When the unthinkable happens, how will you react? Without a plan you’ll be fire-fighting the whole way. But the good news is that with the right preparation and careful planning well in advance, a business can survive. Here’s how…
Five steps to surviving a crisis
DEVELOP A CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN Put in place and keep up to date your environmental incident plan. Planning helps clarify roles and responsibilities so that, in the event of an incident, you don’t waste valuable time working out what you need to do and who you need to talk to – you can just get on with it.
MAINTAIN AN ACTIVE CRISIS MANUAL Develop and regularly test your crisis manual through crisis simulations, both desktop exercises and real life scenarios involving your management team. Practice might not make perfect, but evidence from our clients shows that it certainly helps improve preparedness – and confidence – to deal with an incident.
TRAINING IS KEY Training in all relevant aspects is vital, eg. health and safety, environmental control. You should be able to show that you have a comprehensive training programme in place and you should ensure that new staff are included.
KEEP AN AUDIT TRAIL You should be prepared to provide internal audit evidence that you have taken all the steps you could have been expected to in order to contain your incident.
DRAFT AND APPROVE YOUR EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS STATEMENTS IN ADVANCE In the event of an environmental incident, regulators may expect you to respond incredibly quickly. Don’t waste time by drafting your communications materials from scratch. Develop flexible templates that you can roll out fast, allowing you to focus on other critical areas of communication.
DON'T PANIC! When the unexpected happens, rely on your tried and tested crisis plan and use your crisis response helpline.