Friday, January 1, 2010

Crisis Management

Since the beginning of time, people have encountered diverse catastrophic events that have resulted in great pain and suffering, and enormous loss of lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars in property damage. An analysis of these catastrophes discloses certain generic characteristics. Some, such as war, insurrection, and acts of terrorism, as in the case of the 11 September 2001 attack, are rooted in differences of political philosophies. Others, such as criminal acts and indus¬trial accidents, are the result of behavioral/societal problems or human error. Still others, such as earth¬quakes and violent storms and resulting floods, originate from natural phenomena over which people have no control.

Catastrophic events frequently spawn conditions that may be even more insidious than the catastrophes themselves. Among these conditions are serious health hazards, such as polluted water and food supplies and disrupted sanitation systems, which may cause the spread of diseases of epidemic proportions. Effective emergency planning for such problems will greatly reduce their impact on the community where the disaster strikes.

People have only a limited ability to control or to prevent some of these events and will never have the ability to prevent others, such as earthquakes, violent storms, and volcanic eruptions. Although we are unable to prevent such catastrophic events, we have learned and continue to learn a great deal about them. The most valuable lesson learned about natural phenomena is that the implementation of effective contingency measures for emergencies will substantially lessen the loss of life, serious injury, and property damage.

Preparing for emergencies is the focus of this report. It is essential to prepare for both those emergencies over which we have limited control and those over which we have no control. Application of preventive measures is also important to survival from catastrophic events. Contingency planning for emergencies should include the periods before, during, and after the incident.

Human beings are inclined to react to events as they occur rather than to try to anticipate or plan for them. This inclination could prove costly because many disasters, such as lightning strikes, earthquakes, and acts of terrorism, including the 11 September 2001 attack, are not preceded by a warning and an inappropriate spontaneous reaction could be fatal.

The events of 11 September 2001 clearly dictate that a domestic Crisis Management Plan is required for events in addition to the normal events such as floods, hurricanes, tornados and other natural disasters. Planning and forethought are important, but so is flexibility in execu¬tion. A static, inflexible emergency plan will almost certainly result in a lack of preparedness and a poorly rated crisis response.

On the front of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., an adage is inscribed—"The Past Is Prologue." In the context of the subject of this report, this adage should be regarded as axiomatic. In the interest of safety for all concerns, family, employees and property, you should never yield to the temptation to ignore contingency planning for emergencies because of "a feeling that it won't happen to me" or" it can't happen here." Such an attitude may be costly.


The Crisis Management guidelines provide in this report, are intended to provide information on how to plan for and respond to a variety of emergency situations. The objective of this report is to provide you with a framework of contingency planning tools. As you read, you will recognize that this framework of planning tools can also be applied in almost any situation.



A Crisis Management Team should be es¬tablished at the corporate headquarters level and at all principal business or country sites, depending on the corporate structure. The Crisis Management Team should be composed of managers from such departments as legal, security (assets protection and risk management), finance, human resources, personnel, and public/government relations. In large corporations, local or country Crisis Management Teams should be structured to report to the corporate Crisis Management Team regarding any crisis and/or response. The local manager should appoint a senior executive as the team's coordi¬nator prior to the development of a local Crisis Manage¬ment Plan.

The Crisis Management Team must operate within the guidelines of general authority set forth by the corporation board of directors or Executive Committee. The plan must resolve fixed issues in advance and deal only with variable elements during the crisis.

The organizational structure of the local Crisis Management Team will depend on the corporate resources available. The organization should be chaired by a senior company official who will be the Crisis Management Coordinator. The local or country Crisis Management Team should also include representation from such departments or functions as administration, legal, security, finance, personnel, communications, and public relations.

Crisis Management Planning Guide

It is recommended that each corporate headquarters develop a Crisis Management Plan and a Crisis Management Team to coordinate corporate crisis activities and decisions on which local or country plans are based. This coordination will create consistency and offer corporate security officers and other senior management officials an opportunity to address matters in the country plans that are specific to the country.

When the corporate Crisis Management Team and/or headquarters approve the local Crisis Management Plan, the Crisis Management Coordinator should conduct drills of the various elements of the plan to ensure that they are realistic and can be implemented in real life conditions.

