Do you or your organization have a crisis communication plan?
Is it currently up to date?
My compliments to those of you who have a crisis communication plan that your public relations staff can use when "the shit hits the fan." You've taken a huge step toward being prepared for an emergency. But, it may not be enough.
The next critical question is: When was your plan last reviewed and updated?
A surprising number of organizations that prepare crisis plans simply put them on a shelf and leave them there until they're needed. The biggest problem with this is that employees frequently move on or have their responsibilities changed, so those who were originally assigned to play a role in a crisis may no longer be in place, or they may have totally new responsibilities. Beyond that, the company may have adopted new technology, changed phone or IT systems, or be operating in different facilities. If you don't realize this until you're in the midst of a crisis, you have further complicated the crisis situation you're facing. What may have once been a perfect plan is now worse than useless. Trying to follow it will waste waste time and generate frustration because now, instead of knowing whom you need to contact and how to reach them, you have to find someone who can help you and you have to convince them to do so.
To avoid such a disaster, smart and successful practitioners periodically review and update their crisis plans. The frequency will vary depending on the type of organization and the environment in which it operates. -- An airport, for instance, probably needs to review/update its crisis plans more frequently than a retail shoe store. -- For fast-moving, high-risk organizations, monthly reviews often work well. Other organizations may do them quarterly or biannually. But, the absolute minimum should be an annual review/update.
And, if you opt for annual reviews, I urge you to do them in the spring, not just to link them to spring cleaning, but so you can consider the latest Annual Crisis Report from the Institute for Crisis Management while you're reviewing your plan. This report, normally released in April, summarizes the previous year's crises around the globe and offers insights into new threats that might be headed your way.
This site was on Northern Kentucky University servers while I taught there, and it remained there for quite a while after I retired.