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Managing Crisis Situations: No Company is Immune - How to Deal with Disaster

Companies should create detailed plans and guidelines to handle worst-case business crises, but disaster planning is the ultimate key.

Spring 2011
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Realistic Threats
While natural disasters, such as the Japanese earthquake, grab the world's attention, they are a rare threat to corporate operations and survival. "There's a whole other side of crisis management that may not generate as much worldwide coverage, but can be just as deadly to your company," says Jon Groussman, president of CAP Index, which forecasts and analyzes crime and security risk. "Workplace violence, sexual assault, stolen corporate documents, and a host of other problems can turn into crisis situations which affect employee morale, tarnish your brand, and cut into your bottom line."

Timothy Dimoff, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, calls this, "a new era with more violence and aggression in the workplace."

"Employee-on-employee confrontation has increased tenfold in the past six years," Dimoff says.

Specialty chemical maker Lubrizol is already creating policies that incorporate these strategies.

"We're starting to integrate security risk into our overall crisis management program, and plan to roll it out to all U. S. plant sites this year," says Tom Scott, Lubrizol security manager. "We're training employees to spot warning signs, concentrate on prevention, and know how to respond to workplace violence in order to protect themselves and others."

Taking the time to make an effective crisis management plan is half the battle. You can't prevent every disaster, but you can be as prepared as possible to deal with the aftermath.

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