The Crisis Management Plan, or portions thereof, should be both in English and other languages if required by local circumstances so that all employees can contribute fully in implementing it in an emergency.

Crisis Management Plans will differ from location to location. In some locations certain elements of the Crisis Management Plan may be unnecessary and/or inappropriate.

Sensitive elements of the Crisis Management Plan that cannot be shared with all employees should be appropriately marked with a company classification stating the level of sensitivity of the document and the distribution controls.


Functions of the Corporate Crisis Management Team

The corporate Crisis Management Team will manage any incidents directly affecting corporate Headquarters (management, employees, and assets) and designated subsidiary companies. It will also act as the decision making authority for the management of the incident by subsidiary local Crisis Management Teams.

To ensure a consistent corporate response, the corporate Crisis Management Team should consider the utility of dispatching a Crisis Management Team representative to the location involved; that representative will thereafter assist in the activities of the local Crisis Management Team. These representatives should be briefed on their terms of reference toward local officials and Federal Government representatives.

The corporate Crisis Management Team, under the direction of the Crisis Management Coordinator, should be responsible for developing and communicating to company business units and local Crisis Management Teams the applicable procedures and practices to be used.

Functions of the Local Crisis Management Team

The local Crisis Management Team will appoint the Crisis Management Team members to develop the information needed and resources available. In making functional assignments, some responsibilities may require 24 hour coverage in certain situations. Alternates should be identified for each function. Neither members of the Crisis Management Team nor their alternates should be personally involved in the incident being managed.

• The team will formulate and develop detailed plans and procedures for handling emergency situations.

• A crisis management center should be located within the company facility. It should have the necessary equipment available for rapid activation during an emergency. The equipment could include as a minimum, communications equipment, tape recorders, emergency plans and procedures, a log to record all actions taken during the crisis, necessary office equipment and supplies, and appropriate maps and building plans, as deemed necessary. Support personnel should be identified.

• An assessment of the nature, degree, and likelihood of threats to corporate interests (personnel, facilities, information, and other assets) should be conducted to determine the vulnerability of company personnel, facilities, or assets to those threats.

• The team will communicate the contents of the Crisis Management Plan to the appropriate employees.

• The team will test the Crisis Management Plan on a regular basis to ensure that it is feasible and realistic. Whenever the plan is found deficient, immediate corrections should be made. The plan should contain the names and telephone numbers of key government and embassy personnel and private organizations and individuals that the Crisis Management Team should consider briefing or consulting with before, during, or directly after an emergency situation.

Responsibilities of the Corporate Crisis Management Team

• The corporate Crisis Management Team will develop corporate strategies and policies.

• The corporate Crisis Management Team should be responsible for, and oversee, all actions of the local Crisis Management Team.

• To facilitate company communications, the corporate Crisis Management Team may need to dispatch a representative to the location involved.

Responsibilities of the Local Crisis Management Team

The members and alternates of the Crisis Management Team should be assigned the responsibilities that follow:

• The Crisis Management Coordinator is the person responsible for preparing and implementing the Crisis Management Plan. This person should be able to respond appropriately in an emergency and have completed a proper orientation. The Crisis Management Coordinator directs and supervises the members of the local Crisis Management Team and is responsible for the following tasks:

1. Preparing the Crisis Management Plan.

2. Forwarding the Crisis Management Plan to the corporate Crisis Management Coordinator for review by the corporate Crisis Management Team representing specific functional areas.

3. Coordinating the Crisis Management Plan with the responsible local security officer.

4. Reviewing the Crisis Management Plan on a semiannual basis to ensure that it is current.

5. Training personnel who have Crisis Management Plan responsi¬bilities.

6. Practicing the Crisis Management Plan and evaluating Crisis Management Team responses.

7. Ensuring that all appropriate corporate com¬pany employees are aware of the Crisis Management Plan and its functions.

8. Preparing a written report for senior man-agement regarding the Crisis Management Team's training and its subsequent evaluation.

9. Coordinating the Crisis Management Plan with responsible officials of all facilities or sites.

10. Establishing liaison with the security officer, local law en¬forcement, public emergency officials, and other corporate Crisis Management Teams, if appropriate.

