⌚ Critical Thinking Skills In Emergency Management And Public Safety

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Critical Thinking Skills In Emergency Management And Public Safety

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Critical Thinking Skills

Disaster mitigation measures are those that eliminate or reduce the impacts and risks of hazards through proactive measures taken before an emergency or disaster occurs. Preventive or mitigation measures vary for different types of disasters. In earthquake prone areas, these preventive measures might include structural changes such as the installation of an earthquake valve to instantly shut off the natural gas supply, seismic retrofits of property, and the securing of items inside a building.

The latter may include the mounting of furniture, refrigerators , water heaters and breakables to the walls, and the addition of cabinet latches. In flood prone areas, houses can be built on stilts. In areas prone to prolonged electricity black-outs installation of a generator ensures continuation of electrical service. The construction of storm cellars and fallout shelters are further examples of personal mitigative actions. Preparedness focuses on preparing equipment and procedures for use when a disaster occurs. The equipment and procedures can be used to reduce vulnerability to disaster, to mitigate the impacts of a disaster, or to respond more efficiently in an emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA proposed out a basic four-stage vision of preparedness flowing from mitigation to preparedness to response to recovery and back to mitigation in a circular planning process.

FEMA also operates a Building Science Branch that develops and produces multi-hazard mitigation guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resilient communities to reduce loss of life and property. FEMA has subsequently prepared for this contingency by purchasing hundreds of thousands of freeze dried food emergency meals ready to eat MREs to dispense to the communities where emergency shelter and evacuations are implemented. Some guidelines for household preparedness were published online by the State of Colorado on the topics of water, food, tools, and so on. Emergency preparedness can be difficult to measure.

Local Emergency Planning Committees LEPCs are required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act to develop an emergency response plan, review the plan at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to local citizens. According to the EPA, "Many LEPCs have expanded their activities beyond the requirements of EPCRA, encouraging accident prevention and risk reduction, and addressing homeland security in their communities", and the Agency offers advice on how to evaluate the effectiveness of these committees.

Preparedness measures can take many forms ranging from focusing on individual people, locations or incidents to broader, government-based "all hazard" planning. Business continuity planning encourages businesses to have a Disaster Recovery Plan. Community- and faith-based organizations mitigation efforts promote field response teams and inter-agency planning. School-based response teams cover everything from live shooters to gas leaks and nearby bank robberies. Disasters take a variety of forms to include earthquakes , tsunamis , or regular structure fires. That a disaster or emergency is not large scale in terms of population or acreage impacted or duration does not make it any less of a disaster for the people or area impacted and much can be learned about preparedness from so-called small disasters.

The basic theme behind preparedness is to be ready for an emergency and there are a number of different variations of being ready based on an assessment of what sort of threats exist. Nonetheless, there is basic guidance for preparedness that is common despite an area's specific dangers. FEMA recommends that everyone have a three-day survival kit for their household. Along similar lines, the CDC has its own list for a proper disaster supply kit. Along with contact information, FEMA suggests having well-understood local gathering points if a house must be evacuated quickly to avoid the dangers of re-reentering a burning home.

If family members spend a significant amount of time in a specific location, such as at work or school, FEMA suggests learning the emergency preparation plans for those places. Like children, people with disabilities and other special needs have special emergency preparation needs. While "disability" has a specific meaning for specific organizations such as collecting Social Security benefits, [58] for the purposes of emergency preparedness, the Red Cross uses the term in a broader sense to include people with physical, medical, sensor or cognitive disabilities or the elderly and other special needs populations.

FEMA's suggestions for people with disabilities include having copies of prescriptions, charging devices for medical devices such as motorized wheelchairs and a week's supply of medication readily available or in a "go stay kit. FEMA notes that long term power outages can cause damage beyond the original disaster that can be mitigated with emergency generators or other power sources to provide an emergency power system. The United States Department of Health and Human Services addresses specific emergency preparedness issues hospitals may have to respond to, including maintaining a safe temperature, providing adequate electricity for life support systems and even carrying out evacuations under extreme circumstances.

FEMA cautions that emergencies happen while people are travelling as well [72] and provides guidance around emergency preparedness for a range travelers to include commuters, [73] Commuter Emergency Plan and holiday travelers. Items specific to an emergency include:. In addition to emergency supplies and training for various situations, FEMA offers advice on how to mitigate disasters. The Agency gives instructions on how to retrofit a home to minimize hazards from a flood , to include installing a backflow prevention device , anchoring fuel tanks and relocating electrical panels. Given the explosive danger posed by natural gas leaks, Ready. The response phase of an emergency may commence with Search and Rescue but in all cases the focus will quickly turn to fulfilling the basic humanitarian needs of the affected population.

