Is your company equipped to handle a crisis? Take this test

These 10 questions highlight how vulnerable you’ll be when disaster inevitably strikes

A vulnerability audit is one of the most powerful crisis management tools available. Designed to ferret out unknown dangers or flaws in crisis planning, this test will allow you to shore up your defenses before a crisis actually hits.

Take this vulnerability audit and see if you need help getting your business on a crisis track.

1. Who is on your crisis team? Pick people who can think on their feet, are good spokespeople, and have related experience. Do not choose the CEO.

2. Do you have friends in your court if you need them? This would include reporters, regulators, inspectors, politicians, police, etc.

3. Do you monitor possible problems that could lead to a crisis, like employee relationships, safety issues, confidentiality issues or termination problems?

4. Do you have a written book of company policies?

5. Do you have a list of emergency numbers or cell phone numbers to reach managers/owners at a second’s notice?

6. Who is your spokesperson if something negative happens?

7. How do you handle belligerent employees?

8. How do you handle sexual harassment accusations?

9. Are you familiar with the emergency response teams in your area?

10. When was the last time you had an emergency evacuation drill?

While this is a very solid list, it consists only of generic questions that apply to every business. Stop and think about how many questions you could ask that are specific to your industry or location, and you will begin to see how in-depth a complete vulnerability audit is, and how powerful it can be as a crisis prevention method.

Susan M. Tellem, APR, RN, heads Tellem Worldwide ‘s health care, nonprofit, special event and crisis management practices. This article originally ran on the Bernstein Crisis Management blog.

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