Ten Lessons Learned From the Titanic Disaster

The Titanic was a disaster of epic proportions back on April 15, 1912. Not only did more than 1,500 people lose their lives, but the sinking of the “unsinkable: ship has stayed in the collective memories of people worldwide since that date more than 100 years ago. Below 10 ten lessons learned from the Titanic disaster as outlined by emergency management expert Regina Phelps:

  1. Know the environment of a crisis and be aware of the situation on hand. By doing so, your company can react appropriately.
  1. Overconfidence can lead to mistakes. Knowing your capabilities will allow your company to develop crisis strategies that overcome your shortcomings.
  2. Strong leadership in the face of adversity is important. A recovery is only as good as the person leading the cause.
  3. Communication is key in any crisis situation. Communicating to your employees about what is going on during a crisis and assessing their needs publicly allows for a smoother recovery.
  1. Have a plan in place to deal with a disaster before it occurs. A proactive plan beats a reactive plan hands down.
  1. Be as timely as possible in your response to a crisis. Doing so will allow your company to remain up-to-date during a crisis so you can adjust accordingly.
  1. Training for recovery could make the difference between success or failure. Standardization of those training practices is also important so that all your employees can be on the same page.
  1. Once training is implemented, practice your business continuity plan regularly. Your business continuity plan is only as good as your level of preparation.
  1. Have the tools necessary to deal with the crisis at hand. Having the necessary resources as part of your business continuity plan will allow you to plan and react accordingly.
  2. Once your company has recovered from the crisis, investigate to see what went wrong. In this way, you can either prevent the crisis from occurring again in the future or better plan for the next crisis.

According to Phelps, it is crucial to learn from past mistakes; otherwise we are doomed to repeat them. This is especially important in the area of business continuity, as a failure to respond in a timely and effective manner can mean the difference between your business still being around when the disaster ends.

For more information about Regina Phelps’ take on lessons learned from the Titanic disaster, visit: http://emssolutionsinc.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/what-are-the-crisis-leadership-and-business-continuity-lessons-from-the-titanic-here-are-10-lessons-we-can-all-take-to-heart/