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Footprints Of Disaster.Okspra Hndts


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Crisis Communication presentation at OKSPRA Spring conference by Rick J. Kaufman

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Footprints Of Disaster.Okspra Hndts

  1. 1. Footprints of Disaster Rick J. Kaufman, APR Crisis Response Team Leader Columbine High School Tragedy Executive Director of Community Relations & Emergency Management Bloomington Public Schools Use of information provided in this presentation for educational & training purposes only, and with proper citation to the author. What We’ve Learned to Prepare for the Next Crisis
  2. 2. What is a Crisis? <ul><li>An emotionally charged significant event or radical change </li></ul><ul><li>An unstable or crucial time of affairs in which a decisive change is impending </li></ul><ul><li>A situation with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome </li></ul><ul><li>A situation that has reached a critical phase </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  3. 3. Are you ready? <ul><li>In a crisis situation, you will react as you are organized and trained. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing what to do can be the difference between chaos and calm, or even life and death. </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  4. 4. <ul><li>An effective crisis leader must act deliberately, quickly, and effectively with honesty, high moral values and ethical standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Rick J. Kaufman, APR </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis Management Consultant </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  5. 5. <ul><li>Crisis leadership is more about who you are than what you know. No learned crisis leadership skill will overcome a lack of character, ethics or integrity. </li></ul><ul><li>Rick J. Kaufman, APR </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis Management Consultant </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  6. 6. Crisis Management Realities <ul><li>Prompt action reduces collateral damage </li></ul><ul><li>Prompt action reduces length of crisis & moves situation closer to resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on response, not sources of threat </li></ul><ul><li>Impossible to detail every conceivable crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Important decisions must be made before crisis ever occurs (e.g. structure, process, leadership) </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  7. 7. Crisis Management Realities <ul><li>Decisions based on site, location & unique set of circumstances that occur during crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Cardiac assessment ; intuition plays key roles </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to victims’ needs immediately </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared … bad stuff happens </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous process requiring annual review </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  8. 8. Crisis Management Realities <ul><li>In the first hour of a crisis: </li></ul><ul><li>Denial: “This could not have happened.” </li></ul><ul><li>Anger: “How could this have happened?” “How could somebody do that?” </li></ul><ul><li>Panic: “Oh, &%#* (crap)!” </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety: “What have I gotten myself into?” </li></ul><ul><li>Fear: “I want my mommy!” </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve: “Bring it on.” “Let’s do it.” </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  9. 9. Elements of Crisis Management <ul><li>Policy and Leadership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides foundation, framework for action </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emergency/Crisis Management Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides structure, mechanisms for operational response </li></ul></ul><ul><li>School Crisis Response Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Building plan operates within framework of district plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides roles, responsibilities for staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinated response to more frequently occurring incidents </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  10. 10. Case Study: H1N1 Influenza Planning <ul><li>Were you adequately prepared? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you learn from first wave? </li></ul><ul><li>How were you prepared … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning & Coordination with leaders, staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning & Coordination with public health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuity of Student Learning & Core Operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Infection Control Policies & Procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ongoing planning; evolving crisis </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  11. 11. Elements of Crisis Management <ul><li>Crisis Response Teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>School, district response personnel </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foundation of any crisis planning, implementation, management and recovery effort </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation and knowing what to do is crucial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates culture of vigilance, readiness </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  12. 12. Crisis or Emergency Plan <ul><li>Prevention & Intervention (mitigation) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steps to reduce or eliminate risk to life and property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School safety & security audits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preparedness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process of planning a rapid, coordinated response </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Action steps to take during a crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recovery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Restoring learning environment quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental health recovery steps (think long term) </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  13. 