting the fire department, police, medical services, pollution-control personnel, and other sources of help, including senior management.
- Communication procedures during and after the emergency, especially procedures to notify employees of progress towards resuming operations. Also address who will manage media inquiries.
View Markel's Guide to Crisis Management.