crisis management detail

6 Key Elements of a Crisis Management Plan

11/17/2020 Written by: Kristy James

The Oxford Dictionary defines a crisis as a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger. Crises come in many forms, but generally they threaten your organization’s operations, reputation, finances or strategic objectives. Some crises jeopardize lives, health and safety.

Senior Living operators have faced an increase in responding to various types of crises in the past few years as well as this year related to the COVID-19 pandemic. When considering events that could cause disruption, it is important to include those items that can be outside of your control yet impact your operations. For example, how would you handle a team member’s private social media account that is hacked, used to post an inflammatory statement, and eventually ends up going viral – resulting in threats to resident and staff safety?

PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a Global Crisis survey in 2019, which revealed:

  • An average of three crises per company over the past five years
  • The diversity of crises keeps companies guessing - over half of respondents say at least one of the crises they experienced was operational in nature, while the second largest category was technological
  • The most disruptive crises include natural disasters and cybercrime
  • Over 40% of companies indicated they emerged stronger from crises
  • Crises will be more complex – and harder than ever – to contain

Most operators rely on their general and professional liability policy which normally contains crisis management reimbursement coverage. While this is helpful, recognize that most indicate the triggering event is related to resident harm. There are steps you can take in advance to help guide you and your organization through responding to a crisis. 

One recent study shared over 60% of businesses do not have a crisis management plan, which is key to responding to a crisis. A crisis management plan (CMP) describes how you will react to a crisis, including who will be involved and what they will do. The plan strives to minimize harm and restore operations as soon as possible. Key CMP elements include:

1.     Identify Crisis Threats

2.     Detailed Response and Activation Plan

3.     Crisis Communication Team

4.     Key Messages

5.     Internal Communications Procedures

6.     Contacts and Media Lists

7.     Appendices

For help developing and implementing a crisis event management plan at your senior living community, contact the AP Senior Living specialists.

Sources: PricewaterhouseCoopers and Cassling

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