11. Implementing the plan when directed by the senior company official or authorized designee.

Team Members

Security/Incident Coordinator:

The Security/ Incident Coordinator is responsible for briefing the Crisis Management Team on the nature and degree of threat to company interests (personnel, facilities, information, and assets). This coordinator initiates investigations to validate threats and is authorized to convene the Crisis Management Team when appropriate. He or she also provides security and is prepared to brief the Crisis Management Team on physical protection of all assets during times of crisis; coordinates warden activities; and maintains law enforcement liaison.

Administration Personnel-Medical-Coordinator:

This coordinator should make available personnel and medical records as well as essential services.

Legal Advisor:

The Legal Advisor is responsible for assessing the corporate liabilities and risks (criminal and civil) as well as personal liability of Crisis Management Team members for Crisis Management Plan actions.

Financial Coordinator:

The Financial Coordinator should establish bank sources for funds and be able to provide any necessary funds on short notice.

Public Relations Coordinator:

This coordinator should develop and maintain conventional media relationships for crisis situations, including contact with host government press agencies, as well as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Foreign Service post. He or she is responsible for employee communications during crisis periods and for assistance to an affected employee and/or his or her family, if appropriate.

Business Unit Manager:

This individual represents the operating component or business unit
that is the victim of the incident.


When a crisis situation or local condition that may have an adverse impact on the safety or security of the company's personnel or assets develops, consideration should be given to the following actions:

• Convene the Crisis Management Team.

• Verify the threat.

• Advise the corporate Crisis Management Team of the crisis and anticipated actions of the local Crisis Management Team.

• Assess the crisis, including possible outcomes. In civil unrest situations, for example, the crisis may threaten many company assets. As one asset is protected, another may become vulnerable. A desired goal of crisis management is to develop and plan responses so that the asset under attack is protected yet other assets are not placed in jeopardy.

• Obtain executive profile information files, if appropriate.

• In kidnap or hostage situations, activate and dispatch to crisis location the local negotiating team; be prepared to implement a negotiated agreement.

• Determine company options and goals in responding to the crisis.

• Delegate duties not in the Crisis Management Plan to be performed by Crisis Management Team members.

• Maintain liaison with the corporate security structure, advising them of the problem and action to be taken.

• Report local Crisis Management Team actions to corporate Crisis Management Team organization and update those reports as necessary.

• Notify host government and law enforcement agency at the appropriate level.

• Establish liaison locally as deemed appropriate.

• Schedule further Crisis Management Team meetings to handle or monitor crisis as deemed necessary.

• Provide the location and telephone number of the Crisis Management Team crisis management center and the alternative off site location to appropriate personnel.

• In the event of hostage release be prepared for evacuation, debriefing, and rehabilitation.

Crisis Reports

The immediate passing of information about an emer-gency event is vital to allow the correct functioning of the corporate Crisis Management Team and to permit the corporation to respond to its responsibilities. The report should include:

• Nature and circumstances of threat or incident, including date, time, and location.

• Nature of threat or attack and injuries and damages sustained.

• Full data concerning affected employees, including names and addresses of next of kin in the order that they or other interested parties should be notified.

• Report on contacts and assistance offers to next of kin including their specific location.

• If kidnapping and/or hostage taking occurs, provide:

1. Location, number, and identity of victims.

2. Number and identity of terrorists involved, organization(s),weapons used, or other descriptive information.

3. Terrorist demands or claims.

4. Local assessment of the situation, including effect on business operations.

5. Report injuries, if any.

• Initial actions taken by law enforcement to respond to terrorist threat.

• If company personnel, dependents, and facilities are threatened or are subjects of a terrorist attack; describe the local company's preliminary effort in arranging enhanced security, medical assistance, etc.

• Precautionary measures taken for other employees at the location of the incident and elsewhere in the host country.

• Statement on whether police are involved or whether media coverage has occurred.

• Name of person sending message along with complete address, telephone number, and telex number for future contacts.


Reliable communication is a key factor in the successful management of any crisis. To ensure that adequate communications are available in emergency circumstances, the following basic capabilities should be consid¬ered:

• A local communications net with employees and authorities to include an employee warden system.

• A national link to locations in the country where other facilities are located and national authorities are headquartered.

• An international link to the company's corporate headquarters.


