A Crisis Management Plan (CMP) is a pre-organized course of events that addresses all phases of incident control so that action is taken to alleviate the issue in a timely manner. A CMP is imperative to having a successful operation and to help mitigate any negative outcomes when SHTF. Building a CMP should begin with identifying a clear strategy to be shared with the other members of your prepping team. Keeping it broad can help to allow for flexibility but enables less experienced or younger members of the group to have some idea of how to take action when needed.
Chain of Command
Establishing roles within your community gives those less capable someone to look towards for direction. Crises can tend to send people into a panic and generate a feeling of chaos. When those with certain skill sets or leadership skills feel empowered by knowing their roles in certain situations, they can act without waiting for another person to step in. There will be questions, concerns and ideas for how to move forward but if a chain of command is established beforehand community members will know where to direct thoughts thoughts and concerns.
Methods of Communication
In the event of a crisis, it is best to know how to properly notify the appropriate parties of the event. Much like there is a universal symbol for “be quiet” by placing a finger to your lips, it may be wise to establish some hand signals between you and your crew if there is a need to communicate silently. Depending on where you are establishing yourself, educating your group on how to use smoke signals or rune symbols can prove to be useful communication tools.
Additionally to establishing a chain of command, note who is be notified during different types of incidents. Who is main point of contact for medical emergencies? Who needs to be contacted in the event of a security breach? Your CMP should clearly address the answers to these type of questions.
Level of Severity
Crisis Management Plans are not typically written for day-to-day operations. They are written to address larger issues like fires, medical issues and natural disasters. Addressing the level of severity of the situation tells the first responder who needs to be contacted to alleviate the situation and how urgently. Assessing if you need to immediately flee the area in your prepared bugout vehicle or if the risk can be easily remedied are important to note. If the crisis has the possibility of escalating in a short amount of time, having a CMP that clearly defines the actions to be taken will allow for a more immediate action to take place to deescalate the situation as quickly as possible.
Firefighter, Lloyd Layman, lines out seven factors (RECEO VS) that may be made a priority in any situation. The acronym RECEO VS stands for the following:
There is not going to be just one CMP that encapsulates how to handle all different situations. Consider it as more of a handbook that has processes to address many different variables from dealing with anything from addressing a violent crime to extinguishing a fire. Responses to varying situations may include a total lockdown, community evacuation or medical responders.
Testing the Plan
One way to ensure that you are as prepped as possible for any sort of incident that you may encounter is to run drills to assess your incident management plan. Much like a fire drill in elementary school, testing out your evacuation plan, plans of action and lines of communication will allow you to find possible flaws or areas of improvement to make sure you are as prepared as possible when facing a crisis. Timing how long from the initiation of the crisis to the moment that it is defused will give you a clear picture of how much time you have to act, and it may have you considering your communication plan or other aspects of your CMP. Each drill is a chance to improve and to keep you and your team strong from when SHTF.
About the Author:
Brooke Faulkner’s mission in life is to be prepared for anything life throws at her. As a mother of two, more often than not that includes legos and snotty viruses. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found zipping around the wilderness on her ATV.