Before a crisis causes things to blow up, train yourself for the first response. Heed these lessons from Detective Kevin Barry, who spent 16 years as a bomb-squad technician in the New York Police Department. Whether you’re dealing with a bomb or a business, the steps for crisis readiness are the same:
1. Plan. “In a disaster scenario, you want to be making as few decisions as possible,” Barry says. Define the crisis- team, or who can and should do what under various conditions. Prioritize what to protect first when things start to go south.
2. Prepare. Know every resource you’ll have available in a crisis, especially your people. “Know their names, know what they can do, know how much you can trust them,” he says. You’ll have a better sense of what you can delegate, so you can focus on solving the problem.
3. Practice. Much like a fire drill, it’s the only way to make sure that in a real emergency, people respond without panicking.
— Adapted from “Bombs Away,” Jeff Yang, Portfolio.
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