Be prepared, be crisis ready

Anyone who was in the brownies, guides or similar organisation will remember the motto ‘be prepared’. As a child it didn’t really mean a lot. Life just happened and with very few life experiences there was no concept of what might happen.

Now the motto is a critical part of what I do every day. I spend a lot of time helping businesses be ready to communicate about any issues that may arise. Being prepared means being crisis ready.

I have watched a lot happening around the world in the past few weeks. Horrific and upsetting scene from Afghanistan, emerging disaster in America and the daily Covid-19 death toll. I make no comment about the responses to these situations other than they planning and preparation are, and would have been, key to a more successful conclusion.

Planning means thinking carefully about what is ahead, looking at what the knock on effects may be, and getting ready to respond. It is important to remember this is not just about responding to the incident but to the consequences it brings and to the impact the response may have. Looking at all that takes careful consideration.

We all know the importance of planning. You wouldn’t just start to build an extension on your house and hope that it was right. You wouldn’t head off to climb a mountain with no equipment. You wouldn’t get a flight on holiday without thinking what you need for the trip. So why do we just focus on what is immediately in front of us at work?

Tomorrow is the start of national preparedness month which was established in America to encourage people to be prepared for risks that they may face. The first week is focused on making a plan. It may be in case of flooding, evacuation, pandemic lockdown, fire or other problem but the plans will save you vital time as the situation emerges.

Having a plan is the foundation of your crisis readiness and means you will have thought things through ahead of time. Nobody wants to think about problems happening but life is uncertain and changeable we just need to accept that and prepare our response.

I hope that the events of 2020 and 2021 will have reminded governments around the world that preparation is still essential to a successful response.

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