Since the Haitian crisis has hit we have been contacted by a number of companies to visit the country. Simply put that is exactly what they have said they want to visit and to make it happen. Well as a Disaster Management company and High End Security firm this is where we excel. Problem with this is the clients have no idea what they want to do or need to do.
We have been on constant phone calls with a company that cannot make up their mind when they want to go, leaving form where, which personnel would go what they need to take with them, etc.
In the mean time, we are contacting agencies and Haiti's resources in the United States to make sure we follow appropriate rules and regulations along with figuring out how to conduct an advance in a location that has been shot back literally into the middle ages.
As professionals, this is what we work for, a challenge. When though does this not become a challenge and in turn become a non reality. My answer is simple, when the client cannot give you enough information to even try to draw a battle plan so to speak.
With this in mind, my thought is that these client companies need to sit down prior to an emergency that is either to their firm, or somewhere that may affect them by their choosing or not. We need to sit with these clients and basically instruct them how to get out of their own way. Decisions need to be made in advance of turmoil and unrest. Procedures need to be put into place, who makes the decisions, when is an idea a good one or a bad one?
Here is a basic outline for clients and anyone else for that matter that needs to be discussed, planned and practiced to make everyday options and decisions go smoother.
1- Plan for the worst event possible.
a. I know this sounds like an over statement, but, Murphy’s Law dictates when you don’t expect it, WHAM. Know your abilities, your responsibilities and your limits in a crisis beforehand.
2- Make the Plan and Implementation a game.
a. Write out all worst case scenarios, juggle them around on different pieces of paper or cards, pick at random and then write down what you think you would need to accomplish not only surviving, but excelling during a given situation.
3- When the game finished, tally up the score.
a. Once you have finished role playing with worst case scenarios and have answered realistically on your notepaper, what are the common answers? What were your answers that now seem farfetched, remember the US Special Forces are NOT going to land on your property and defend you.
4- Make a list of the most common responses.
a. Take your list, and move them in order of first to last. This may sound simple but think of your needs first, if personal list then water would be on the top of the list. If your corporate structure is damaged then the first would probably be securing the area and personal.
Simply put Plan, Prepare, and Practice!