This assistance may be provided by national or international agencies and organizations. Effective coordination of disaster assistance is often crucial, particularly when many organizations respond and local emergency management agency LEMA capacity has been exceeded by the demand or diminished by the disaster itself. The National Response Framework is a United States government publication that explains responsibilities and expectations of government officials at the local, state, federal, and tribal levels. It provides guidance on Emergency Support Functions that may be integrated in whole or parts to aid in the response and recovery process.

On a personal level the response can take the shape either of a shelter-in-place or an evacuation. In a shelter-in-place scenario, a family would be prepared to fend for themselves in their home for many days without any form of outside support. In an evacuation, a family leaves the area by automobile or other mode of transportation , taking with them the maximum amount of supplies they can carry, possibly including a tent for shelter. If mechanical transportation is not available, evacuation on foot would ideally include carrying at least three days of supplies and rain-tight bedding, a tarpaulin and a bedroll of blankets.

Organized response includes evacuation measures, search and rescue missions, provision of other emergency services , provision of basic needs, and recovery or ad hoc substitution of critical infrastructure. A range of technologies are used for these purposes. Donations are often sought during this period, especially for large disasters that overwhelm local capacity. Due to efficiencies of scale, money is often the most cost-effective donation if fraud is avoided. Money is also the most flexible, and if goods are sourced locally then transportation is minimized and the local economy is boosted. Some donors prefer to send gifts in kind , however these items can end up creating issues, rather than helping.

One innovation by Occupy Sandy volunteers is to use a donation registry, where families and businesses impacted by the disaster can make specific requests, which remote donors can purchase directly via a web site. Medical considerations will vary greatly based on the type of disaster and secondary effects. Survivors may sustain a multitude of injuries to include lacerations , burns , near drowning , or crush syndrome. Amanda Ripley points out that among the general public in fires and large-scale disasters, there is a remarkable lack of panic and sometimes dangerous denial of, lack of reaction to, or rationalization of warning signs that should be obvious.

She says that this is often attributed to local or national character, but appears to be universal, and is typically followed by consultations with nearby people when the signals finally get enough attention. Disaster survivors advocate training everyone to recognize warning signs and practice responding. The recovery phase starts after the immediate threat to human life has subsided.

The immediate goal of the recovery phase is to bring the affected area back to normalcy as quickly as possible. During reconstruction, it is recommended to consider the location or construction material of the property. The most extreme home confinement scenarios include war, famine , and severe epidemics and may last a year or more. Then recovery will take place inside the home. Planners for these events usually buy bulk foods and appropriate storage and preparation equipment, and eat the food as part of normal life.

A simple balanced diet can be constructed from vitamin pills, whole-grain wheat, beans, dried milk , corn, and cooking oil. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, psychological first aid is provided by trained lay people to assist disaster affected populations with coping and recovery. Psychological first aid is similar to medical first aid in that providers do not need to be licensed clinicians. It is not psychotherapy, counseling, or debriefing. The goal of psychological first aid is to help people with their long-term recovery by offering social, physical, and emotional support, contributing to a hopeful, calm, and safe environment, and enabling them to help themselves and their communities.

Research states that mental health is often neglected by first responders. Disaster can have lasting psychological impacts on those affected. When individuals are supported in processing their emotional experiences to the disaster this leads to increases in resilience, increases in the capacity to help others through crises, and increases in community engagement. When processing of emotional experiences is done in a collective manner, this leads to greater solidarity following disaster.

As such, emotional experiences have an inherent adaptiveness within them, however the opportunity for these to be reflected on and processed is necessary for this growth to occur. Psychological preparedness is a type of emergency preparedness and specific mental health preparedness resources are offered for mental health professionals by organizations such as the Red Cross. CDC has a website devoted to coping with a disaster or traumatic event. Professional emergency managers can focus on government and community preparedness, or private business preparedness. Training is provided by local, state, federal and private organizations and ranges from public information and media relations to high-level incident command and tactical skills.

In the past, the field of emergency management has been populated mostly by people with a military or first responder background. The field has diversified, with many managers coming from a variety of backgrounds. Educational opportunities are increasing for those seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees in emergency management or a related field. There are over schools in the US with emergency management-related programs, but only one doctoral program specifically in emergency management.

