Believe it or not, it's actually normal for people to remain calm and maintain normal social behavior during a crisis, according to research from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).
However, this research also shows that "panic is more likely to occur in environments where panic is expected." This means it's crucial to avoid emphasizing panic in your disaster recovery plan and to keep employees informed and involved. Consider your employees' natural response to a disaster and follow the tips below for a smooth recovery.
No matter what business interruption comes your way, you have to be prepared to manage it ahead of time. Create a disaster recovery plan that includes protocols for handling different disaster scenarios and make sure your employees know what's expected of them.
It's also important to consider employees' needs throughout the planning process. If a regional disaster strikes, the ASSE study points out that a person being separated from their family can be more stressful than the possibility of injury. In fact, employees are likely to delay evacuations until all family members are accounted for. To alleviate your employees' stress during these situations, you could deploy a Mobile Recovery Center locally to prevent employees from having to relocate to an out-of-town workspace.
Practice Your Plan
Once you have a recovery plan, you need to practice and test it. Without running through your plan, there's no way to know if things will run smoothly when the time comes to use it. Include your employees in these practice runs so they can respond appropriately when a disaster actually strikes.
Testing your disaster recovery plan not only helps your employees feel at ease but also reveals any kinks in your plan. You can't afford to forget minor things, such as pens and notepads, when a disaster strikes. Test your plan once or twice a year to make sure you'll have the smallest details ironed out.
For more tips on preparing for a business interruption, download our Business Continuity Plan Checklist.