Have you ever wondered what would happen if you woke up one day and found yourself in crisis? This may not worry you now because you are not in any immediate danger. However, this could change in the blink of an eye. The situation may have crossed your mind making you take the necessary precautions like insuring your home. Preparing for a crisis before it happens is crucial as many preppers and survivalist will tell you. You have the upper hand compared to the other masses.
I am very sure you have come across information guiding you on the best ways to cushion yourself against crisis, but they were not exhaustive. This guide will offer you insights on possible scenarios and how best to cover yourself in case it happened. While it is general in approach, it covers everything you need about crisis management.
Crises may come in various forms and it’s up to you to decide what you consider a crisis to get the best out of this guide. As a homesteader, a prepper, an individual or even an organization, identifying a crisis and mitigating it in time will save you a lot of trouble. It also presents you with the opportunity of managing a future occurrence of any crisis as the approach is universal.
What Is Crisis Management?
A crisis is defined as sudden or an evolving problem that needs urgent attention. You work to minimize the damage that may occur to you as an individual or even an organization. Crisis happens everyday day and they could happen to an individual, a country or even an organization. You just need to be prepared in advance so as to avoid being caught unawares.
Some of the common cases of crises include:
- A company producing products that could harm its customers.
- An attack on a company’s security system by cyber terrorists
- An adverse change in climate affecting a country’s food basket
- A terrorist attack on a mall destroying lives and properties
- A major pandemic which may affect a country or the whole world like the coronavirus pandemic (Covid 19).
- Death of a key individual in an organization with no immediate replacement
You should not confuse a crisis to the regular recurring ups and downs of a business or of life as a result of adopting new strategies and opportunities. A crisis leaves all resources stretched and drained and while it may affect you now, it offers learning opportunities needed for future success. As a prepper, a crisis opens you up in terms of crisis prevention, management and provides insight on how you can reinvent your strategies to make it your superpower.
Classification of Crises
Crises fall into two broad categories, as follows:
- a) Natural Events You Can’t Control
Catastrophic events like fire, tornado, blizzards, floods, hurricanes may strike without notice leaving you devastated and stranded. Other activities that fall in such categories are pandemics like the spread of a virus. It may be confined to a particular part of the world but may spread to other parts of the world, leading to loos of business and economic collapse. Such events usually lead to loss of lives, disruption of communication, destruction of infrastructure and properties.
- b) Health Disasters caused by business organizations
A company may knowingly or unknowingly be the cause of a crisis when a product related to it is the cause of a significant crises especially one affecting human life. When the company is responsible or is perceived by the members of the public to be the cause of a crisis, ten necessary actions need to be taken to change the narrative and save its face.
Examples of Crises Caused By Organizations
- An external force could tamper with your products, making them harmful to users as a way of sabotage.
- You could be producing substandard goods or contaminated prices causing a crisis
- An accident like an oil spill or radiation and toxic gas leakage under your company’s watch
- Unknowingly contaminate water bodies and the environment using poisonous wastes.
- c) Technological Crisis
Nowadays, major organizations rely on technology for their day to day running of their daily activities. Therefore, most organizations and government services would suffer should a technological disruption occur. Since the servers hold crucial information, if they are affected in any way, a crisis could occur.
Below are some technological challenges that could escalate to a crisis;
- Loss of crucial data. This could happen although most companies have offshore servers
- Server hacking. Sometimes hackers could gain access to your crucial information and sabotage you financially.
- Communication breakdown. This may occur if a busy website goes offline during pick hours resulting to public outcry and major customer frustrations.
- Outdated systems and machines. This are major pan points especially for large corporations as they could lead to poor customer service. Customer frustrations could result in inefficiency causing failure of service delivery.
As a result, experts are always researching on ways they can combat technological crisis.
- e) Economic and Market Forces Crises
The world has become a global village thanks to the high-speed internet connectivity. You can virtually access any information you require from comfort of your house so long as you have high speed internet and smartphone. The dynamic nature of business means that any change cold result an economic crisis. Therefore, a global economic crisis would hit anybody from any corner of the world.
The following are examples are examples of what would happen in case of an economic or market crises. They include:
- Market changes which ca affect a product release date of even affect its sale
- Change in market trends which can make a product go out of fashion.
- Recessions reduces the investors risk appetite especially those who are risk averse. As a result, a crisis could occurs the organization has to wait for the economy to adjust to positive investment atmosphere.
- e) Breakdown in Stakeholders Relationships
All stakeholders are crucial for the survival of any business. As an organization you should ensure that every stakeholders i.e. the suppliers, the board, the management, the employees and even the customers agree and are on the same page.
- f) Personal Crisis
I am very sure that at one point in your life, you felt something wasn’t going right. It’s like you are drowning and nobody around is even noticing. Personal crisis happen all the time and necessitates a change of personal routines and behaviors to overcome. You should always be prepared as they may come in form of stress or mental distress.
