It's 5 AM on a Holiday Weekend. So Where's the Crisis Team?


Anyone involved in crisis management knows that moment.

You are on Spring Break with the family. Or you are settling in for a long weekend with old friends visiting from out of town. Or you’ve got tickets for the big game on Sunday.

(And if this sounds personal, each one of those situations has happenedto me. Don’t even ask my adult daughter about the fact I missed her 11th birthday party – I am still not forgiven).

That wonderful weekend is out of the window because you are a leaderof your organization’s crisis response. And the worst just happened.

Even worse, you are going to be the one to ruin the weekend ofeveryone else on the crisis team.

So how the heck do you get hold of them?

No one is in the office. And many of them are away at the beach or holed up at the lakeside cottage.

There’s a contact list somewhere on your computer.

When you find the list it includes that guy who left to join the competitor three months ago, your colleague who transferred to Europe and two people who you don’t have any clue who they are.

Thus begins the laborious process of alerting and activating the crisis team.

Register Now! Email Course: 5 Steps to Operationalizing Your Crisis Management  Plans

When you finally get everyone assembled on a conference call, its takes an age to brief everyone on the situation, answer the team’s questions and agree on a process to get in a position to recommend to senior management about how to respond.

In an era of digital communications, social media and early morning Presidential tweets, where the problem is fast moving, changing shape, and instantly impacting your reputation and business, this is all too slow.

That smell of burning that alerted you to a problem at 5am? By now, the barn has burnt down.

There is a better way.

The one device that everyone always has with them, even at 5 am on a holiday weekend when you are at the beach house, is yoursmartphone.

So how about if everything you needed to activate the crisis team is already right there on your phone?

One press of an app, apply the password and you are into your crisis response plans.

There you find the up to date list of crisis team members. The app allows you to instantly alert them and share information via text or email.

The app organizes the team on a call – which they join having already briefed themselves about the catastrophe because they read all the background and visited the web links that you sent them.

The team immediately swings into action, accessing the organization’s crisis plan – which everyone on the conference call can review thanks to the app.

We do have to declare an interest.

RockDove Solutions created the market leading mobile crisis app, InCase of Crisis, which is already in use by more than 750 institutions across most major market sectors, including Philips, Valspar, SunsweetFluidmaster and HMS.

However, as someone who is on the frontline of a crisis when you get that call in the middle of the night on a Holiday weekend, if the technology exists to instantly access your crisis plan and activate your crisis team, why would you not use it?

The alternatives just don’t get it done.

Find out more about the author by visiting