The best time to prepare for an emergency…

    …is when there isn’t one.

First I noticed the plumber’s truck parked in front of my neighbour’s house. Next, I noticed the Flood Restoration vehicles. “Uh oh,” I thought to myself. “Not good.” Disaster had struck and emergency cleanup work was underway.

It’s been going on for the better part of a week now.  Not only did it create an immediate panic and an instant need to address the situation to prevent it from becoming an even larger disaster, but it has thrown upheaval into their daily lives and havoc for their future plans. Disasters have a way of doing that.

It seems like once a year I have a discussion with clients about their issues and crisis management plans and then it never gets mentioned again. Usually
it’s a topic that gets raised when I first meet with new clients. Everyone acknowledges that their business needs to take an updated look at their plan.  I am constantly amazed at the number of businesses that admit that their plans are skimpy at best. They really don’t know what they would do if they were hit by a product recall, a plant closure, the death of an employee on site, a serious equipment failure, a major weather storm…anything that temporarily cripples a company and prevents it from doing business as usual.

It bears repeating: the time to prepare for a disaster is when there isn’t one.

No one plans to have a disaster, but you do have to plan how you would deal with one. When did you last look at your company’s issues and crisis management plan? When did you last update the full plan and do a company role play of how a crisis would evolve? Do you know how the chain of command would fall out? Is there a binder with all the information and is at home where you would be in the middle of the night if a storm hit? It’s great to have information digitally, but what if there is a power outage? Or what if you can’t access your computer? Could you quickly access all the information you need if your business was hit with a major disaster? Do you know what you would do?

Sometimes it’s not a major crisis that we’re confronted with, it’s more of a simmering issue. You know that something isn’t quite right, but you can’t put your finger on it. Or you have identified the issue, but don’t know how to actually turn it around.

If you need some help in figuring it all out, I have specialized training in dealing with issues and crisis management and have won awards for helping clients through similar situations. Give me a call or send me an email at

And by the way, after seeing all the flood trucks, I made sure my insurance info was still neatly tucked into my watertight safe. And nothing that could be seriously affected by water was sitting on the basement floor. Just in case.

crisis words pic



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