A natural disaster is one of the worst crises any company can face, especially when one prompts a prolonged office closure. The recent wild fires in British Columbia or the flooding in New Brunswick are major examples of this scale of disaster. When natural disasters strike, they can affect every facet of people’s lives, including their work. For many, getting back to work as soon as possible is essential to their personal recovery; your employees need to know when it’s safe to go to work, and need to trust their employers are managing the situation. In the face of a natural disaster, what will your organization do? Do you have a plan for the first minutes? What about the first hours? What happens if the disaster lasts for days, or your workplace is seriously affected?
Reflecting on the Second World War, Winston Churchill is known to have remarked, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” The quotation suggests that when the unexpected happens, or when your best laid plans go awry—perhaps especially then—you should take some time to consider what happened and how you could improve your response in the future. Of course, you don’t need to wait until after a crisis to think about how you will respond to a future challenge. When business is going well, it may seem impossible that a crisis could rock your organization, yet we can’t always see a crisis coming. Having a crisis response strategy in place will help you prepare for when the unpredictable occurs.