Crisis Management


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Crisis Management

  1. 1. Public Relations and Crisis Management EDUG 543
  2. 2. Crisis Plan Contents <ul><li>Statement of the reasons for the plan </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Crises covered in plan with checklists for responding to each one </li></ul><ul><li>Procedures common to all crises </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Making sure students are safe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contacting law enforcement, fire, rescue… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Informing central office and referring them to the crisis plan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Direct informational requests to district spokesperson </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Set up media operations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alerting the crisis counseling team </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Crisis Plan Contents <ul><li>Emergency telephone numbers </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include lists of where to contact key individuals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include alternate numbers </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Detailed maps of each school facility </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include all entrances and exits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include all rooms with all commonly used labels indicated so emergency squads can respond quickly and tactically </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Cafeteria, multipurpose room, and stage may all mean the same general areas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include all utility shutoffs and entry points for buildings </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Crisis Plan Contents <ul><li>Procedural information </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guidelines for locking down the school and evacuating the school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify crises types and levels of response </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Code 1 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis is handled at local school level </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Code 2 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis will require additional help(including law authorities) but can be handled by school district authorities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Code 3 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis requires community response including law and medical authorities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Crisis Plan Contents <ul><li>Guidelines for effective communication with staff, community and media </li></ul><ul><li>Sample “backpack letters” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quickly tailored and adapted for a given crisis and sent home with children </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Crisis Plan Special Considerations <ul><ul><ul><li>Have adequate numbers of cell phones that are charged and ready for operations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have staff and student directories including subs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have attendance records available both inside and outside the building </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Close-by off-site locations for evacuation of schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation if necessary </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location for media camp </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity in who will handle special events </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Governor or president </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Membership and leadership of crisis management teams </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Communicated Crisis Plans <ul><li>Central Office </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Training sessions with all employees and local authorities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training and understanding by the Board </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Including the Board’s role in a crisis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g avoid the Alexander Haig mentality </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involve key parents and community members in cursory training and make sure all parents know that a plan is in place and the staff has been trained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have complete and abbreviated copies of the plan at all school and emergency locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use secured web sites and/or cd’s and floppies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative team and principals should have a copy in their cars </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Common Types of Crises <ul><ul><li>Accidents/injuries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Armed attack </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bomb threat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child abuse/neglect/sexual assault </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicable disease </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Death of student(s) and or staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gas/chemical/nuclear leak or spill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tornado… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vandalism/property loss, theft </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Where Violence Occurs <ul><li>Most violence occurs outside the class room in areas of lesser supervision levels </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hallways, cafeterias,bathrooms, locker rooms, libraries and school grounds </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. When Violence Occurs <ul><li>Report the incident to law enforcement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid the fear of not calling to avoid harming the school’s reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not calling will do the greatest harm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Get as many facts as possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid reporting rumors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Verify the crisis plan is being followed by other [personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the central office and superintendent has been informed </li></ul>
  11. 11. When Violence Occurs cont. <ul><li>Go to the scene </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet immediately with the top supervisor on the scene and law enforcement official in charge of the control center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determine what decisions have already </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determine the dimensions of the crisis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Support law2 enforcement by controlling access to the scene by the public and the media </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure crisis intervention team members have been alerted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employ them immediately to assist students, staff and parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine and make decisions which have not already been made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Where children can be picked up </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. When Violence Occurs cont. <ul><li>Dispatch individuals to help at the emergency site and evacuation centers </li></ul><ul><li>Dispatch employees to assist at hospital or morgue </li></ul><ul><li>Inform the media of where it should locate and where and when briefing sessions will be held </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure the media know who the official spokesperson is for the district </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare and deliver an initial statement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Distribute fact sheets when possible </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. When Violence Occurs cont. <ul><li>Set up a phone bank where people can call for information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alert the media of this phone bank’s number(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prepare “backpack letters” to parents </li></ul><ul><li>Begin action to address copycat incidents </li></ul><ul><li>Establish command center for Red Cross… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule multi agency meetings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Establish a single(w/backup) computer file for all statements, documents and releases </li></ul><ul><li>Hold regular briefings </li></ul><ul><li>Delay personal grieving process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember to eat and sleep </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Working with the Media Initial Statements <ul><li>Initial statements (Do’s) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver statement in the same place where following statements will be issued </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location in crisis plan </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practice statement </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep sentences short and ideas clear </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep initial statement brief </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Objectively describe facts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Report what people need to know, even if some of the media has already reported thee same </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assume that no media coverage has occurred </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Start from the beginning </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that mics pick up comments from a distance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask yourself what you would want to hear if your child was involved </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Report the same </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Working with the Media Initial Statements <ul><ul><li>Report what you have done to keep students safe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appeal to parents citizens and media to keep streets and drive clear for emergency vehicles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide factual information about school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enrollment, general location, Name of of principal and other key individuals (with spellings) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remind media that the safety of students is your number one concern and decision are being made based solely on their safety. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate that an effort is being made to bring back normalcy ASAP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remind media that a crisis plan is in place and how it was communicated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid taking the role of law enforcement or health officials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have an exit line and indicate the time and location of the next meeting </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Working with the Media Initial Statements <ul><li>Initial statements (Don’ts) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wing it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Speculate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Repeat hearsay </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lay blame </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lie </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make jokes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ramble </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give opinions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Go off the record </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give out police investigation info </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medical opinion or advice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guess about possible court outcomes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Say “no comment” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use jargon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give up control of the interview </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Patronize a reporter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Start interview without an exit line in mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promise undeliverable information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Let your guard down </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Face cameras without talking to your office for up-to-date info </li></ul></ul></ul>