Of the wide variety of attributes that make a good crisis leader (communicator) I like integrity, trust, and accountability. The ‘cool head’ during times of trouble can also be a great asset.
The concept of leaders having a willingness to make decisions and not waiver is another important talent.
I don’t watch TV, just can’t stand commercials. However, I really get a kick out of watching shows on DVD, like ‘24‘ because I like espionage stories. The entire ’24′ show is one crisis decision after another, episode after episode, year after year. The writers have delved into all the major crisis and disaster topics. In season four, there were three presidents acting in the same shows: the current president who becomes incapacitated, the vice president who takes over via 25th amendment, and the ex-president who is called into help. Each one of these characters has a different approach, style, and set of values that directly impacts their decision-making capabilities. After watching with frustration as the vice-president reluctantly and sheepishly played politics with critical, life-threatening decisions, it was both refreshing and a relief to watch the ex-president gather data, seek counsel, and make significant and immediate decisions in rapid-fire time. Of course, not every decision is best, but at least a decision was made and communicated properly.
One of retired General Colin Powell’s famous 18 management axioms speaks to decision making and I think it applies to our discussion on attributes of crisis leaders.
“Part 1: Use the formula P=40 to 70, in which P stands for the probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired. Part II: Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.” 
I think more crisis leaders should behave and operate with the axioms in mind, particularly this one, Powell’s number 15.
 ’24′ TV show. Source accessed 4-1-10: http://www.fox.com/24/
 Harari, Oren, “The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell”, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2002, 260