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Volume 27, Issue 4

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False Cover: Could Inadequate Crisis Preparation Open You to a Charge of Negligent Failure to Plan?

Written by  Bruce T. Blythe & Terri Butler Stivarius November 22, 2007

We once got a call from the risk manager of a national fast-food chain. He had been assigned to put together a crisis prevention and response plan … by himself. He was given no budget and virtually no management support. Though well-meaning, he kept going off on tangents – surfing the Web, reading articles and futilely trying to figure out what to do. He didn’t know enough about the business’ overall operations, or the predictable human impacts of crisis, or public relations practice. He only knew his own discipline, risk and insurance management. He was overwhelmed and poised to fail. Five years later, this company still didn’t have a comprehensive crisis plan in place. It had already experienced one serious incident, involving a shooter, a fatally injured employee and many bystanders. If another tragedy occurs on their premises – which is not at all unlikely, in that industry – tough questions

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