The Six Steps to Crisis Management
As a prepper or a survivalist, you should be always be prepared for any eventuality. Crisis occur all the time and its best for you to identify them before to avoid losses. You cannot control events like health, technology, market changes or even relationships. All this events have the potential to affect your wellbeing financial, economically and even socially.
There is no proven formula for crisis management. However, the below sis stages will go a long way in helping you identify a crisis and know how to manage it. It just requires you to be systematic in the way you approach it.
The six steps to crisis management are:
- Avoid the crisis
- Prepare to manage the crisis
- Recognize the crisis
- Contain the crisis
- Resolve the crisis
- Learn from the crisis
Read on to find out more about crisis and how it can be managed strategically to avoid loses. We are going to explain the steps in detail giving you real life examples on how crisis can be averted
- AVOIDING THE CRISIS
Proper handling of crisis prevents escalation and such crisis never see the light. Proper crisis Management strategies ensure that such a crisis is arrested before it becomes public. A case in question is the Y2K crisis at the beginning of there year 2000. The crisis was arrested before any damages had occurred.
Below are major crisis that you may experience as a prepper or a survivalist. They include:
- Financial crisis
As a prepper who wants to be financially stable, you may find yourself in financial crisis. You could be sinking in debts in terms of a maxed out credit card, mortgages, car loans, student’s loans and on top of that being unable to sustain a luxurious lifestyle. Most of the financial crises individual experience are in most cases out of lack of financial discipline.
You can overcome a personal financial crisis by having the following:
- Identifying and accepting that you have a financial crisis
- After that you resolve and focus on being better financial to avoid going into stress related mental problems like depression.
- Create a workable budget
You need to properly plan your budget to avoid falling into a financial crisis. You should allocate your expenses and saving s and stay true to budget despite the temptation to ignore it.
- Have financial priorities
Spend on important things only.
- Track your progress
Look for ways to keep yourself on toes ad track how you are faring with your targets.
A pandemic can cause a very serious crisis. For starters if you are not properly prepared, as a homesteader you may have a food, medicine or money crisis. The good thing with survivalist homesteaders is there are self-sufficient and won’t be caught unawares. However, should you find yourself in such a crisis, you can still come out stronger. You just need to recognize its effects and take the necessary measures needed to overcome it.
Things You Can Do To Avoid A Crisis?
To avoid a crisis, it’s your duty as the affected to do the following
- Crisis Audit
A crisis audit involves evaluating all the probable crisis points and cover their bases. Doing this offers you the cushion should such an event take place. It in most cases involves having a list of potential crisis and how to tackle them.
As a business you need to look at the points which are critical and which would be affected by a crisis. They look at the servers and company secrets that could be used by rivals for economic espionage.
As a survivalist, you can do audit crisis on the amount of suppliers you would need in case of a pandemics. In case of a flu or a virus attack you need to have enough food, medicine and even cash money in form of savings o last you several months. However, most people are not usually prepared for the crisis. Even preppers were caught unawares by the corona virus attack of 2019.
Steps in Crisis Audit
Crisis audit involves the following steps
- Incorporate crisis planning as part of your strategy planning.
It’s crucial for you to have a crisis management plan as part of your strategies. Whether you are in business or whether you are just a prepper who is into homesteading, you need to know the various crisis that can hit your business and make it part of your strategy. This way you will be better prepared for such an event in future.
- Share Ideas
It’s always good to brain storm on pressure points that need crisis planning. Since you can’t have all the information, its good o gather information from everybody involved to ensure every stone is unturned. Such a strategy allows you to remain vigil and able to tackle issues from a different perspective. You can get information from all departments to for part of crisis ideas.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis with a crisis in mind
It’s crucial to conduct SWOT analysis for your organizations to determine how bad a crisis can do to your business. With this in mind, you can plan on how to avert the same without allowing it to happen in the firsts place. You start by determining your strength and weaknesses as an organization or even as a homestead if you are a survivalist. Then look at the threats and opportunities. This way, you won’t get caught unawares in case of a crisis.
- You should have the following major areas as pain points.
Health and environmental disasters like epidemics and viral attacks, your technology system, markets forces and strategic relationships. If you have a crisis in the above area, your business could collapse.
- Get a crisis risk list
To properly mitigate against the occurrence of a crisis you should always ask yourself this:
- What the worst that could happen in a crisis?
- Which crisis has the highest probability of occurring?
While it’s not possible to plan for all crisis, they differ from organization to organization depending on the location or the technology in use. A proper SWOT analysis should guide you on the crisis management strategies you need as an organization.
- PREPARE TO MANAGE A CRISIS
Individual preparations for a crisis is different form that f an organization. While they may have differences due to their scope and nature, the approach is still the same.
What should you do to prepare for crisis management?
- Always Be Prepared For Any Event
You should always have a contingency plan for when things go hay wire. It’s always easy to plan for something when that thing does not require immediate action. However, the problem can escalate easily when thigs hit the fun.
As a prepper you should be always prepared before a crisis occur. Therefore its crucial for you to have measures like enough having a generator to cover incase the solar energy is out.
You soul dals have enough supplies like food, medicine and finance in case of a pandemic attack.
