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Why it’s essential to have a crisis management plan

Crisis management plan keeps businesses working
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Crisis management plan keeps businesses working
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

It’s so easy to think that disaster will never strike – or, if it does, that it will happen to someone else and not to you. But as staff at our Kings Hill Churchill Square Business Centre are only too aware, sometime the wholly unexpected does happen – and, when it does, it certainly pays to be prepared.

Unexploded bomb

On a quiet autumnal Thursday, an unexploded bomb dating from the second world war was discovered under a building site alarmingly close to a local primary school and near our Churchill Square Business Centre. Inevitably the entire area had to be evacuated. Kings Hill is built on a former RAF base, so unexploded bombs are something we’re getting used to – we’ve been evacuated three times since 2014 following similar discoveries.

Constant communication

Sue Billings, Business Centre Manager at Churchill Square said: “Customers, contractors and suppliers were extremely co-operative throughout the incident and our aim was to ensure they were kept up-to-date with developments and were able to return to the centre as soon as it was safe to do so.”

Being kept firmly in the loop throughout the incident was clearly something that our customers appreciated at what was a disruptive time. Rolando Faley of Direct Line Group reflected afterward that: “The incident has been very well managed by you and your teams, excellent on-point communications along with the safety of all being paramount.”

Be prepared

Each centre operated by Capital Space has a set of robust emergency procedures, which are invoked in response to an emergency incident. Our team at Churchill Square put into practice the emergency processes both for evacuating the customers in the buildings affected by the safety cordon instigated by the police and for keeping the centre operating for the customers that were able to remain. 

All channels still open

An email bulletin system and telephone advice line designed to be used in the event of an incident proved invaluable in keeping customers updated with developments and our telephone advice line was used more than 300 times throughout Thursday night and early Friday morning, when customers needed to confirm when they could get back into their offices.

Advice for others

“If you’re in a crisis management situation, with staff who may feel stressed and unsure, it’s vital to keep communicating with them,” said Sue Billings. “It helps if you have flexible systems, too. The flexibility of our internet and phones and the fact that our onsite management team are proficient in the use of these services meant we did not have to rely on any third-party organisations redirecting customers’ phone services, so we were able to help our customers immediately to activate their own emergency plans.”

A robust emergency disaster plan can help you keep your staff and customers happy if the unexpected does happen.