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An Overview of Crisis Management Teams

Posted on Thu, Nov 01, 2012

The Crisis Management Team (CMT) provides support through management of crisis level issues, managing additional risks, exposures and stakeholder interests in response to an event or disaster requiring the activation of the CMT.

All levels of management teams can be established to accomplish a variety of incident response functions. Individual response management teams can span from the executive level of a company to the individual site’s employees.

The CMT is typically comprised of senior management personnel that have the authority and resources to expedite the company’s internal incident response. Each senior member should reinforce a specific purpose of the team in order to manage any type of event. This flexibility allows a team to expand and contract as necessary to accommodate any initial or evolving tactical or strategic needs of the incident.

The main role of the team (CMT) is to support the regional, site, and/or the associated emergency management teams. This high-level corporate team should manage human impacts (both employees and the community), company reputation, share values, and corporate assests. Depending on the assigned responsibilities, the CMT should be empowered to make strategic decisions in order to advance the response and provide direction and guidance to response teams and the rest of the organization.

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Maintaining consistency through standardized positions and responsibilities enable clear, effective, and efficient incident managementBelow are additional teams that can aid in an effective incident response:

Regional Emergency Management Teams:

  • Provides support to the local or site emergency management team
  • Manages region-specific impacts and issues
  • Typically comprised of regional management personnel
  • The leader of this team may be a Regional Manager

Business Support Teams (BST):

  • Manage business impacts and facilitate implementation of Business Continuity Plans when necessary
  • BST’s are comprised of business unit level personnel
  • The leader of the BST would typically be the head of a business unit

Site Emergency Response Teams (ERT)

  • Activated, as necessary, to support the on-scene response
  • Comprised of Facility Management Staff
  • The leader of the ERT is typically the Site/Facility Manager
  • The on-scene response may include trained on-site company responders and/or local public-sector response resources

The team identification should reveal definitive decision authorities and responsibilities for a cohesive management structure. The crisis management team’s support staff, including technical expertise, should be trained in defined roles and responsibilities if a timely activation is necessary.  It is important that appropriate administrative structures be in place to effectively manage a crisis on various corporate structure levels.

These following CMT roles may be designed to provide the company with the essential functions necessary to manage most events (*denotes support positions activated as necessary):

  1. Crisis Manager (CMT Team Leader) - Approve the Crisis Management Plan and provide overall leadership.
  2. Security Manager - Provide review and revision input regarding security related procedures contained in the CMP during scheduled plan reviews.
  3. Public Affairs Advisor - Provide input and participate on all aspects of Crisis Communications.
  4. Medical Advisor - Assess and assist in human health impacts of events
  5. Human Resource Advisor - Maintain a current, accessible contact list of all employees, contract employees, and responders
  6. Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Advisor (HSSE) - Coordinate direct implementation, and training and updating of Incident Response Plans
  7. Legal Advisor - Ensure a Legal representative is available at all times in case of a crisis.
  8. Crisis Management Advisor - Supervise and coordinate necessary support roles. However, individual Aides may be assigned to work directly under any core CMT position to fill a specific need. Also responsible for the readiness of a Crisis Management Center, if necessary.
  9. *Aide(s) - Administrative resource(s)
  10. *Business Unit Advisor(s) - Anticipate Business Unit issues, develop strategic plans to proactively address these issues, and adjust staffing of Business Unit Group and to suit evolving incident needs.
  11. *Subject Matter Expert(s) (SME) - Be available to assist crisis manager on as “as needed” basis.

A CMT may be activated for any situation that involves a threat to people or property, a business interruption that could have a negative financial impact, or an incident that may result in damage to the company's reputation and/or financial well being.

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Corporate Crisis Management

Tags: Crisis Management, Incident Management, Training and Exercises, Facility Management, Emergency Management Program