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Step 1: Form a Core Crisis Management Team

To prepare for any crisis, regardless of origin, a company should establish crisis management teams (CMTs) well in advance. Certain Core functions should be represented on all teams, while other functions will be drawn into teams depending on the specific situation. The individuals serving on the CMTs will have primary responsibility for managing the crisis. These people should know the company well, be accessible during the crisis and be trained in operating as a team.

It is critical that someone with decision-making authority be appointed to direct the activities of the CMT. The company’s chief executive or operating officer or the general counsel usually assumes this role and is designated “Team Leader”. Other representatives should be drawn from each of the relevant major areas of the company’s business.

Core team members for all crises should include the following functions:

• Human Resources
• Operations
• Legal
• Public Relations
• Marketing/Sales