Organized Confusion: The 6 Stages Of Crisis Planning

September 12, 2018Scope Of Loss

Organized Confusion. Planning for a natural disaster is paramount for any policyholder. When William Carey was struck by mother nature for the second time in as many decades they had a plan in place.  Over the course of the recovery and reconstruction process GC3, GuideOne, and WCU evolved the initial strategy to best suit the needs on the ground. Whether you’re a church, campus or big box business you should have a crisis plan in place.

GC3’s Scott Andersen was the loss consultant in the aftermath of the WCU tornado. Below is his prescription for any successful crisis plan.

Step 1: Have a Plan

  1. Start thinking about a CAT, before it happens
  2. Your plan may not be perfect, but have a plan
  3. Identify your critical buildings, dates, events ….

Do Your Homework. Research on both recurrent regional storm patterns and CAT storm damage is vital. Study up and prepare yourself for 1) what you’re likely to suffer from 2) the worst case scenario. No prep plan will be perfect, but a thorough assessment of the variables will put you ahead of the curve when disaster strikes.

 Step 2: When a CAT strikes – start rebuild immediately

  1. Start now
  2. Triage – identify and realize the damage
  3. Develop and modify the recovery plan on the fly
  4. Do not wait for “Final Plan”

Start Day One. The easiest way to lose money during the recovery process is “Paralysis From Analysis.” Handling mitigation and safety issues immediately following the storm is crucial. The sooner you account for your personnel and provide a safe environment for reconstruction, the quicker you can return to normalcy.

 Step 3: Enhance Relationships:

  1. Rely on current/past relationships:
  2. Insurance Agent and Adjuster
  3. Architects
  4. Contractors
  5. Staff
  6. You are in a crisis, ask for help – you need it.

Partners in Progress. The true value of relationships are evident in times of crisis. Use all of your resources to enhance the recovery process. Time is money and the quicker you ask people for assistance the quicker you advance to the next phase of reconstruction.

 Step 4: Communicate – Constantly:

  1. Daily
  2. Resolve now, make it happen, do not wait for next week’s meeting
  3. One point of contact for:

– Insurance Company (Adjuster)

 – Owner (Facilities Director)

– Architect

– Contractor (CM/GC)

Consistency is Key. Efficiency stems from a constant cycle of communication and action. Confirm the representatives for each party (Adjuster, Rep, Architect, General Contractor etc.) and standardize your collective dialogue. The sooner you frequent communication, the sooner you operate as a singular voice.

 Step 5: Be Realistic, Flexible, Think Outside of the Box:

  1. If the plan is not realistic, you have already failed.
  2. Facilities Director is critical – the liaison between owner and contractors
  3. Be flexible, adjust, modify – things will go wrong, not as planned

Brick by Brick. Tackle your objectives on an incremental basis. Prioritize your concerns and handle them one at a time. Reinforce the Facilities Director as the point person for dialogue between yourself and the contractors. Most importantly, use ingenuity and resourcefulness to optimize progress. Often times an unexpected problem can yield a better-than-intended result when you Think Outside The Box.

 Step 6: Safety!

  1. Consider everyone:

–              Students

–              Staff

–              Faculty

–              Construction workers

Safe and Sound. The first thing you should do when disaster strikes is to account for your personnel. Your people are your first priority. Review your manifest and ensure that everyone is accounted for and out of danger. When reconstruction begins, ensure that construction workers have a secure work environment to restore your property. Nothing will ruin the recovery process more than a litigious conflict that stemmed from oversight. Safety First.