Crisis Blog 3: Sugar Refinery Anniversary

On February 7, 2008 there was an explosion at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Savannah, Georgia. During this explosion and fire, 14 employees lost their lives. When dealing with a crisis it is important to realize there are three stages of a crisis including: pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis. Within the pre-crisis stage, that is where Crisis Management Plans (CMP) are created as well as pre-drills take place. During the crisis is when time becomes and issue and responding to the media is crucial. Most individuals overlook the third and final phase of a crisis which is post-crisis. This is an evaluation period where individuals can figure out what worked and what did not.

An important part of the post-crisis phase is anniversaries. When a major crisis takes place and the media plays a a part in this, the media is bound to come back and look at the company during all the anniversaries. February, 7, 2009 marked the first anniversary of the Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion in Savannah, Georgia. This company held a memorial for the 14 employees that passed away a year prior by releasing doves into the air to represent those employees. I believe the company did an honorable gesture to honor these employees. It is always important to remember that if a crisis has come to an end that the media will still approach you on anniversaries and if this is not handled professionally, it can very well become another crisis in the media.

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