Ready for an Oil and Gas Crisis? Put Your Plan to the Test.
In the oil and gas industry, unplanned incidents occur, despite best efforts to prevent them. Many companies spend valuable time and money developing emergency response plans and preparing for an operational crisis. But, a well-written plan that is not practiced will be put to the test in a real event when it’s too late to correct shortcomings in the plan document.
Here, we offer quick tips to ensure your team’s readiness when the alarm sounds.
- Ensure all key members of the response team (i.e. executive management, risk management, oil and gas public relations, HR, legal) participate in planned drills. Prior to the drill, they should have a copy of the crisis plan and understanding of the role they are required to play.
- Conduct a mock crisis drill to prepare for events that are not out of the realm of possibility. Crisis drills mimic realistic emergency scenarios, emotions and pressures in a controlled environment…and allow the team to identify processes needed to work in this unique team environment, and make mistakes and learn from them in private rather than during the high anxieties of a real emergency when so much is at stake.
- Work interactively and communicate through the drill using the response tools and processes provided within the plan as if it were happening now. Many of the drills Ward participates in with clients lack the rigor needed to make the exercise meaningful. Insist people take it seriously, stay focused and highly intent on identifying the breakdowns, and designing the remedies. Remember, the goal of the drill is to test the collaborative response of many operational aspects of your organization.
- Discuss the team’s performance post-drill. Evaluate every role and determine what was done well, what compromised your outcome and next steps needed. Make sure the plan and processes are updated, and hold those accountable for getting updates done and distributed timely.
Even though it’s impossible to predict what scenario you may face, conducting crisis drills will prepare your team for an unplanned event and minimize the potential losses. Their performance may make the difference between lives, assets and reputations saved or lost. For more than 24 years Ward has prepared oil and gas companies and public relations professionals to prepare for and navigate through reputational crises. Contact our award-winning oil and gas public relations team today to learn how we can help you.