There are also professional organizations for emergency managers, such as the National Emergency Management Association and the International Association of Emergency Managers. In , Dr. Cortez Lawrence, Superintendent of FEMA's Emergency Management Institute, convened a working group of emergency management practitioners and academics to consider principles of emergency management. This was the first time the principles of the discipline were to be codified. The group agreed on eight principles to guide the development of a doctrine of emergency management: [88]. The continuity feature of emergency management resulted in a new concept: emergency management information systems EMIS.

For continuity and interoperability between emergency management stakeholders, EMIS supports an infrastructure that integrates emergency plans at all levels of government and non-government involvement for all four phases of emergencies. In the healthcare field, hospitals utilize the Hospital Incident Command System HICS , which provides structure and organization in a clearly defined chain of command. In , the U. Agency for International Development created a web-based tool for estimating populations impacted by disasters called Population Explorer. Population Explorer is gaining wide use in a range of emergency analysis and response actions, including estimating populations impacted by floods in Central America and the Pacific Ocean tsunami event in In emergency or disaster management the SMAUG model of identifying and prioritizing risk of hazards associated with natural and technological threats is an effective tool.

The SMAUG model provides an effective means of prioritizing hazard risks based upon the aforementioned criteria in order to address the risks posed by the hazards to the avail of effecting effective mitigation , reduction, response and recovery methods. An example of the numerical ratings for each of the four criteria is shown below: [91]. Professionals from memory institutions e. This has been an increasingly major component within the emergency management field as a result of the heightened awareness following the September 11 attacks in , the hurricanes in , and the collapse of the Cologne Archives. TIEMS is a global forum for education, training, certification, and policy in emergency and disaster management. TIEMS' goal is to develop and bring modern emergency management tools, and techniques into practice, through the exchange of information, methodology innovations and new technologies.

TIEMS provides a platform for stakeholders to meet, network, and learn about new technical and operational methodologies and focuses on cultural differences to be understood and included in the society's events, education, and research programs by establishing local chapters worldwide. The International Association of Emergency Managers IAEM is a non-profit educational organization aimed at promoting the goals of saving lives and property protection during emergencies. The mission of IAEM is to serve its members by providing information, networking and professional opportunities, and to advance the emergency management profession.

Air Force Emergency Management personnel. The International Recovery Platform IRP is a joint initiative of international organizations, national and local governments, and non-governmental organizations engaged in disaster recovery, and seeking to transform disasters into opportunities for sustainable development. In addition, the IFRC may deploy assessment teams, e. They are specialized in the response component of the emergency management framework.

BGR and its partners respond globally to people with critical needs worldwide, whether those needs arise from chronic conditions or acute crises such as natural disasters. The United Nations system rests with the Resident Coordinator within the affected country. Prevention and mitigation projects include forest fire prevention measures, such as early warning measures and education campaigns; early-warning systems for hurricanes; flood prevention mechanisms e.

GFDRR helps developing countries fund development projects and programs that enhance local capacities for disaster prevention and emergency preparedness. In the EU adopted the Community Mechanism for Civil Protection to facilitate cooperation in the event of major emergencies requiring urgent response actions. This also applies to situations where there may be an imminent threat as well. It gives countries hour access to civil protections available amongst all the participating states.

Any country inside or outside the Union affected by a major disaster can make an appeal for assistance through the MIC. It acts as a communication hub and provides useful and updated information on the actual status of an ongoing emergency. Natural disasters are part of life in Australia. Heatwaves have killed more Australians than any other type of natural disaster in the 20th century. The principal government agency in achieving this is Emergency Management Australia.

Public Safety Canada is Canada's national emergency management agency. Each province is required to have both legislation for dealing with emergencies and provincial emergency management agencies which are typically called "Emergency Measures Organizations" EMO. Public Safety Canada coordinates and supports the efforts of federal organizations as well as other levels of government, first responders, community groups, the private sector, and other nations. Other acts are specific to individual fields such as corrections, law enforcement, and national security. Level III and IV non-natural-disasters public emergency incidents are taken by provincial and prefectural government.

There are several private organizations in Germany that also deal with emergency relief. As of , there is a program of study at the University of Bonn leading to the degree "Master in Disaster Prevention and Risk Governance" [] As a support function radio amateurs provide additional emergency communication networks with frequent trainings. The National Disaster Management Authority is the primary government agency responsible for planning and capacity-building for disaster relief. Its emphasis is primarily on strategic risk management and mitigation, as well as developing policies and planning. The National Disaster Response Force is the government agency primarily responsible for emergency management during natural and man-made disasters , with specialized skills in search, rescue and rehabilitation.

