Crisis Planning and Response Management

Explore strategies and tools for developing response and continuity plans in crisis scenarios.

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At a Glance

Open Enrollment
8 weeks

Upcoming Dates

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The University of Chicago’s Crisis Planning and Response Management program is designed to empower participants with concrete tools and strategies to develop a response and continuity plan before and during a crisis. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a model, the program places particular emphasis on the evolution of threats and the influence of global complexity.

The global pandemic has underscored the need for every organization to have a business continuity plan in place. Using the COVID-19 scenario as a model, our program focuses on the measures, processes, and plans organizations can adopt to mitigate and respond to a crisis event. Over the course of eight weeks, you will acquire the essential tools and strategies to develop them. 

After completing the program, you will be able to:

  • Conduct a threat analysis with the goal of identifying the top risks facing an organization based on its unique mission and current level of preparedness
  • Construct a basic crisis management plan within a restricted time frame based on an organization’s complexity, mission, scope, and size
  • Establish a framework of applicable and useful professional resources to assist with future plan development and execution

Designed For

Designed for professionals who wish to improve their understanding of the means and methods of preparing for and responding to an organizational crisis event. Experienced business continuity or crisis management practitioners seeking to gain further information for building a plan swiftly will also gain valuable insights.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the operational benefits of developing and maintaining a comprehensive crisis response plan in order to avoid organizational breakdown
  • Explain multiple strategies for executing a provisional crisis response plan in the midst of an unanticipated event
  • Explain the recent shift in the modern threat landscape
  • Devise and implement emergency management plans

Online Course Structure

How Did We Get Here?—How the Past Twenty Years Have Permanently Changed Crisis Management 

Learn about 9/11 as a watershed moment in crisis management, the surge in threat intensity and dissemination, global complexity and interdependence as factors contributing to crisis events, and low probability-high risk scenarios.

A Shifting Global Threat Landscape—The Inevitability of Unpredictability

Explore the threat landscape, the climate emergency, the realities of a cyber-connected world, the rise of extremism and violence, and the spread of highly communicable diseases. Consider studying the past to help predict future risk, how the responsibility for preparedness continues to narrow, and when crises cascade and intersect.

The Delicate Balance between Risk, Threat, and Vulnerability

Learn about balancing probability and consequences, recognizing and reducing vulnerability, determining an acceptable level of risk, differentiating between continuity and resilience, and managing disinformation.

Is a Crisis Always an Obstacle?

Explore topics such as when a threat becomes an emergency, the unintended consequences and finding opportunity in a crisis, increasing understanding as a form of threat mitigation, and how to conduct a basic risk analysis.

Preparing Your Organization for a Crisis Response

Learn about determining the core elements and structure of the plan, engaging stakeholders during planning, preparing for the possibility of multiple simultaneous crisis events, understanding minimum required capabilities based on organizational mission, the value of scalability and flexibility, and strengthening the system to withstand impact.


The Challenges of Developing a Plan during a Crisis Event

Discover how to quickly determine applicable sources of information to establish proper situational awareness, identify the most critical elements of a rapidly developed plan, implement crisis communications, stay focused on short-term strategies, educate and engage stakeholders as the event unfolds, and remain vigilant, confident, and resilient.

Leading through a Crisis Response—A Reflection on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Learn about the pillars of crisis leadership, determining and prioritizing action items, how vicarious learning can lead to successful outcomes, and how to remain resolute, creative, and human.


Applying Critical Threat and Response Concepts to the COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Examine cross-industry best practices and explore overcoming challenges as they emerge and accepting the reality of the next pandemic.

Meet Your Instructor

Career Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for professionals with the ability to lead during a crisis. Accordingly, the incident and emergency management market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.03% by 2026.

$ 16 t

The estimated total cost of COVID-19-related global disruption

$ 357 b

Potential Job Titles

  • Business Continuity Professional
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Crisis Analyst
  • Crisis Management Consultant
  • Crisis Planning and Response Manager
  • Director of Emergency Management
  • Director of Operations
  • Emergency Management System Director
  • Emergency Planner
  • Emergency Response Manager
  • External Affairs Officer
  • Forensic Technical Data Specialist
  • Global Business Continuity Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Risk Mitigation and Public Information Coordinator
  • Safety Hazard Analyst

Of Interest