I had the opportunity to participate as a panelist on a webinar yesterday. The subject was crisis communications.
As is always the case when I undertake such an effort, I come away learning something new.
Yesterday’s tidbit was more of an affirmation than revelation. It confirmed what I’d already suspected. And that is that most of the attendees’ organizations aren’t prepared for a crisis and haven’t taken the time to simulate physical or virtual scenarios that might occur.
In my mind, that’s the bigger story behind the Dubai/U.S. ports brouhaha. It doesn’t really matter what company manages the ports as long as they’re kept secure. And to keep the ports secure, management should be constantly testing the system to determine where the weak links are. Since published reports indicate that less than five percent of the containers entering U.S. ports are even inspected, it seems to me there’s a world of opportunity for terrorists to strike.
So, coming out of yesterday’s webinar, here’s a plea to the powers that be, whether they’re from England, Dubai or Des Moines, to please make our ports as crisis-ready as possible. Do yourself and us a favor by simulating every possible terrorist scenario and making corrections based upon what you learn.