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Crisis management expert stresses readiness

November 27, 2002
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Crises don't come when you expect them, says crisis management expert Dr. Neil C. Livingstone, CEO of GlobalOptions, Inc. In fact, they come at inopportune times, notes Livingstone, who addressed an audience of safety and security pros at ASSE's Emergency Preparedness & Response symposium earlier this month.

That's why if your company faces a crisis situation - whether it's a natural event such as a fire, flood or tornado, or a human event like a terroristic situation or an act of violence - how you react could prevent it from turning into a full-fledged disaster.

Remember these six rules that will help your company see its way through the crisis, according to Livingstone:

Rule #1: All crises are manageable. Don't panic. There are solutions to the problem. By being prepared in advance, you'll be able to manage the situation.

Rule #2: Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Have a crisis management plan in place, review it periodically and update it as necessary.

Rule #3: Quick action is essential. People must be prepared. Rely on employees who will be able to think quickly and not be paralyzed by the situation.

Rule #4: Don't confuse crisis management with public relations. Saving face is not the goal. Don't cover up something that went wrong. Admit there is a problem, and attempt to fix it.

Rule #5: Don't play the blame game. Rather than blame someone or something else, spell out the facts in a way that puts your company in the best possible light.

Rule #6: Every crisis is an opportunity. Dealing with a crisis situation can help your organization come face to face with deficiencies and start improving in those areas.

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