Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

FORMATION OF THE CRISIS COMMITTEE – See how to reinforce your company’s response to Coronavirus

We are operating in unfamiliar situations and contexts. Critical information about the characteristics of COVID-19 and its impacts on global commercial activity is difficult to assess and may change abruptly. It is necessary to work as a team to structure responses capable of managing work in the short, medium and long term.

See how companies can focus their efforts:

  1. Create a dedicated Crisis Team

A crisis can have an impact on all parts of the business. Senior-level supervision, and internal cohesion between cross-functional teams, based on preparation, training and testing are fundamental for achieving good results. Every member of the team, from executive leadership to operational leadership, must know who is doing what. If you have not already done so, train the people involved in implementing the plan to ensure that they are ready at any time.

The Hospital Infection Control Commission (CCIH) has a fundamental role in regulating information, providing governance support for decision making based on technical-scientific requirements and guiding information.

It must also be present in guiding strategies for the rational use of resources, without thus affecting the security of the institution’s care processes.

Changes in care routines or internal flows must be validated by the CCIH, which are widely disseminated in the Institution through internal communication and training mechanisms.

  1. Establish the facts

Reliable data supports planning and crisis response. It is essential that the crisis plan describes how the information will flow and that everyone trusts its truth. This data reinforces a central element of crisis planning, exploring different scenarios and how they can affect business in the short, medium and long term.

The flow of information and decisions must be direct and unidirectional, coming from the Crisis Committee for the teams of the institution, at the strategic, tactical and operational level.

  1. Collaborate – internally and externally
  • Public relations and communication team: they are responsible for preparing and reporting decisions and delivering the organization’s messages both internally and externally.
  • Legal and regulatory staff: your role is to advise on appropriate responses through exposures to the risks to which the organization is subjected.
  • Operational response teams: essentially deal with the contingency of resources and essential information to other members of the groups, guiding the way the teams need to do their work.

Achieving the perfect necessary alignment between the communication, legal and operational teams is not always an easy task.

Create a small central committee composed of these 03 groups, with powers to make tactical decisions and forward important issues to the strategic level. This orchestration is essential for an effective response to the crisis.

Develop a communication response with stakeholders.

A company’s messages during the crisis must be authentic. It is important to address all stakeholders.

Employees and users of the system are potentially impacted, and will seek answers, guidance and regular communication from the organization. Ensuring the physical and mental health of employees is a strategy that must be incorporated, strengthening communication between teams, promoting a clear understanding of work planning.

In past crises, we have seen some organizations focus closely on specific groups such as shareholders, regulators, suppliers, while neglecting others, such as employees and users. Employees and users of the system are potentially impacted, and will seek answers, guidance and regular communication from the organization. Now review your people management policy and create a way to meet the demands of employees.

Many companies are focusing on mobility, allowing their employees to work remotely and strengthen their IT infrastructure to support these agreements. In health organizations this is not possible. Ensuring the physical and mental health of employees exposed to direct contact with infected patients must incorporate a clear understanding of all the hazards that need to be managed. Their neglect can bring disastrous results.



New perspectives

New perspectives must be considered for institutional planning in order to overcome the current crisis. Analyzing the context daily is the task of the Crisis Committee, so that new perspectives can be analyzed and allow decision making.

            The areas that need focus during the crisis should be: Crisis management and response; attention to employees; operational, equipment and supply chain management; Strategy and brand.


Create space to see the long-term horizon

Consider what happens not just today, but tomorrow and beyond. This may involve allocating dedicated resources that are released from the daily pressures of crisis management. The resulting broader, longer-term perspective can help make the company’s emergence from the crisis even stronger and more sustainable.

The response window for a crisis is typically measured in months, while recovery is measured in years. Now is the time to run scenarios to create an appropriate plan for your business.

Focus Areas

  1. Crisis management and response
  2. Employees
  3. Operation, equipment and supply chain
  4. Strategy and brand
  1. Crisis management and response

Existing business continuity plans are unable to deal with unknown variables, as is the case with the outbreak like that of COVID-19.

Work planning must follow a prioritization of actions, seeking to reduce losses, in addition to being guided by technical and legal security requirements. Disrupting the moment of crisis requires facing and organizing internal processes.

It is necessary to develop an incident management plan and scenarios specific to this crisis. Focus on factual and effective communication to stakeholders.

Plan how you will meet government priorities to minimize the risk of interruption in service. It is necessary to focus on effective, clear and concise communication to stakeholders.

  1. Employees

In addition to human well-being, there are other challenges to be faced, including support for psychological security.

Psychological support in times of crisis is of utmost importance, aiming at the well-being of employees and a constructive work environment that allows teamwork.

Access to information and guidance on work planning contributes to the employee’s psychological security. Adopting a daily communication routine with employees should facilitate the inter-relationship between team members. In addition to this communication, professionals capable of working must be mapped, identifying those most at risk in this population, including psychological and other basic needs (food , transportation, resting places, among others).


  1. Operation, equipment and supply chain

The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are difficult to model and evaluate, and may present difficulties in supplying essential items for safe care.

Identify alternative scenarios for maintaining the supply chain. Once again, the information coming from employees must contribute to the balance of the actions proposed for the rational use of resources and psychological security.

The CCIH together with Occupational Health must define the minimum inputs for the teams to act, through daily guidance, especially to the most vulnerable groups.

Through these Committee guidelines, in line with the CCIH guidelines, they must systematize the rational use of safety inputs to employees, ensuring safe practice in addition to direct and noise-free communication.

  1. Strategy and Brand

As organizations fail to react to mitigate the impact of the outbreak, strategies taken by the Committee should emerge in ways that address the focus on the following issues:

  • Map the business risks (threats, vulnerabilities, and defense capabilities) to establish actions that incorporate lesser economic impacts with the available resources.
  • Establish partnerships between government entities to share information and eventually resources.
  • Strengthen transparency in the communication of information of public and company interest.
  • Align the workflows and routines defined by the Risk Committee.
  • Consider accelerating workforce re-planning.
  • Protect growth and profitability through actions such as planning new business models – networking, health of the portfolio population – new models that incorporate economic impacts.



When we reflect on the response to a natural disaster or a corporate crisis, we see that leadership has fundamentally influenced the results.








Décadas de

pesquisas mostraram que a resposta a desastres é o resultado

grandes redes de serviços públicos, privados e

Décadas de

pesquisas mostraram que a resposta a desastres é o resultado

grandes redes de serviços públicos, privados e

  1. A crisis must be managed only through command and control strategies.


  1. Modern approaches to dealing with a crisis suffer from a “strength problem”, in which they try to know and control the maximum possible. In this crisis we do not know, therefore, we need to supply resources and coordinate actions before controlling.


  1. Crisis leadership takes official and emerging forms.


  1. “Presence is a mission”. The leader needs to be visible and available in the crisis area. They need to be seen and heard publicly. They do not simply make decisions behind closed doors and communicate guidelines through a memo or press release.


  1. At the beginning of a crisis, leaders must understand that the information available may not be entirely accurate or complete – and they must make decisions with potentially profound consequences anyway.


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