Coordination between the company spokesperson at the scene, the local Crisis Management Team, and the corporate Crisis Management Team is essential. Guidance from the corporate Crisis Management Team should be requested on any policy consideration or interpretation. All releases to the media should pass through and be cleared by the Corporate Crisis Management Team. Clear communications and coordi¬nation for media releases are vital during a crisis. Misinformation or failure to consider all factors before commenting to the media can jeopardize security and the objectives of the corporation.

Responsibilities of the Spokesperson

The spokesperson should consider the following:

• The spokesperson will require a direct line of communication with the local and corporate Crisis Management Teams to assure access to the latest information.

• If the crisis is extended in duration, an alternate spokesperson should also be considered.

• The spokesperson should have a designated work location to facilitate receipt and dissemination of updated information.

• The spokesperson should consider having available a briefing room equipped with telephone jacks and telephones that can be made available to the media at briefings.

• The spokesperson should deal only with accredited media representatives.

• The spokesperson should have access to officials and experts who can provide background information on all aspects of the specific event.

• The spokesperson should issue factual information at periodic briefings.

• All press inquiries should be referred to the authorized spokesperson. No comment should be made unless it is authorized by the Crisis Management Team.

Handling Media Interests

It is essential to establish a regular coordination with corporate headquarters and the corporate Crisis Management Team concerning statements to be made to the press.

The spokesperson should not act as the terrorist's "messenger" to the public.

Live interviews with participants and the use of mini-cameras at or near the site of the incident should be discouraged.

Prudence by the press regarding actions that might frighten the terrorists or promote their cause should be urged.

The counterproductive aspects of reporting on any operational activities of the police, military, or their counter-terrorism forces should be emphasized.

Interviews with unknown or amateur "experts" on terrorists' motivation or background should be carefully reviewed and considered.


Following any crisis incident, a critical review or evaluation of the crisis management actions taken should be conducted. A review should be con¬ducted of the Crisis Management Plan and the Crisis Management Team planning and assess¬ment procedures and how Crisis Management Team responded to the crisis.

Methods used for evaluation could include:

• A written critique of the entire event by all Crisis Management Team members.

• Interviews with the victim(s) and/or family.

• Final evaluation report, with recommendations for any required changes in the current Crisis Management Plan.

• Local Crisis Management Team report to the corporate Crisis Management Team of final details of the incident and analysis of the team's operation.


An integral part of a corporate Crisis Management Plan is the organized recovery phase. The following elements should be considered in the recovery phase:

• A report detailing the loss of all key personnel due to a crisis incident.

• Assignment of temporary replacements for affected management personnel.

• Development of a damage assessment report.

• Provide assistance or time off for personnel so that their personal losses (family members injured), homes or vehicles can be properly handled.

• Replacement of critical materials and equipment.

• Establish the availability of business records. (Prior planning is required so that the appropriate records have been copied and/or stored at a secure or other location.)

• Implement computer disaster recovery plans to include company minicomputers and personal computers.

• Prepare a final management report including a recovery financial analysis.


A comprehensive crisis management plan should include a simulation exercise. The exercise should include potential crisis events and other emergency situations.

Previous sections in this report have dealt with several aspects of crisis manage¬ment. This section offers some suggestions on how to develop an exercise that will enable both corporate officials and crisis team members in developing a critical analysis of how to effectively use any and all available resources. As with the Crisis Management Plan in general, the suggestions presented here could also be used by other groups including public service, volunteer etc, in developing their own emergency management exercises.


We should first define the organizational system that is the subject of an exercise. This may not always be the entire organization. It may be an operat¬ing entity in a specific geographical location or loca¬tions. In defining the organizational system, a good first step is to analyze the organization's mission and its capabilities to accomplish that mission. Such specific factors, such as studies of markets for products and services, could play a key role in defining the organizational system, particularly when the organization has a vital link to the indigenous economy, some public policy issue, or a unique program.

The next task is to identify those forces that impact the organizational system. In an era of low ¬intensity conflict, critical forces could include food, energy, strategic materials, financial services, drugs, population growth, economic development, manufactur¬ing and trade, technology transfer, environmental pollution, space travel, law of the sea, terrorism, busi¬ness fraud, and the theft of information.

