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Crisis Management

Crisis management is the process by which a company or government seeks to reduce or completely avoid the potential losses from hazards, ensure prompt and appropriate assistance to victims, and implement rapid and effective recovery actions. The Crisis management cycle illustrates the ongoing processes used by governments, businesses, and society at large to plan for and reduce the impact of crisis, react during and immediately following a crisis, and take appropriate steps to recover and rebuild after a crisis has occurred.

Greater preparedness leads to more effective warnings, reduced vulnerability or the prevention of crisis during the next disaster occurrence. The complete crisis management cycle includes the shaping of public and corporate policies and plans that either modify the causes of disasters or mitigate their effects on people, property, and infrastructure.

The mitigation and preparedness phases occur as disaster management improvements are made in anticipation of a disaster event. Developmental considerations play a key role in contributing to the mitigation and preparation of an organization to effectively confront a disaster. As a disaster occurs, disaster management actors, in particular humanitarian organizations, become involved in the immediate response and long-term recovery phases. The six disaster management phases illustrated here do not always, or even generally, occur in isolation or in this precise order. Often phases of the cycle overlap and the length of each phase greatly depends on the severity of the disaster.

  • Mitigation – Minimizing the effects of potential hazards. Examples: risk assessments, vulnerability analyses; education and training.
  • Preparedness – Planning how to respond. Examples: preparedness plans, emergency exercises and training, early warning systems, business continuity plans.
  • Impact – Reacting in the moment of disaster. Examples: isolation, stabilization.
  • Response – Efforts to minimize effects of the hazards created by a disaster. Examples: emergency response teams, search and rescue, evacuations.
  • Recovery – Returning the community to normal. Examples: temporary housing, long term medical care, social counseling
Phases of Disaster


  • Respond with appropriate personnel, equipment and plans 
  • Report to chain of command, making information available as soon as feasible 
  • Monitor, evaluate and maintain standard operating procedures and continuity of operations procedures


  • React in the optimal manner, every time 
  • Readily access current information (key contact info, reporting procedures, etc.) 
  • Collect data without adding burden to responders and investigators 
  • Track and manage remedial actions


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