Crisis Management (How to be ready for “anything.”) – SCN Encourager

Here’s another takeaway from the 2016 MSPRA Conference

It’s kinda sad… but it’s true.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 7.15.52 PMIf IT can happen in your school, you better be ready.

It’s likely to happen.

Even if you can’t imagine IT ever happening in your school… well, that only makes it more likely to happen!

Our schools reflect daily life in every possible way.

We can’t escape IT.

And this is why we must be ready for ANYTHING.

Larry Johnson is the Executi?ve Director of Public Safety and School Security for Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 6.42.51 PMHe’s also the President of the National ?Association of School Safety & Law Enforcement Officials.

His presentation on crisis response management at last week’s annual MSPRA conference was stellar.

Johnson recounted a series of school safety related experiences and pointed out how most of the “vulnerabilities” we’ll face will leap out upon us during after school or evening events.

This is when our doors are open “wider” and our school day protocols are more lax.

It was an excellent warning.

Responding effectively in a crisis is never easy and you can’t allow the media to knock you off  your primary focus – which is securing and maintaining the safety of all involved.

No matter how crazy the circumstance, you’ve got to record the details and learn from it.

And then you must continue your regimen of training, retraining, and communicating.

That’s the process Johnson recommends for making sure your school environments promote safe and caring learning environments.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 7.52.53 PMWhen he said he carries three criteria into every pressure-filled crisis response formulation meeting, my ears perked up.

I had high hopes that his three criteria would be applicable to the pressure-filled wedding day response plan meetings I get trapped into at home.

Johnson said you should keep the following criteria in mind when sketching out any real-time crisis response plan.

1.  Know and list all of the factors and considerations.
2.  Know and list all of the options.
3.  Know and spell out YOUR action steps clearly.

That’s it.


Three words.


Even someone like me can remember a list this short, right?
(or should be able to…)

But I’m not sure if Johnson’s criteria will help me out much in those discussions at home concerning my daughter’s April wedding, though.

As the lowly father of the bride, no one seems all that interested in hearing my “considered options.”

Apparently, we’re in locked into “action steps” only mode.

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