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Crisis Preparedness Checklist

By preparing for crises in advance, companies can contain and minimize losses. In fact, about 50 percent of a company's ability to survive a crisis depends to a large extent on how well a company has anticipated possible crises and how well it has prepared for those crises. The other critical part of crisis management is executing the plan and responding effectively to unanticipated aspects of the crisis.

As you plan for and manage crises, keep in mind that your trade association and your colleagues in the industry are available to help you. They may have managed a crisis similar to the one you are planning for or managing. Reach out appropriately. Share information as it becomes available. And seek a perspective different from your own. ultimately, decisions related to crisis management are a company's to make, but it never hurts to consider other points of view.

Although the appropriate response to a crisis depends to a large degree on the particular circumstances involved, certain fundamentals of crisis management are appropriate in all crisis situations.

The first step in management is planning and to help you, the Institute has prepared an Industry Guide to Crisis Preparedness, Vulnerability-Assessment and Planning. Identify challenges you may face and take steps now to prepare for them.

After you have worked through the guide, bet the training you need to respond to the media interest that often accompanies a crisis.  Media training is offered annually at the International Production & Processing Expo.  Mini-media training opportunities are offered via webinar during the year.  

This Crisis Center also offers links to external resources like recommended lawyers, crisis management firms, media monitoring services, press release distribution services and expert consultants.  Relationships with these companies and individuals should be established, to the extent possible, before a crisis occurs.  In this way, they may become familiar with your company so they can hit the ground running when you need them.

Finally, the center offers a set of common crisis scenarios with recommended strategies that are worth reading to help you consider whether or not this is a crisis your company may face.