Even with the best plans and experienced leadership, things can go wrong. When they do, the window of time to resolve the emergency is short and you may not be positioned well to resolve it. You may not have the resources, ideas, manpower or time to resolve or mitigate the effects of the situation without a plan.
Since we know emergencies will happen at some time, plan your response strategy ahead of time. In stressful situations, our ability to think clearly may be hindered and these situations always happen at the worst time. (Since really there is no good time for an emergency!) As we know, practice makes perfect. It is not possible to plan for all types of emergencies, but we can practice how we will strategize a response.
First off, always keep note of where you are and what resources are available. The most important resource you can plan for ahead of time is to know who you can call for help. Of course, certain situations require a call to 911, but what about the emergencies that are not a life or death situation, but sure can feel like it to a business owner or a person going through a stressful situation.
Take some time now, before an emergency, to list out who your contacts are for certain types of situational needs. Who can you call for help when you have an HR issue, a relationship issue, a PR problem, tech problem, financial situation or you just need advice? Think about who you work with, live with, mentors or just wise people you would call to help you through the emergency. They may not even be content experts in your field, but they are level-headed people who can strategize next steps, expecially when you may not be in the right frame of mind to make these decisions. It is also comforting to get a second opinion prior to action.
You may need to delegate. Finding help to plan and take tasks can save time and add resources to your pool in an emergency. Taking a few moments to plan who, what, when, where and how will help you strategize a better response. Know who these resources are, prior to the emergency.
Wise people are all around. Seek them out now and think about who you would call when the need comes. Emergencies will happen. Are you prepared to respond?