13. Plan must include responses to: <ul><li>School-based scenarios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Threat, accidental death, lockdown, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>District-wide scenarios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural disasters, business interruptions, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New or emerging scenarios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pandemic, terrorist attack, sexual predator, etc. </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  14. 14. Plan must address: <ul><li>The Golden Hour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take the lead; delay equals denial </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Waves of Response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>police & medical (first responders) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ looky loo’s” & gawkers; super-heroes; cottage-industry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First 24 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Duration of Crisis </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  15. 15. The Key Questions <ul><li>What can or will we be able to handle? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will do what? </li></ul><ul><li>Which roles can be delegated to volunteers? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we need help? If so, where will we get help? </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  16. 16. Crisis Management Infrastructure <ul><li>Incident Command (ICS) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication or Crisis Command Center </li></ul><ul><li>Roles and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who’s organizing who? (parents, media, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is spokesperson? (super, communications, principal) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers? (you can’t do it alone) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Equipment and Food </li></ul><ul><li>Media Area </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  17. 17. Incident Command System <ul><li>Establishes common organizational structure, operating procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Places one person in charge of decision-making; creates chain of command </li></ul><ul><li>Provides for quick, effective performance </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes reasonable span of control </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination, transition of responsibility </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  18. 18. Incident Command System OKSPRA - April 2010 Incident Commander Crisis Coordinator Liaison Officer PIO First Aid Coordinator Student Safety Coordinator Operations Officer District Crisis Response Team Documents Officer Parent Liaison Teachers w/ student supervisory duties Teachers w/o student supervisory duties Other Support Personnel Crisis Recovery Coordinator
  19. 19. <ul><li>The best time to let students, staff and families know what to do in an emergency is before it happens. </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  20. 20. Communication … <ul><li>… is the foundation of any crisis planning, implementation, management, and recovery effort. </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  21. 21. Communication Command System OKSPRA - April 2010 Communications Director (Strategist/Counselor & Spokesperson) Media Manager Command Center Coordinator Internal Communications Officer External Communications Coordinator Research & Media Monitoring Crisis/Special Events Coordinator Volunteers Other Support Staff Media Support Staff Spokesperson(s)
  22. 22. Crisis Communication Focus <ul><li>Establish command, functions </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate internally first, then public </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate and meet needs of media </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure key messages are understandable, honest and consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Manage perception of competence & reality </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  23. 23. Crisis Communication Focus <ul><li>Plan to collect, verify information </li></ul><ul><li>Correct inaccurate, misleading info fast; delay creates new crisis, puts organization on defensive & wastes time </li></ul><ul><li>Stay in contact with victims families </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for Murphy’s Law </li></ul><ul><li>Debrief daily </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  24. 24. Communicating in a Crisis <ul><li>Target Key Audiences </li></ul><ul><li>School & District Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis Response Agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Staff/Faculty (site first, then others) </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion Leaders (faith, government, civic, business) </li></ul><ul><li>Parents, Students, Community </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Counsel </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  25. 25. Communicating in a Crisis <ul><li>Speed of Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First impressions are lasting impressions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Factual content of the message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get it right, repeat it, share with others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trust and credibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crucial to sustain support during, after crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elements: empathy & caring; competence & expertise; honesty & openness; commitment & dedication </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  26. 26. The NEW Communication <ul><li>Email broadcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Text or Voice Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid Alert Notification Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Hotlines/Emergency Voice Bulletin Boards </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs & IMs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, others? </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  27. 27. Media Relations Plan <ul><li>Strategy 1: Help heal; return to normalcy </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy 2: Stay on message; one clear voice </li></ul><ul><li>Media is fastest way to communicate broadly </li></ul><ul><li>Media Triage (no favoritism; focus on local first) </li></ul><ul><li>Brief daily; never say, “no comment” </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to all reasonable media requests </li></ul><ul><li>Develop guidelines for access to students, staff </li></ul><ul><li>Set ground rules for interviews, coverage </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  28. 