It was established under the Prime Minister's Department on 2 October following the flood in and took over from the National Security Council. This arrangement unites humanitarian and development partners with the government of Nepal and had identified 5 flagship priorities for sustainable disaster risk management. In the Netherlands , the Ministry of Justice and Security is responsible for emergency preparedness and emergency management on a national level and operates a national crisis centre NCC. The country is divided into 25 safety regions Dutch : veiligheidsregio's. In a safety region, there are four components: the regional fire department, the regional department for medical care ambulances and psycho-sociological care etc.

The regional dispatch operates for police, fire department and the regional medical care. The dispatch has all these three services combined into one dispatch for the best multi-coordinated response to an incident or an emergency. And also facilitates in information management, emergency communication and care of citizens. These services are the main structure for a response to an emergency. It can happen that, for a specific emergency, the co-operation with another service is needed, for instance the Ministry of Defence , water board s or Rijkswaterstaat. The safety region can integrate these other services into their structure by adding them to specific conferences on operational or administrative level. All regions operate according to the Coordinated Regional Incident Management system.

If local arrangements are overwhelmed, pre-existing mutual-support arrangements are activated. These structures are defined by regulation, [] and explained in The Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan , roughly equivalent to the U. New Zealand uses unique terminology for emergency management. Emergency management is rarely used, many government publications retaining the use of the term civil defence. Civil Defence Emergency Management is a term in its own right, defined by statute. For example, publications refer to the Canterbury Snow Event Disaster management in Pakistan revolves around flood disasters and focuses on rescue and relief.

The Federal Flood Commission was established in under the Ministry of Water and Power to manage the issues of flood management on country-wide basis. The National Disaster Management Ordinance, and the National Disaster Management Act were enacted after the Kashmir earthquake and Pakistan floods respectively to deal with disaster management. The primary central authority mandated to deal with whole spectrum of disasters and their management in the country is the National Disaster Management Authority. In addition, each province along with FATA , Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani administered Kashmir has its own provincial disaster management authority responsible for implementing policies and plans for Disaster Management in the Province.

Each district has its own District Disaster Management Authority for planning, coordinating and implementing body for disaster management and take all measures for the purposes of disaster management in the districts in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the National Authority and the Provincial Authority. In the Philippines , the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is responsible for the protection and welfare of people during disasters or emergencies. It is a working group composed of various government, non-government, civil sector and private sector organizations of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

Headed by the Secretary of National Defense under the Office of Civil Defense, the NDRRMCs implementing organization , it coordinates all the executive branches of government, presidents of the leagues of local government units throughout the country, the Armed Forces of the Philippines , Philippine National Police , Bureau of Fire Protection which is an agency under the Department of the Interior and Local Government , and the public and private medical services in responding to natural and manmade disasters, as well as planning, coordination, and training of these responsible units.

According to the Prime Minister's Media Office, the SDMA leads and coordinate the government's response to various natural disasters, and is part of a broader effort by the federal authorities to re-establish national institutions. The Federal Parliament is now expected to deliberate on the proposed bill for endorsement after any amendments. Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency is responsible. Following the fuel protests and severe flooding that same year, as well as the foot-and-mouth crisis in , the United Kingdom passed the Civil Contingencies Act CCA. The CCA defined some organisations as Category 1 and 2 Responders and set responsibilities regarding emergency preparedness and response.

Disaster management training is generally conducted at the local level, and consolidated through professional courses that can be taken at the Emergency Planning College. Diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications can be gained at universities throughout the country. The Institute of Emergency Management is a charity, established in , providing consulting services for the government, media and commercial sectors. One of the largest emergency exercises in the UK was carried out on 20 May near Belfast , Northern Ireland : a simulated plane crash-landing at Belfast International Airport.

Staff from five hospitals and three airports participated in the drill, and almost international observers assessed its effectiveness. Processes are then mapped to specific hazards or threats, with the manager looking for gaps, overlaps, and conflicts between processes. Given these notions, emergency managers must identify, contemplate, and assess possible man-made threats and natural threats that may affect their respective locales. Thus, although similarities may exist, no two emergency plans will be completely identical. Additionally, each locale has different resources and capacities e. This creates a plan more resilient to unique events because all common processes are defined, and it encourages planning done by the stakeholders who are closer to the individual processes, such as a traffic management plan written by a public works director.