Next, we need to assemble enough information to analyze the trends and major relationships associated with each force. This type of analysis can be used to set the theoretical framework for various emergency management exercises. Sources of information in developing the framework may include interviews with area experts; market analysis; politico military analysis; chamber of commerce and private sector contacts; liaison with government departments; and indigenous contacts in business, industry, and public organizations. The information can be used to develop a baseline scenario or normative scenario for the exercise.

Depending on the nature of your business and the potential threat, you may want to consider participation in an established emergency exercise system that has already been developed by either the local, state or federal government agency. Any of these agencies can tell you about scheduled events and how you may qualify for inclusion.


The scenario is the heart of the emergency manage-ment exercise because it has the potential to describe, in detail, probable, possible, impossible, or unfavorable events in the future. Events in the scenario may occur simultaneously or in sequence. They tell a story about the real world or the logical outcome of a series of future events.

To write scenarios, an organization pulls together an ad hoc team representing multiple disciplines related to the core business and the usual support functions of person¬nel, information systems, finance, security, legal, public relations, program managers, marketing and strategic planning, and sales. There may be other functions unique to a particular organization. The team should be given a time frame for envisioning the emergency situation and some guidance on certain assumptions for problems and change. The team should validate those assumptions and determine whether certain events could realistically occur now or in the future. A full descrip-tion of those events could present a complete picture of likely emergencies the organization may have to face. Each event should relate to one of the validated assump¬tions. Each event in the emergency situation must be clearly defined and documented. If it is challenged during exercise play, it may become the basis for an alternative scenario.

The concept of alternative scenarios permits the group to play several possible emergency events simultane¬ously. This complexity will enable management to look at the effect of multiple possibilities on the total organ¬izational system. The use of alternative scenarios should help management envision the best courses of action in real emergencies.

The scenario technique is particularly suited for emer¬gency management exercises to be used by business, government, or industry in politico military, politico-¬economic, and other international issues. Results from those scenario exercises can be used as a lead in to other analyses.

Some advantages of the scenario technique include:

• It can call attention, dramatically and persuasively, to a large range of possibilities that must be considered when analyzing emergency actions and alternatives.

• It can serve as a realistic case study when there is a shortage of actual examples.

• It makes it possible to envision possible alternative outcomes of present events.

• It enables key management players to visualize the influence of certain government and industry leaders on social, economic, cultural, political, economic, and military factors.

• It prevents reliance on pure abstract considerations and forces an analysis of real details.

The exercise team, in its role as control element for the exercise, should perform the following tasks:

• Assemble a wide variety of credible materials.

• Assure the relevancy of scenario information to the organizational system.

• Develop and write the various scenarios.

• Develop and write the combined exercise plan.

• Schedule and regulate the pace of the exercise.

• Supervise the physical layout, which includes communications, use of references, sources, and meeting facilities.

• Develop a method to facilitate a working liaison with top management.

• Evaluate the exercise and the players.

Control element's feedback session: In this session, the control element gives the management team its interpretation and ob¬servations. The management team can compare the results of this feedback with its self evaluation.

Joint planning and future dialogue: Gener¬ally, the control element members will agree to informal networking after the exercise. This permits future dialogue and insight into the response and content of the baseline and alternative future scenarios.


Following is a summary of the plan requirements in developing an Emergency Management Team Exercise:

Top Management

• Define the organizational system.

• Identify the emergency situations impacting the system.

• Review those trends impacting each situation.

Exercise Control Team

• Develop a baseline scenario.

• Develop a variety of alternative scenarios.

• Create an exercise layout.

• Conduct a comprehensive exercise evaluation.

• Self evaluation.

• Control element feedback session.

• Joint planning and future dialogue.

Administrative supplies and support for the exercise may include the following:

• Telecommunication support for telephones and other equipment as required.

• Two rooms and a neutral meeting room.

• A secure storage container for confidential information.

• Flip pads.

• Felt tip markers.

• Masking tape.

• Scotch tape.

• Writing pads.

• Paper clips.

• Word Processing support.

• Binder clips.

• Two hole paper punch.

• Roll correction tape.

• Burn bags for destroying papers.

• Scissors.

• Area maps (as required).

• Portable clock.

• Refreshments and comfort items.

• List of ad hoc team members including:

a. Names.

b. Telephone numbers.

c. Titles.

d. Specialty areas.

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