28. Recovery & Rebuilding <ul><li>Physical Structure from assessment to rebuilding or renovations </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Health from triage to PTSD </li></ul><ul><li>Information Systems from payroll to student records </li></ul><ul><li>Communications from media siege to when, where to send students </li></ul><ul><li>Memorials from events to moving on </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  29. 29. Resources <ul><li>The following pages contain additional information and “lessons learned” from school-related emergencies to natural disasters. </li></ul><ul><li>This information is designed to help us all become more prepared for the inevitable crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>Rick J. Kaufman, APR </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  30. 30. Common Mistakes <ul><li>Putting news media ahead of employees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees want, deserve news FIRST </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lack of comprehensive media strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is spokesperson(s)? What are the key messages? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ignoring the “Window of Opportunity” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vital to address issues; once “window” closes it becomes difficult to change perceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No clearly assigned roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of clarity guarantees confusion; know leaders, doers </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  31. 31. Common Mistakes <ul><li>Limit communication due to litigation fears </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Litigation usually follows adversity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No crisis plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Believing a crisis can’t happen is ignorant & arrogant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can result in crippling damage to an organization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Untested crisis plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single most important mistake (developed in isolation) </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  32. 32. A Perspective on Lessons Learned <ul><li>In preparation … </li></ul><ul><li>If you start off behind, you will stay behind </li></ul><ul><li>Being proactive only keeps you in the race </li></ul><ul><li>Identify chain of command for decision-making, what to do if it breaks down </li></ul><ul><li>Site, district plans must have contingencies </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis plans must be specific, automatic, tested </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  33. 33. A Perspective on Lessons Learned <ul><li>In preparation … </li></ul><ul><li>Establish inter-agency protocols in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Provide parents advance notice of crisis plans & their role in the event of a school crisis, emergency </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  34. 34. A Perspective on Lessons Learned <ul><li>During the crisis … </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilize response team that shields site, students and staff from outside forces </li></ul><ul><li>Make call for assistance before it’s too late </li></ul><ul><li>Understand it’s not “business as usual” </li></ul><ul><li>Act in the short-term, think in the long-term </li></ul><ul><li>You need soldiers, generals on front lines </li></ul><ul><li>Know key messages & stick to them </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  35. 35. A Perspective on Lessons Learned <ul><li>During the crisis … </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t let media dominate your time, attention </li></ul><ul><li>Stay focused on target audiences, stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Internal communication is more important </li></ul><ul><li>View crisis from “outside in” to gauge public </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for external political, personal agendas </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for ripple effects, copycats </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  36. 36. A Perspective on Lessons Learned <ul><li>During the crisis … </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain active rumor control </li></ul><ul><li>Balance privacy rights of individuals (FERPA) with public’s right to know </li></ul><ul><li>Be firm on media access to facilities, people </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  37. 37. A Perspective on Lessons Learned <ul><li>In the aftermath … </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis has long-term life; remember healing processes and triggering events </li></ul><ul><li>Brace for blame </li></ul><ul><li>Continuously update crisis plan; learn from other situations (no one has cornered the market on crisis response; trust those who’ve been in the fire) </li></ul><ul><li>Tran new staff immediately </li></ul><ul><li>Retrain all staff annually; don’t forget students </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  38. 38. A Perspective on Lessons Learned <ul><li>In the aftermath … </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis not only create character, it reveals it </li></ul><ul><li>Seek opportunities to return to “normal” </li></ul><ul><li>Take care of yourself & your team </li></ul><ul><li>Bring in reinforcements </li></ul><ul><li>Remember your team on anniversary dates </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  39. 39. What have we learned? <ul><li>A Leadership Test </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Response defines the organization; be credible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Communication Test </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How strong is your communication program? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Professional Test </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you emerge as a key advisor? </li></ul></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010
  40. 40. Complete Crisis Communication & Management Manual <ul><li>NSPRA published manual in 1993 </li></ul><ul><li>Updated, revised in 2001 (wake of Columbine tragedy) </li></ul><ul><li>2009 and beyond </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New threats facing schools (H1N1; terrorists, sexting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emerging methods & strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New ways to communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reminder to review, revise response </li></ul><ul><li>Tool for training among school & staff </li></ul>OKSPRA - April 2010