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What Crisis Management Lessons Can We Learn From the Florida Condo Collapse?

July 19, 2021 Leave a comment DRI Admin

As investigations continue into what caused the recent collapse of a condominium in Surfside, FL, resilience professionals can view the incident as a series of lessons for how to handle a sudden, shocking emergency.

On June 24, a 13-story condominium building outside of Miami collapsed, resulting in at least 97 deaths and many more victims unaccounted for. Rescue workers are still on the scene, while engineers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been trying to determine how the collapse was triggered.

For resilience professionals, the disaster provides a real-time education in crisis management and response, as identified by community/business website Worth:

Acting fast: Immediately after the incident, Surfside city officials released documents on the structural issues pertaining to the building to assess vulnerabilities early on and mitigate other potential risks.

Releasing accurate information: While it’s tempting to get rough numbers out quickly following a disaster, inaccurate data can backfire and damage credibility. Officials were careful to release only critical, verifiable information as it was available.

Establishing trust: An organization with a reputation for being open and transparent has an advantage when communicating with the press and constituents during a crisis event.

Effective Communications: In the aftermath of the incident, the condominium association hired a crisis communications firm to handle media inquiries – a smart move to avoid inconsistent messaging or unapproved comments from the condo board members as they deal with other responsibilities.

Having a crisis communications plan in place before a disaster is possibly the most important lesson to learn – register now for DRI’s newest workshop, Crisis Communications and Media Relations. The two-day workshop covers everything you need to know to communicate effectively with the media using innovative presentations, case studies, videos, open discussion, and mock interviews and press conferences. Click here to learn more.

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