In the United States, all disasters are initially local, with local authorities, with usually a police, fire, or EMS agency, taking charge. Many local municipalities may also have a separate dedicated office of emergency management OEM , along with personnel and equipment. If the event becomes overwhelming to the local government, state emergency management the primary government structure of the United States becomes the controlling emergency management agency.

FEMA supports, but does not override, state authority. The Citizen Corps is an organization of volunteer service programs, administered locally and coordinated nationally by DHS, which seek to mitigate disasters and prepare the population for emergency response through public education, training, and outreach. Most disaster response is carried out by volunteer organizations. It is typically the lead agency handling shelter and feeding of evacuees. Religious organizations, with their ability to provide volunteers quickly, are usually integral during the response process. The largest being the Salvation Army , [] with a primary focus on chaplaincy and rebuilding, and Southern Baptists who focus on food preparation and distribution, [] as well as cleaning up after floods and fires, chaplaincy, mobile shower units, chainsaw crews and more.

With over 65, trained volunteers, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is one of the largest disaster relief organizations in the US. Unaffiliated volunteers show up at most large disasters. To prevent abuse by criminals, and for the safety of the volunteers, procedures have been implemented within most response agencies to manage and effectively use these 'SUVs' Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers. The National Tribal Emergency Management Council NEMC is a non-profit educational organization developed for tribal organizations to share information and best practices, as well as to discuss issues regarding public health and safety, emergency management and homeland security , affecting those under First Nations sovereignty.

The NRF allows the integration of federal resources with local, county, state, or tribal entities, with management of those resources to be handled at the lowest possible level, utilizing the National Incident Management System NIMS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer information for specific types of emergencies, such as disease outbreaks, natural disasters and severe weather, chemical and radiation accidents, etc.

The Emergency Preparedness and Response Program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health develops resources to address responder safety and health during responder and recovery operations. The Emergency Management Institute EMI serves as the national focal point for the development and delivery of emergency management training to enhance the capabilities of state , territorial, local , and tribal government officials; volunteer organizations; FEMA's disaster workforce; other Federal agencies; and the public and private sectors to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies on the American public.

EMI curricula are structured to meet the needs of this diverse audience with an emphasis on separate organizations working together in all-hazards emergencies to save lives and protect property. Approximately 5, participants attend resident courses each year while , individuals participate in non-resident programs sponsored by EMI and conducted locally by state emergency management agencies under cooperative agreements with FEMA. It has trained more than 2.

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See also: Pandemic prevention. For example, should a natural disaster occur, causing severe damage to a building or facility, there is a good chance that some key employees may have experienced something similar. Some may be preoccupied with their own issues of recovery and restoration and may not be able to support the company. Generally, you can expect this to be limited to a few, but it could be a critical few. Part of the critical process planning should take this into consideration and identify alternatives.

Vital records recovery is very much part of the recovery process. Being able to access off-site records storage, hard copy, and electronic, is critical to expediently moving this process forward. Many companies use outsource providers to handle, store and, retrieve their vital records. This process allows for separate storage, away from company facilities, and reduces the possibility of damage or destruction to these records. There are many capable and reliable companies throughout the world who perform vital records handling, storage, and recovery. Issues and areas of focus and concern that are common with recovery and resumption were addressed earlier. This section discusses areas specific to resumption and the long-term process of resuming normal business.

Long-term priorities are addressed in business resumption plans with the intention of restoring operations to a preevent condition. Restoration to a preevent condition does not necessarily mean that all is the same or equal to the conditions prior to contingency occurrence, crisis, or disaster. During the process of recovery and restoration it may be learned or discovered that the implementation of a critical process or other processes can be accomplished differently, in the sense that improvements can make the process more efficient and more cost effective.

Consequently, changes can and should be made. Furthermore, it may be learned that some processes can be eliminated altogether. Recovery and resumption in many ways are similar to a reengineering process. Process owners are usually the best source for ideas and as they participate in resumption they may develop new approaches and methods to implement and execute their process. If the process is simple, changes can be implemented quickly with little or no additional review from management or the business continuity team. If the process is complex, affecting, or dependent on other processes, a cost-benefit analysis is warranted to accurately assess the impact of any proposed changes.

