It’s evening. You’re sitting down for dinner and you receive an email notification that there has been a crisis in a location where you have business travelers. It’s bad. Now what?
Whether it’s a terrorist attack, civil unrest or a natural disaster, it’s crucial to jump in and act immediately when a crisis does occur.
According to a recent article, there has been a 74 percent increase in the number of alerts published and that number is on the rise. The same article also highlights a Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) survey found which only 28 percent of respondents said their company had no risk management plan or were unsure if one existed.
While you can’t put a stop to an emergency, you can prepare yourself. Here are the steps you should take to maintain control and make sure your travelers get to safety during a crisis.
Pull a Traveler Tracking Report
The first action you should take when you receive a crisis alert is to access your reporting system and pull a report that details which travelers are in the affected area. If you don’t have access to a reporting platform, another option is to pull online booking tool (OBT) data. While this process can be more manual, you’ll have the visibility to the information you need to act fast.
Once you know who is currently in or traveling to the affected locations, it’s critical to get in touch with them as soon as possible. Both travel managers and travelers should get the same alerts from your travel management company (TMC) who can supply your travelers with the information they need to take action and get in contact.
Whether it’s through email, phone call, text or in-app notification, connect with the traveler to make sure they are alright and in a safe location. Generally, a duty of care portal allows you and your traveler to seamlessly communicate, formulate a plan for evacuating the area if needed and stay in touch until the situations has been resolved.
Engage Your TMC to Deploy All Critical Resources
Your TMC should already be aware of the situation and getting ahead of it. In most cases, your TMC should reach out first to check on you, your travelers and how they can support your needs.
While it depends on the type of disruption or crisis, your travel management partner will work with you to ensure you have the information you need to make quick decisions. In the case of a severe event, your TMC can also assist with coordinating 3rd party services for medical support and quick evacuation if necessary.
Until the crisis has been resolved, your TMC will proactively run reports and help you make swift plans to get your travelers out of harm’s way.
Ready Executive Leadership & Shared Services
On occasion, the crisis may be severe. No matter the severity, it’s critical to engage the right team to address the crisis internally and externally. Keeping everyone informed through communication is the best way to reduce stress and mitigate a crisis.
A crisis response team typically includes:
- Travel Manager
- TMC Account Manager
- Executive Leaders
- Human Resources
- Security Advisor
Make sure you have all relevant parties at the table who can help you appropriately manage the crisis by communicating effectively both internally and externally and reduce the potential repercussions of the event.
Once the dust settles, review and revise your crisis management plan with key learnings. If you don’t have your process documented in one place, it’s time to create a disaster recovery program that includes a crisis management plan. And because everyone defines risk differently, it may be important to consider creating an action plan for each type of crisis alert so you can follow a playbook for each situation and react quickly.
Also, we encourage you to review your travel management policy to ensure you have a risk management strategy that addresses all the technologies and services in place to support your travelers when things don’t go as planned.
To help you prepare in advance for a crisis, check out the Direct Travel Navigator Blog – Travel Crisis Management: Preparing for an Emergency
Connect with a Direct Travel expert who can review your crisis management plan and help you identify if you have the right duty of care program in place.