If you are the leader of a class, meeting or event you are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of the members of your group. It is imperative that you develop a plan for crisis management of an emergency situation, to mentally prepare contingency plans for a variety of unlikely scenarios. A Crisis Management Plan should be a part of every organization’s Risk Management Education Program.
In the event of an emergency the members of your group will be looking to you for direction and leadership. You have the authority and the responsibility to order/direct personnel for their own safety. The following guidelines will help you in keeping the members of your group safe.
Every member should be aware that you, the leader, would be in charge of every emergency. Input from members who have more expertise or insight is necessary, however, all final decisions rest with the leader. In the event that the leader is absent, the next ranking leader assumes control.
The following guidelines are to be used in the event a tragedy or crisis occurs either on or off Drury University property.
Examples of such situations include, but are not limited to:
Use the Crisis Management Plan Worksheet to provide members with emergency contacts for use in an emergency situation.
If a crisis occurs, close the location at once. The leader cannot give instructions and maintain control if members are leaving or strangers are entering. Permit only members and appropriate officials to enter. Assign a few responsible members to calmly control access to the location.
In nearly all situations, the leader’s first call will be to Drury Security who will contact and direct emergency personnel. Briefly and calmly explain the situation so that Drury Security can appropriately respond.
If appropriate, the leader should then notify the Drury University crisis management contacts including:
Members should not speak to anyone outside the group; the leader will be the official spokesperson for the organization.
Do not discuss details, speculate on events, or otherwise project consequences until police and/or university officials have arrived—to do so would only create unrest and unnecessary upheaval. It is important to remain calm.
If the news media should contact the group, the leader should first consult University Communications. Only the leader should speak for the group. With the help and approval of University Communications, the group should issue a careful statement before any information is issued to the media. Do not release any names until an investigation has been completed and the timing is appropriate.
SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH
Do not notify parents. In the event of a serious injury or death, medical or police personnel trained in such matters will notify the family.
In the event of a death, do not remove any personal items from the location. Keep the location secure.
Find out the visitation wishes of the family and coordinate this with members. In any emergency, use extreme tact and caution in your actions and statements to members, the media and others.
The group may want to coordinate member attendance at the funeral or memorial service. If appropriate, discuss with the family or family’s clergyman the possibility of conducting a group memorial service.