This has driven governments and private organizations to take mitigating steps to address the pandemic threat. Planning for a pandemic requires an emphasis on people. The focus is on planning to keep employees, and their families, healthy and in the workplace where they can be productive. Pandemics affect people, not infrastructure, although without people operating an infrastructure is at best difficult, and may be nearly impossible. Consider running the air transportation infrastructure without people. How would your business be affected if air transportation was limited or shut down for operating for 30 days? The level will help officials determine the extent of school closure, quarantines, and work-from-home assignments.

Within this chapter, the authors have attempted to provide the reader with a framework for understanding the complexities of contingency planning and the development of contingency plans. A particular point we attempt to make lies with the importance of planning for categories of contingencies. It is a daunting task to attempt to plan for each and every possible contingency. However, contingencies can be grouped into categories and planned for accordingly. This allows for consistency in preparedness and best utilization of resources. Types of contingencies develop and change over time as societies and organizations change and progress. Prior to the 20th century, nuclear contamination was not a concern, but today countries with nuclear power generation capabilities have in place extensive contingency plans that are regularly tested.

More common hazards such as severe weather and other natural events have caused enough damage to drive organizations to better preparedness. State and local governments along with private enterprises in states like California and Mississippi spend large sums of money to prepare to mitigate the effects of earthquakes and flooding. Emergency response activities involve responding to an incident, crisis, or disaster and managing that incident at the scene. If the crisis or disaster does cause damage to a company building, facility, or operation, the CMT should hand over to a business continuity team the responsibility of recovery and resumption. After a disaster, it is critical that the business recovers and resumes normal preevent operations as soon as possible.

Customers, shareholders, and stakeholders expect nothing less. The consequences of not planning for contingencies can be catastrophic, with numerous liability issues. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Introduction to Security. Published online Oct Robert J. Fischer , Edward P. Halibozek , and David C. Copyright and License information Disclaimer. All rights reserved. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVIDrelated research that is available on the COVID resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source.

A complete contingency planning program has three major elements: 1. Keywords: Contingency planning, emergency response, crisis management, business continuity, business recovery, disaster recovery, business resumption, crisis management teams, business interruption mitigation, pandemics, hazards, planning and training. Introduction No facility protection program is complete without clear, well-defined policies, and programs confronting the possible threat of fire or any other natural or human-made disaster.

Security and the Contingency Planning Process The traditional role of security in the contingency planning process has been to develop emergency evacuation plans for the business and to respond to emergency or crisis situations. Business continuity plans encompass actions related to how an organization prepares for, manages, recovers, and ultimately resumes business after a disruption. Commonly used interchangeably with the term disaster recovery. Keep in mind that restoration to the exact preincident condition may not be necessary or even desirable.

However, making this determination may not be possible without proper planning or going through the actual resumption process. Contingencies interrupt normal business activities. In some cases the disruption is minor, while in other situations the disruption can be catastrophic. This is proactively accomplished by local, regional, corporate, and executive incident management response teams working hand in hand to successfully manage the incident. Let us take, for example, local flooding in a foreign country where the infrastructure cannot handle large amounts of rain from a typhoon.

However, this does not preclude the local, regional, corporate, and executive incident management teams from activing simultaneously. Hence the birth of the Situation Watch protocol. This protocol demands that incidents are proactively monitored and communicated to key business partners when there is a potential-tangential or direct impact on a company that may need to be incident managed. In fact, most incidents are predictable. For example, if a company is housed within the pacific ring of fire it is easy to understand that there will be earthquakes followed by a potential tsunami.

Take, for example, Superstorm Sandy in which caused severe flooding along the eastern seaboard of the United States. It first began as a tropical wave in the Caribbean then formed into a tropical storm easily monitored and easily communicated. That in a nutshell is the Situation Watch protocol in action. More specifically, proactively monitoring and communicating a potential incident from its inception. Contingency Planning Program The purpose for contingency planning is to better enable a business or organization to mitigate disruption to the enterprise.

Essentially, contingencies fall into three categories: 1. Open in a separate window. Figure Contingency Plans Contingency plans formally establish the processes and procedures to protect employees, core business elements, critical processes, information systems and the environment in the event of an emergency, business disruption, or disaster. Furthermore, consideration should be given to establishing response parameters for emergency events. Define for your enterprise what constitutes a minor emergency, a major emergency, and a disaster.

