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Crisis management plan template

Does your team have a plan of action prepared in the event of a major emergency? Build a crisis management plan template to ensure you’ll never be caught unprepared.

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When planning emergency procedures, it’s important to act as if these situations will definitely happen, instead of hoping that they won’t. This proactive attitude towards emergency planning will help keep your team safe. The best way to start planning for these emergencies? By creating a crisis management plan template.

What is a crisis management plan template?

A crisis management plan template is a repeatable framework that your crisis management team uses to develop a full response plan for unexpected emergencies, such as a natural disaster or major situations that can impact business operations. When a crisis happens, there may be some heightened emotions and higher stress levels. Using a crisis management plan template ensures that your plan includes key details. When all the information exists in the same place, everyone will know what to do if and when a crisis happens. 

One of the major benefits of using a template for your crisis management plan is that you can tailor it to fit the needs of your specific team or situation, no matter the type of crisis. Not every crisis is the same, and it’s important that you tailor your plan to the emergency at hand. There are two ways you can go about building your crisis management plan: you could create a one-size-fits-most crisis management plan template, or you can use a basic template to create many different specific plans for unique situations.

What’s the difference between incident management and crisis management?

While incident management and crisis management are both used for risk mitigation, they are slightly different practices. Incident management is designated specifically for shorter term emergencies. Crisis management is designated for larger crisis scenarios that can affect a company long term.  For example, your team would use incident management to resolve a cyberattack. The strategy for how to handle an unexpected earthquake during working hours is something a crisis management plan would handle.

Create an incident management plan template

How to develop a crisis management plan

The best way to start developing a crisis management plan is to create a crisis management plan template. Once you have the basic framework, you can then use the 4 P’s to outline your crisis management strategy. 

The 4 P’s of crisis management stand for:

  • Prevent: Actions you can take to prevent a possible crisis from happening. 

  • Plan: This is the detailed, step-by-step action plan that you’ll develop to ensure that everyone on your team handles the crisis situation safely and efficiently. 

  • Practice: This is the rehearsal of the plan that you develop in a safe and secure environment. Practicing your plan offers your team the opportunity to iron out any issues in a safe environment, as opposed to figuring them out during a crisis. 

  • Perform: This is the situation in which you’ll put your entire plan together. In the best case scenario, you’ll never have to perform this plan because you’ll never encounter an unexpected crisis. But having all of these tools prepared will equip your team with a safe strategy in the event of an emergency.

What to include in your crisis management plan template

A crisis management plan is not intended to cover every single detail, but should act as a blueprint that can be updated when necessary. Here are a few things that a crisis management plan template should have, regardless of the type of crisis you’re managing. 

  • Activation protocol: This is the set of factors that need to happen before the team decides to initiate the crisis response plan. Think of the activation protocols as a set of dependencies that need to occur before your response plan begins. 

  • Risk analysis: This is research that outlines any potential risks your company may encounter. Depending on the potential crisis that you’re planning for, a risk analysis can help you determine the likelihood of this event occurring. A good example of this type of research is a risk management plan or a risk register.

  • Emergency contact list: This includes relevant contact information for both members of the crisis management team within your organization, but also with local emergency responders such as the fire department, poison control, or other important authorities.

  • Response procedures: These are the steps that your team takes during a crisis once the activation protocol is met. 

  • Communication strategy: This is the communication plan your team develops to solidify how you’ll communicate during an emergency. This includes both internal communication and external communications to external stakeholders.

Integrated features

  • Dependencies. Mark a task as waiting on another task with task dependencies. Know when your work is blocking someone else’s work, so you can prioritize accordingly. Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others, and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, the assignee will be notified that they can get started on their dependent task. Or, if the task your work is dependent on is rescheduled, Asana will notify you—letting you know if you need to adjust your dependent due date as well. 

  • Proofing. Proofing makes it easy to leave specific, actionable feedback on images. Make annotations directly on images and PDFs so your team knows exactly what needs to be done in order to complete their work. Then, track that feedback in subtasks so no action items fall through the cracks. Ultimately, proofing makes the process of giving and receiving creative feedback smoother and less frustrating. 

  • Messaging. Need to share information that isn’t actionable? Try Messages in Asana. Messages enable you to communicate within Asana about non-actionable work. You can send messages to any combination of individuals, teams, and projects, so everyone is on the same page. Link to tasks, projects, and Goals in Asana to make it easy for your message recipients to gain context and drill down into the details.

  • Mobile. Asana is available on iOS and Android, making it easy for you to check your to-dos on the go. Review any new inbox notifications, send messages, and access project tasks so you’re always up to date on project information. 

  • Microsoft Teams. With the Microsoft Teams + Asana integration, you can search for and share the information you need without leaving Teams. Easily connect your Teams conversations to actionable items in Asana. Plus, create, assign, and view tasks during a Teams Meeting without needing to switch to your browser.

  • Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack. 

  • Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

  • Vimeo. Text may get the point across, but written words lack tone, emotion, and expression. With video messaging in Asana, powered by Vimeo, you can give your team all the context they need, without having to schedule another meeting. Record short video messages of yourself, your screen—or both—then embed the videos in tasks, projects, messages, and comments to provide additional clarity and context. A transcript of the recording is automatically created by Asana, making it readable and searchable. Give feedback, ask questions, and assign tasks—all without leaving Asana.


How do you write a crisis management plan?

The best way to start writing a crisis management plan is to use a template. This will provide you with the basic outline of a crisis management plan, and you can then quickly fill out your team’s strategy to prepare for a potential crisis. Do this by using a collaborative work management tool so that every team member on your crisis response tiger team can collaborate in real time.

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