3 The Challenge Ahead

There are many challenges facing crisis leaders. But the greatest challenge is ensuring that the crisis leader is ready for the next crisis. Most of this work occurs before the crisis and involves discerning the validity of prior assumptions about threats and hazards. As we explored in the previous chapters, crisis leaders are responsible for synthesizing emerging threats, trends, and vulnerabilities to clarify and define their risk profile. Crisis leaders are also responsible for engaging their stakeholders prior to an incident to address challenging organizational issues. Leaders must act on both projected risks and challenges that require external stakeholders to prevent and mitigate risks. But when the crisis occurs, crisis leaders fulfill their leadership roles in a decisive manner to ensure successful outcomes.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Explain how threats and hazards are evolving and traditional/historical assumptions may be invalid for future planning.
  • Describe the various types of vulnerable populations within a community and distinguish among their unique needs.
  • Identify stakeholders within the whole community and how whole community engagement reduces the overall risk to the community.
  • Identify how crisis leaders have a role in influencing external stakeholders, policies, and priorities before a disaster strikes.
  • Identify six critical responsibilities of a crisis leader during and after a crisis.

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