The role of the Crisis Coordinator is one that is vital to an organization’s crisis preparedness.
This person ensures that the Crisis Management Team is properly trained and exercised, that the Crisis Management Plan is up-to-date and maintained, and that crisis response activities are executed effectively. There are also responsibilities after the crisis has ended such as documenting the findings. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the profile of a Crisis Coordinator.
The Crisis Coordinator should have excellent leadership skills and be able to effectively manage a team. They must also be able to think on their feet, as the situation can change rapidly during a crisis. The Crisis Coordinator must also have strong communication skills, both oral and written, so that they can effectively relay information to team members as well as other stakeholders. In addition, they must be able to stay calm under pressure.
The Crisis Coordinator should have a good understanding of the organization’s business, as well as its systems and procedures. They must also be familiar with the Crisis Management Plan and be able to implement it effectively.
The profile of a Crisis Coordinator is one that is varied and multi-faceted. This individual must be able to wear many hats and be able to handle any situation that arises. They are the backbone of an organization’s crisis preparedness and their role is essential in ensuring a successful response.
Before an Incident or Crisis the Coordinator Must Prepare the Crisis Management Team
The following is a list of pre-incident tasks that a Crisis Coordinator is responsible for:
- Create and deliver the training program that should include an annual formal training for both primary and secondary team members.
- Create and deliver regular awareness modules to re-enforce crisis management preparedness and help develop muscle memory.
- Create the exercise program to ensure teams practice their roles and responsibilities in simulated environments.
- Maintain the Crisis Management Plan to include team rosters, stakeholder lists and other plan resources.
- Ensure the command center is prepared to include communications as well as other resources. This might be a virtual environment.
- If part of a Crisis Coordinator network, participate in regular Crisis Coordinator meetings to share experiences.
During the Incident or Crisis, Facilitate the Response Logistics in Support of the Crisis Management Team
The following is a list of activities the Crisis Coordinator is responsible for during the response phase:
- Activation of the team and SOC or virtual situation room in coordination with those that make the decision to activate. Your team may work independently from your SOC.
- Organize the initial and ongoing briefings for the team(s). This should include documenting those meetings. A scribe should be utilized to support this activity.
- Manage the various tasks through applications like Groupdolists or manually though IAP’s, Master Events Logs and SitReps (Situation Reports).
Post Incident or Crisis, Ensure the After Action Report is Developed and Lessons Learned Captured
The following is a list of activities that the Crisis Coordinator is responsible for after the incident or crisis:
- Ensure the incident or crisis is closed properly. This is a formal process that the leadership team signs off on.
- The collection of data from the incident that helps create the After Action Report / Incident Report.
- If it’s an exercise, compile the findings from the exercise and create the After Action Report.
- Create a remediation plan to ensure incident or exercise findings are addressed.
A Crisis Coordinator Should Have the Following Skills, Knowledge and Experience
- The ability to communicate with various levels of leadership.
- Project management experience supports the organization skills required for the role.
- Thorough knowledge of your organization and the Crisis Management Plans, processes and procedures. This includes the independent plans such as the Business Continuity Plans, Disaster Recovery Plans, Emergency Response Plans and Crisis Communication Plans.
- Someone who is not responsible for a function during an incident (i.e. shouldn’t be the head of communications)
- Discipline and calmness is one of the skills that is essential to the role of the Crisis Coordinator.
The profile of a Crisis Coordinator is one that is varied and multi-faceted. They must be able to wear many hats and be able to handle any situation that arises. The role of the coordinator is essential in ensuring a successful response. Before an incident, the coordinator must prepare the crisis management team by creating and delivering training, maintaining resources and ensuring the command center is organized and ready. During the response, they activate the team, organize briefings and manage tasks. After the incident or crisis, they ensure that all stakeholders are accounted for and that a lessons learned report is created. The Crisis Coordinator should have excellent communication skills as well as extensive knowledge of their organization’s plans and procedures.