Why Family Employers Need To Plan For A Crisis
Commentary and Checklist
The owners of an Ohio apartment that was destroyed when a corporate jet crashed into it are suing the estates of the two deceased pilots and the owner of the plane for property loss and damages.
The crash also killed the seven executives from a Florida commercial real estate company who were on board.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined the crash was caused by pilot error when the plane approached the Akron airport. It also concluded that the private jet charter company that operated the aircraft did not provide adequate pilot training or aircraft maintenance. "Lawsuit filed over Ohio jet crash that killed 9 from South Florida," sun-sentinel.com (Jan. 7, 2017).
- Consider multiple crisis scenarios that represent the crises your organization is most likely to face. For example, include an earthquake as a plausible crisis if you live in an area with earthquakes, but do not if earthquakes are highly unlikely in your area.
- Use planned scenarios to develop "modules" of responses that can be easily combined to address unplanned for disasters. Examples of modules include: facility lockdown, police or fire response, evacuation, isolation, medical containment, grief management, and external communication.
- Match your response modules to possible crises.
- Designate a chain of command for addressing crises. Family employers should lead during a crisis, but designate several other managers to take charge if you are unable or unavailable.
- Identify signals for activating your response plan for various crises. Also have an "all clear" signal so that staff knows when a crisis has passed.
- Have a location available that can be used as a command post should your home or office be jeopardized by a crisis.
- Identify how you will communicate with staff, family members, and others in the event of a crisis; for example, via a text chain or an intercom system. Compose messages in advance.
- Have a stash of backup food, water, medical supplies, and, if possible, a power generator.
- Conduct periodic simulation exercises to practice your crisis management plan.
- Analyze your simulation exercises and any crises that do occur to determine what worked and what may need to be changed in your plan.
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