Crisis management involves identifying threats and addressing them based on protocols contained in a crisis management plan. Without proper management of crisis situations, problems could drastically worsen and lead to damages, chaos, injuries, or deaths.
Among the usual types of crises are flooding, fire, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, pandemics, cyber crimes, bomb threats, and even deaths of political and religious leaders. Crisis situations are occurring everywhere, almost every minute, and have the potential to affect billions of people like in the case of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’re someone involved in crisis management, you must not only know the theoretical and practical applications of your crisis management plan but also the tools that you can use to better manage crises. And as technology is the gift that always keeps on giving, here are the best tech tools for effective crisis management:
Backup communication facilities
Communication is essential in any crisis situation as it allows different response mechanisms to exchange real-time data to quickly, safely, and efficiently manage crises. And as power blackouts and destruction of communication facilities could occur unexpectedly, it’s critical for crisis management teams to have a backup.
For teams that rely on mobile communication, for instance, investing in a communications system with Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) technology is ideal to ensure a stable data connection. A rapidly deployable repeater, meanwhile, is an excellent backup facility to have for response teams and crisis managers who rely on two-way radio during crises.
Real-time sharing of critical crisis data is a non-negotiable for prompt and effective handling of crisis scenarios. For this, having a data-sharing platform in a community co-responder program or typical crisis management setting is a necessity.
With a reliable medium of sharing essential data among onsite responders and those in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), quick and informed decisions can be made. This allows for prompt resolutions of crises no matter what the type: natural, human-induced, or technological.
A resource tracker lets crisis managers track the locations of their assets. They could also use the technology to determine where a specific resource should be deployed based on urgency. Tech innovations such as machine learning could be integrated into it to effectively automate or make resource assignment more intuitive.
Social media channels
As people tend to rely heavily on social media to exchange information, crisis management teams must tap its potential for effective crisis resolution.
Facebook, for one, has a Safety Check feature that proved helpful in recent crises such as the 2016 Orlando mass shooting and the 2017 Las Vegas shooting incident. Dell Computers, meanwhile, has a fully-staffed Social Media Listening Command Center that ‘listens’ to social media posts with mentions of the brand and its products. This allows the company to improve its products or the way it interacts with users.
Crisis managers could apply the same principle to monitor social media channels to listen to what people are saying during crisis scenarios like cries for help or search for missing relatives and friends. With such critical pieces of information, crisis management teams and responders can make lifesaving decisions to prevent large-scale damages to lives and properties.
Crisis management app
This tech tool offers crisis managers and stakeholders unfettered access to resources such as crisis plans, activation protocols, and progress reports. People involved in crisis management could also see contact details of team members, draft statements, and crisis scenarios that would help them enjoy a 360-degree view of the situation (called situational awareness). With mobile technology well-entrenched into people’s lives these days, such a tech tool is an indispensable resource for the effective management of different types of crises.
Crisis management plan and templates
A printed or digital crisis or emergency management plan is a non-negotiable item in any crisis management team’s list of must-have resources. It serves as the Bible for emergency managers and response personnel on how to handle different crisis situations.
Templates such as Incident Action Plans (IAPs), press statements, and action logs, on the other hand, are an integral part of any crisis management plan as they help diffuse anxiety and stressful situations. They also well as serve as clear-cut guides for stakeholders on how emergency situations should be handled. Finally, they serve as documentary evidence on the actions taken by members of the crisis management team in case a lawsuit is brought up against them.
Handling a crisis is truly reserved for those with the skills and determination to resolve emergencies properly and immediately. With these tech tools, you can be an effective crisis manager who can help save lives and properties during crisis scenarios.