Dark site bolsters crisis preparedness

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals develops emergency site if crisis strikes.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals develops emergency site if crisis strikes

Keeping the media, employees, the public and other stakeholders informed during a crisis can be the toughest challenge that communicators face.

One way to keep all parties informed is through a dark site, an emergency site that launches the minute a crisis hits. Filled with the latest information about a crisis, a dark site is an effective way to reduce press calls and control rumors. But it only works, of course, if the site’s set up before crisis strikes.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals did just that—and for good reason.

“Based on natural and physical disasters alone, we had enough reason to create the dark site,” says Tracy Warfield, electronic communications manager.

Berkeley, Calif., is home to one of Bayer’s major manufacturing sites. The location bears the risk of fire and earthquakes indigenous to the area. A prolonged major natural disaster would seriously impact the 24-7, 365 days a year facility.

“What if the FDA stalls production or our internal quality groups finds serious contamination of several batches? While none of these are scenarios that we want to think about, we still have to plan for the ‘what if,’” Warfield says.

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