Sunday, 4 June, 2023

Crisis Management


Rastra Dhoj Karki

The world is currently encountering crises, from an individual to an international level. Differences in opinions, agitations and aggressions, jealousy, losses, bankruptcy, death and destruction, poverty and famine, among others, are the major crises that the world is currently facing.

A crisis is an occurrence that disrupts people and causes structural instability. A critical situation can affect an individual, a group, an organisation, or an entire society. A sudden incident or unexpected consequence that can be problematic or destructive later is a state of crisis.

Various Crises
Natural Crisis causes disturbances in the environment and nature. Such types of crises are generally events that are beyond the control of human beings. Examples of natural crises are Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Landslides, Tsunamis, Flood, Drought all of which result in a natural disaster.

Technological Crisis arises because of failure in technology. The problem is the overall system. The breakdown of a machine, corrupted software, and so on give rise to a technological crisis.
Abrupt Crisis, which as the name suggests, such situations arise suddenly and on short notice. People do not get warning signals, where such a situation can be beyond control.
Smouldering Crisis occurs when neglecting minor issues at the beginning that can lead to a huge crisis later. Administrators often can foresee critical situations but should not ignore them or wait for someone else to act. Warning people immediately to avoid such situations.

Bankruptcy is also a type of crisis that arises when an organisation fail to pay their creditors and other parties. Lack of funds can lead to severe problems later that can be difficult for an organisation or a state to function.
Crises and crisis management issues have long piqued the curiosity of organisational researchers. Whether researching crisis management, researchers have discovered several key conclusions. However, research in this area is still fragmented, making it difficult for researchers to decipher the culmination of the literature, identify unsolved issues, and chart a course ahead.

Organisations dealing with the crisis include the International Association of Emergency Managers (International), Turnaround Management Society (International / Focus on Europe), the Disaster Recovery Institute (International), the Institute for Turnaround (England), and turn around Management Association (International).

Crisis management refers to an understanding of a threat to an organisation, country, or a whole world and its stakeholders to mount an effective response to it.
In the critical period immediately before, during, and after an actual or impending disaster: crisis management includes planning, organising, leading, and controlling assets and activities to minimise the loss of resources critical to the eventual recovery of the affected party.

I have described what crisis and crisis management are but here are some solutions of what the people/administrators/organization should do when they are stricken by the crisis. This may or may not work because the crisis can be different for different people.

The first is to Secure Vital Resources which means to store up funds and only use them on necessary products or needs. Also resources not only means funds or money, but it also means food, water and all the other basic needs. We take these resources for granted but when they are gone, then the person realises the lack of them.

Second, alleviating the effects as fast as possible means responding to a problem as fast as possible. Minimising the damage that the problem is doing as much as possible and recovering from it.
Third, negotiate with what you have left. Don’t think about what has gone or what was damaged, think about what was left and what more you can do to recover from it.
Fourth, step away from a problem and think about it. Take some time to process the problem, think of a solution that works best and then act on it; acting blindly does help much and may result in wastage of time if it does not work out.

Fifth, accepting the problem: This may seem obvious but some, if not most, don't look at the state of crisis they are in and try to escape from reality by not accepting or facing the problem. Accepting the problem is one of the first steps on how to find a solution to it. First, accept the problem, then process it and finally try to find the solution.
And finally, last but not the least, considering worst-case scenarios. Always consider keeping in mind the worst-case scenarios that could happen. It may sound pessimistic, but it prepares the crisis-affected party to think of a solution or at least to be in a stable mind and not panicking.

Another topic that is related to Crisis Management in Disaster Management is; Disasters are more destructive and serious than crises. There are many different types of disasters. Industrial explosions and structural breakdowns are human-made disasters. Earthquakes and droughts are natural disasters caused by physical events. Epidemics and armed conflicts are examples of complicated disasters. Most of the time, disasters cannot be prevented because it is out of the power human beings can control so what we can do is to minimise the damage it has done in the aftermath or to contain the destruction in an area to not let it spread. Managing Disasters follows an orderly approach which is prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
The COVID-19 crisis in early 2020 is a textbook example of crisis management.

In Nepal, the second wave of COVID-19 began in mid-April 2021; within a month, the daily infection rate had risen to about 10,000 people per day, up from 300+ people per day. Despite the government's demand for localised (district-based) lockdowns on April 29, 2021, there is no sign of the infection rate reducing. A total of 72 districts (out of 77) were under lockdown. Nepal's Prime Minister had requested foreign support to assist the country in dealing with the problem.

COVID-19 affected patients flooded into national and regional capitals, where people stood kept in their homes. Hospitals in district/provincial centres were already running low on oxygen, medicine and medical supplies. The situation worsened and spiralled out of control as the in-house isolated case's condition increased and demand for medical aid grew. Nepal has a limited supply of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and relies heavily on Indian production. As India was also affected by COVID-19, Nepal faced hardship in receiving medical and other assistance. With the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine, our government asked all Nepalese residents currently residing in or visiting Ukraine to come home as soon as possible.

Ukraine Crisis
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis may indirectly worsen Nepal's economic troubles, as rising international oil and commodity prices will increase the country's growing trade deficit and put even more strain on the country's balance of payments and foreign exchange reserves. Due to increasing expenses, the increase in fuel prices has already raised the cost of doing business.

There are several conflicts in the Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, and Libya. They have been affected by the crisis of such conflict and are in greater need of managing crises.
Crisis management aims to safeguard an organisation and its members against dangers while also minimising the impact of threats. Crisis management is a method for preventing or minimising the harm that a crisis can cause to people, an organisation or a state and its citizens.

Through social media, technology allows the general population to exchange stories with the public. During an emergency crisis or tragedy, these stories are invaluable. When people are directly affected by the circumstances and share their stories online with the public, it gives others crucial insight.

(Karki pursues higher study in computer softwares)