Professional operational and crisis planning is what prevents potential problems from turning into a disasters. Proper planning and preparation is what sets the professionals apart from the amateurs. All operational and crisis planning needs to be kept simple and relevant to the problems they are trying to prevent or minimize. All procedures need to be rehearsed so everyone is clear on what they need to do in an emergency- talking about it is not enough. Plans discussed in comfortable meeting rooms will be enacted in a completely different manner when people are under stress, frightened and things around them are going wrong.
One thing to remember when drawing up your operational and crisis plans is the simple truth that in reality everything will most likely go wrong. Therefore, you must try to keep your plans as simple and flexible as possible; your plans must be able to adapt to very fluid situations .
Over the years we have come across quite a few “experts” who have drawn up crisis plans for large business and government facilities that were completely unrealistic. One national organization, which had a contract with a local authority, contracted us to put together a 4-hour program designed to train unarmed county security personnel and bus drivers in anti-terrorist and hostage rescue techniques. It took numerous conversation to get these people for them to understand it takes more than 4 hours to train a SWAT personnel and it helps if the students have a little bit of experience. Teaching such techniques to untrained, unfit and inexperienced people simply increases the chances are that if there was ever a hostage incident, they would do nothing more than escalate the situation and cause unnecessary casualties. These things are best left to the professionals.