By honestly, I hope nobody tries to evaluate this subject objectively. Because objectively, most crisis situations are handled poorly, at best. In hindsight, there is always so much that could have been done better. Still, hindsight is necessary if we are to prevent the crisis from reoccurring. But that’s not what we are here to talk about. We want to evaluate our behavior during the crisis situation, where the main goal, in my opinion, is damage control.
The first step to responding to a crisis is, therefore, recognizing that there is a crisis and determining its nature. For that, we need to at least know what a crisis is. Some crises are obvious, like war, famine, epidemics, high velocity collisions, fires, riots. Other crises are of a more subtle nature, and they only become evident close to the point of disaster. Now there we’ve got a word: disaster. Disaster is a common element of every crisis. Not that a disaster has to occur when we have a crisis. Disaster is the worst thing that can happen, and hopefully it remains hypothetical. During the cold war, Nuclear Doomsday was the disaster scenario. The gravity of the disaster characterizes the gravity of the crisis. Another possible crisis, with a far less, yet still significantly terrible disaster, is when everyone is waiting in the car for the one person who is always late; the disaster being that the entire family arrives at the movie theater after the film has started. Yes, I can think of worse outcomes, which would be the consequence of poor handling of the crisis, like racing to the movie once the tardy person has finally arrived, and in the recklessness causing a major accident with loss of life, and missing the film. This could all be avoided if they simply left the tardy person at home the next time.
We have a person who is always late in our family. We’ve never left her behind, and it cost us much grief, even without any car accidents. We recognized the crisis, but we didn’t act on that knowledge. And it became a crisis over and over again because we never practiced hindsight in this situation. If we can’t handle a small crisis, how can we expect to react properly if there was a major crisis?
Well, we did. When I was lying in bed with heart attack like symptoms at the age of 19, we were at the hospital faster than any ambulance could have even arrived at our home. Our crisis response is best when the situation is acute.