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A flood crisis Crisis management is a relatively new field of management. Typically, proactive crisis management activities include forecasting potential crises and planning how to deal with them. Say your hard drive crashes on your computer. You have a plan on how to recover your system. Hopefully, organizations have time and resources to complete a crisis management plan before they experience a crisis.

Another crisis management plan is to be reactive. An example of this would be the planes crashing into the World Trade Center. America Airlines never set up a plan to deal with such occurrences. So, as best as the company could do, American Airlines formulated a reactive crisis management plan to handle the events on September 11.

Crisis management in the face of a current, real crisis includes identifying the real nature of a current crisis, intervening to minimize damage and recovering from the crisis. Crisis management often includes strong focus on public relations to recover any damage to public image and assure stakeholders that recovery is underway. However, I feel the airlines should have been more vocal from the outset, especially on the shutdowns.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., are providing stark examples of how corporate and government entities should address the public. The events affected families, employees, citizens, airlines, etc. The list of people that were affected can go on for miles. The good and bad thing about the crises was that no crisis plan had been set up for such a disaster. Fortunately, the companies in the World Trade Center handled the events ethically, responsibly and compassionately. In the next few pages, I will discuss, in brief, the background of three companies affected by the attacks, how each company handled the events and my opinions of the company's reactive crisis management plan.

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