Assemble an incident response team

You should put together an incident response team with defined roles and responsibilities that can evaluate a crisis and develop strategies to keep everyone safe and minimise the impact to your business. This may require allocation between a small team, drawing on external support or distributing roles within a larger group.

During a crisis, your incident response team's usual duties may need to be disbanded or passed on to other staff members, as responding to the crisis will be their top priority. Team members should have a backup and everyone must be clear about their roles and responsibilities.

You may need to change or reallocate roles and responsibilities after drills or incidents to ensure that you have the most suitable team members involved

Incident response team members

Depending on the size of your business, your incident response team may include the following members.

Team leader

The team leader should be someone who knows your business inside and out, and who can take full responsibility for the ongoing management of an incident or crisis.

Response team

The response team, or individual in a small business, must be able to make decisions, approve recommendations and provide direction in the event of a crisis.


Assessors, along with their backups, are responsible for assessing the impact an incident or crisis has on your business. The assessors can then provide feedback to the incident response team to help them work out what needs to be done.


During a crisis you may face questions from your customers, stakeholders and the media. If you have a large enough business, you may be able to appoint a staff member with experience dealing with the media as a spokesperson. If you are a small business, you as the owner will most likely be the spokesperson.

The spokesperson should be the one voice responsible for all internal and external communications. They must create and build the perception that the business is under control, that you know and understand what is happening, and that you are working to resolve the situation. An effective spokesperson can help minimise negative publicity for your business.


Depending on your business, you may also include staff from departments such as human resources, security and other specialists who have specific expertise regarding your business.

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