Respond Appropriately to Crises on Campus

November 25, 2019

Cyberattacks, accusations of widespread sexual abuse, and fraternity hazing that leads to a death. These are just a few examples of incidents that present major concerns for many education institutions.

Despite all efforts to reduce the risk of a crisis, crises still can occur. Conducting comprehensive crisis planning and taking appropriate actions following an incident can help protect students and maintain the strengths of your institution’s reputation.

When preparing for a crisis, steps you should take include:

  • Create, or update, your crisis response plan. The crisis management team should update the plan regularly, taking into account the most prevalent risks facing your institution.
  • Conduct drills and tabletop exercises. Tabletop exercises can help schools respond to crises ranging from fires to student deaths. These exercises help with preparedness even if tested scenarios don’t later occur on your campus. That’s because prep work probes for weaknesses in your crisis response plan. For example, tabletops may identify communications gaps.
  • Create protocols and update policies. Conduct a comprehensive review to identify policies that must be updated or clarified.
  • Participate in training. Consider education-specific crisis response training that guides you in composing an effective crisis response and training others on responding to a crisis. Effective training will address how to define crises, involve key stakeholders, prepare and test a crisis response plan, and communicate throughout a crisis.

For assistance in helping your institution prepare, improve, and test your crisis response plan, consider the Canopy Programs online training, Crisis Response Planning.

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