- Be Updated On The Current Affairs To Avoid Being Caught Unawares
When pandemics happen, most people get caught unawares and don’t know what is taking place. As a prepper you should be updated on current affairs on things happening worldwide. With this in mind, you can take the appropriate action to cushion yourself in readiness for any lockdown.
As an organization, you should also be prepared for every crisis. You need to know your core business and how it can be affected by a crisis. With this in mind, then it easier for you to ensure you have covered all the bases.
- Take Cognizance Of The Risks Involved
Your business could be at peak right now. It could be making huge profits but the problem is it be running the risks f not diversifying its business. Suppose your organization was dealing with one line of goods but the organization became myopic and instead of diversifying it continued expanding. Such an organization runs the risk of getting into crisis should the products go out of fashion.
As a prepper, it’s always good to evaluate and see various possibilities of risks. Instead of waiting for the food reserves to get depleted, you should replenish it in readiness for any food crisis.
The above should be raised as part of crisis audit and should guide you to make the best crisis decision.
- You Should Critically Evaluate The Crisis Warning Signs
Crisis audit should expose any crisis warning to help you to cover all the bases that need attention. Therefore, such an activity will expose all the weaknesses and threats and help mitigate them in case of a crisis.
- Talk About Potential Costs
You as a prepper or an organization should come up with the number of what would happen in case of a crisis. How deeply will it affect your operations in terms of customer reach and the safety of your employees?
A good case is what you would do as organization in case of pandemics? Will you continue offering your services or would you be incapacitated. As a prepper, it’s always good to have all those issues take care of beforehand to ensure everything is running smoothly. Choose the most pressing issue first when dealing with a crisis.
- Produce A Crisis Contingency Plan
A contingency plan lays down the procedures to be followed in a crisis event. As a business you need to have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place. This mainly involves what you would do in such an event. If it requires all the staff to be at work, all the necessary measures like transport should be provide by the business for the smooth transition.
- Check For Loop Holes In The Plan
You may come up with a contingency plan that can be easily exploited by various stakeholders. Such plan could be detrimental to the organization instead of serving its purpose. A plan with a reward in mind might be affected like the following examples. If you offer incentives to workers delivering products to your customers depending on their turnaround time. Some could cause accidents in order to receive the incentive.
- Have A Crisis Management Team Ready
The success of a crisis mitigation and management is reliant on the people handling the decision making. They should have a thorough knowledge of the crisis and should work together with the management of the organization to ensure that everything is in place.
Each member of the team should have the contacts of all members in readiness for the crisis management in case it occurred as part of the BCP.
In case of say a homestead who is prepper, you should anticipate and prepare for a disease affecting your animals. As such you need to be properly trained on ways of stopping disease spread and how you can stop it all together.
- Have A Communication Channel In Place
You need to have a communication channel to be used by all stakeholders in case of a crisis. The numbers should not be limited to the people handling the crisis only. Instead all the other members of the team and stakeholders like suppliers should be included too.
- Have A Resource Plan
Be properly prepared on how you will evacuate your resources and what you will need to do that. Assuming your offices got attacked by terrorists, you should have a plan of how your employees should be saved from your premises with the least lost possible.
- RECOGNIZING A CRISIS
As an organization you should always test the occurrence of a crisis and should not wait for the crisis to actually happen. Take the case of employees stealing from an organization until the business nearly collapses. In most cases, there are usually red flags. However, an organization may fail to follow up on the red flags causing a crisis when reality strikes.
How Do You Recognize A Crisis?
You will see patterns of events and learn disturbing facts about yourself, your organization or your life. Instead of ignoring, rationalizing or ignoring them, you should face them head on.
Using the following question, you will classify an event depending on how far it is from becoming a crisis.
- Characterize the Event
When it comes to characterizing an event, you need to evaluate and know how it can affect you or your organization negatively. Asa survivalist, it’s crucial to know if the event can:
- Can be a physical threat to you or your employees
- Can affect the environment and your clients negatively
- Can affect morale for your employees consequently affecting your company
- Can cause a financial loss to your organizations or a major cause of a litigation against you.
- Evaluate The Magnitude Of The Crisis
After establishing you have a crisis, its crucial to know the magnitude by looking at how it will affect your business. As a prepper, you need to know who caused it and how long it will last. You also need to establish who knows about, what they have done about it and also who need to know about the crisis. As a result, you will know if its threating you or your organization’s brand and how much it will cost you financially or reputation wise.
- Take Time To Reflect
In time of crisis you should be in your best mental state. You should be calm and avoid under reaction or over reaction. Calmness will be required from you at this juncture if you expect to handle the crisis well.
- Reflect On Your Values
Whether it’s on individual or organizational level, you should carefully evaluate your values and decide if the crisis will dilute your brand. Somebody in your organization could be stealing resources which in turn could tarnish your brand or lead to loss of resources.
When it comes to a survivalist a crisis could be looming in case a negative weather can affect your garden. The occurrence could threaten your food security and need to be addressed immediately.