An assessment of risk and vulnerabilities should be made prior to developing or upgrading contingency plans. All planning will be accomplished in accordance with a thorough understanding of actual and potential risks and vulnerabilities. For example, in a petroleum refining facility, contingency plans for petroleum spillage, contamination, and fires must be considered. Furthermore, if located in an earthquake zone, planning must address associated hazards. The risk assessment and vulnerability analysis must also include an assessment of enterprise—critical relationships. That means involving suppliers and customers in the contingency planning process.

If a critical supplier or many key suppliers are not also prepared for various potential contingencies, their inability to recover will adversely impact your enterprise. Since many hazards have similar consequences and result in like damages, it is best to plan for them in categories. Process of recovery must be focused on those critical processes that, when resumed, will restore operations to a minimal acceptable level. In essence, these processes are identified to be the first processes restored in the event of a major interruption to business operations.

Failure to restore them presents the greatest possibility of damage or loss to the enterprise and could lead to the loss of a competitive edge, market share, or even the viability of the enterprise. Moreover, all critical interdependencies, those processes or activities critical processes are dependent upon, must be assessed to determine the extent to which they must be part of the contingency planning process. Expectations and responsibilities of emergency response personnel must be well defined and documented.

Guidance for all employees on how to react in the event of an emergency and what their individual and collective responsibilities are must be documented and shared. Organizational responsibilities must also be established, to include the development of department-level emergency plans, generally for mid-size and large organizations. Events such as building evacuation and roll-call assembly need to be well defined so, in the event of an actual emergency, there is no confusion or uncertainty as to what must be accomplished. If the crisis is international or global in nature, it is important that the incident response process is fluid to address it.

For example, activing a local or regional team and stepping up or stepping down as necessary as was discussed in a prior section of this chapter. How this process works and who has what responsibilities must be clearly stated in the contingency plans. In the event of an actual emergency, some unqualified people will attempt to manage the incident or participate in crisis management; however, they should not have any role in this process unless they were previously identified and trained as part of the CMT. Without established and well-defined incident management protocols and procedures, confusion is likely to erupt. It must be clear at all times who is the designated incident commander and his or her back up if necessary with C3 for the incident.

Essentially, incident management, and crisis management personnel must be trained and must understand their responsibilities including decision-making authority in the teeth of a crisis real time. Without this authority, the timely response to an incident gets booged down in the bureaucratic quagmire which could jeopardize employee safety and well-being. Lastly and where here practical, back-up supporting personnel should be identified and trained in the event that primary personnel are not available.

The first part focuses on business recovery in the short term while the other part focuses on business restoration in the long term. This process will also include establishment of priorities for restoration of critical processes, infrastructure, and information systems. Learning from real events is an unfortunate opportunity. There is no better way to learn how to handle an emergency than to actually handle one. Emergency Response When an emergency occurs, and unfortunately emergencies occur at even the most prepared businesses, being able to effectively respond is critical. If handling an emergency is beyond the internal capability of an organization, additional external assistance can be sought.

For example, a seriously ill employee may require immediate medical attention. If paramedic capabilities exist within the company then the in-house paramedic should be the first respondent. If the situation calls for more sophisticated expertise and capabilities, external emergency medical services can be called for. Linked to a variety of sensor detectors and manual pull stations, fire alarms do just that: sound an alarm. These systems are sufficiently unique in sound and volume as to clearly indicate the need for building and facility evacuation. Employees must be conditioned to respond immediately. Announcements can be made alerting employees to the danger of fire. Announcements alerting employees to other types of dangers can also be made. Public address systems are particularly useful during emergencies when a building or facility evacuation is just the opposite of what is needed.

For example, in the event of a chemical discharge or other environmental hazard, it may be necessary to keep people inside the facility and shut down all air movement systems, thus preventing employees from exposure to hazardous airborne substances. Since employees are conditioned to evacuate a building or facility when a fire alarm is sounded, they can be conditioned to wait and listen for specific instructions provided over a public address system. New to the market in are Internet Protocol IP -based public address systems.

Specially selected and trained employees can be given responsibility to act during an emergency to spread the word to evacuate a building or facility during an emergency. Assigning each a specific area of responsibility, the ERT Leads ensures complete coverage of the building or facility. Communications between floor ERT Leads and emergency response personnel or a security emergency operations center can be easily established. ERT Leads can be alerted by IP technology solutions radio, smartphone, or other means in the event of an emergency and be instructed to react to the specific situation. ERT Leads can and should be empowered and trained to react on their own in the event they recognize danger. Authority should be provided to ERT Leads to evacuate a building or facility based upon their judgment and assessment of an emergency situation.

