How to Effectively Respond to a Catastrophe

In the age of social media, a small misstep can lead to reputational loss or a greater loss of money. It is crucial that a company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) stay on top of events, especially in a crisis. By doing so, a company can take charge of what is put out there from an official company standpoint and hopefully gain control of the situation before the crisis grows out of control. Listed below are some important steps that a company can take to effectively manage a response to a catastrophe.

  • Be ready for unexpected events. In addition to continually monitoring loss trends to try and predict any upcoming catastrophe, COOs need to expect the unexpected as well. Called black swans, these crises represent events that are so rare, that they hardly ever take place, but when they do, the events leading up to them remain horribly obvious.
  • Call in the experts. Risk managers need to keep in mind the personnel they need when a crisis hits. In addition they need to have those experts on standby as opposed to waiting until the disaster strikes. This can include making them a part of the overall planning process. In this way they are a part of the whole process and should have a working idea of how things should go if called into action.
  • Use social media. Another key area that company officials need to keep in mind involves responding on social media. Better yet, most companies get ahead of the game plan and have responses prepared for such eventualities. Pre-approved by the legal department, these messages can save time when a catastrophe hits. The company should likewise monitor social media when a crisis is ongoing to correct any misinformation or stop any rumors.
  • Discuss the causes after the fact. After a crisis has passed, top company officials and employees should discuss what exactly went wrong. They should then develop plans going forward to prevent such an event from happening again, if possible. They should likewise share any findings to help in the development of effective responses to the particular crisis industry wide.

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