In the event of a complete communications failure, it may be necessary to empower them to dispatch people to a safe environment. Being on the front lines, the security officer can assess the situation and make a determination if additional assistance is necessary. In some cases, they may not be able to make an assessment and may require support from others. For example, in the event of a hazardous chemical spill, it will be necessary to have an expert in environmental and safety issues on the scene to make the assessment.

Clean up of a chemical spill should only be done by skilled and certified personnel. Another example may be the unfortunate death of an employee in the workplace. This will require the security officer to make immediate notification to OSHA as well as cordoning off the scene and directing law enforcement to the scene. In rare cases, it may require the preservation of evidence and stand by for the corner to clear to the body. Clearly, defining who has what response capabilities and responsibilities will impact the effectiveness of any response.

Without a doubt, capable and training security officers are a key ingredient to the efficient handling of the incident management response process. These plans should be incorporated into a master plan and provide a common framework. If the incident escalates to a crisis, a company CMT should be convened to manage the crisis. The senior emergency response person, when at the scene, should manage the incident with the assistance of specialists as appropriate. In the event it is necessary to evacuate a building or facility, having an established and orderly process is essential. Once a warning system sounds the notice to evacuate, employees must be aware of preestablished procedures for quick evacuation, including primary and alternate evacuation routes and where they should assemble.

Maps or diagrams with this information should be included in the plan and posted throughout the work area. A floor warden or an employee with the assignment to facilitate evacuation should make a sweep of the area prior to their own evacuation to ensure all personnel have exited the building or facility. Once in the predetermined assembly area, a roll call must be taken. Primary, secondary, and tertiary responsibilities should be assigned to ensure someone is available to take roll call and report the results to security. If someone did not evacuate the facility, a search-and-rescue team or other emergency personnel may be required to reenter the facility and provide assistance.

At least annually, each building or facility should undergo an evacuation drill where employees respond to a warning and completely evacuate the building or facility. This may be required by law in some states or jurisdictions. Lastly, a roll call should be conducted and results reported to security and senior management. Search and rescue is the responsibility of responding emergency personnel who have proper protective equipment such as the fire department persons not trained in search-and-rescue techniques or who do not have proper equipment should not enter hazardous areas and conduct searches.

Heavy lifting should always be left to the professionals such as properly trained search and rescue teams and fire department personnel. Heavy lifting in this context means security personnel should not supplant the proven experience of responding agencies and do it themselves without the proper training. This can cause critical delays in response and could even jeopardize lives. At its core, the job of the security officer is to observe and report. After any incident where employees are required to leave their work area and evacuate a building or facility, a process for having them return to work is necessary.

For example, in the event of a false fire alarm where employees have evacuated a building, a means of communicating to them an all-clear, safe to return to work signal, is needed. This can be accomplished in many ways. Public address announcements can be made or security personnel can go to assembly areas, directing employees to return to work the good old fashion way by use of a bull horn. As appropriate, other methods may also be employed such as IP-based communication systems.

In the event there is actual damage and employees cannot return to work, a process should be established identifying who makes the decision to send employees home—most likely Human Resources—as well as how that is communicated to them and how they are kept apprised of event updates. For example, if a building was severely damaged due to fire and cannot be occupied for several days, posting daily direction and guidance for employees on the company website or on an emergency toll-free phone line will allow employees to call each day for specific instructions.

For this to be effective, employees must know this process, must know the phone number to call or website to access and, as with all other processes, this one must be updated regularly. Extended remote work authorization can also be of great assistance to a company keeping it operating efficiently while longer term infrastructure needs are addressed. This type of remote work authorization especially works well where natural occurrences most happen such as severe snow storms, hurricanes when evacuation is not necessary , and typhoons.

In some instances, keeping employees at home working remote while there is civil, social, and political unrest can save lives by keeping employees off the roads or away from the office. Include key personnel involved in responding to and managing the emergency so as to assess what occurred and how it could have been better handled. Crisis or Incident Management Emergencies, contingencies, business interruptions, and other unplanned events happen. When an incident escalates into a crisis, the situation becomes more complex, affecting different aspects of the business if not the entire business and requiring different skills to manage it. Employees with a broad understanding of the enterprise and its mission, goals, and objectives are much better suited to manage a crisis than those with a more narrow perspective of the business.

Ideally, a CMT is like an integrated process team. Skilled professionals representing different disciplines come together on a short-term basis to work on a specific issue or tasking. In the case of CMTs, the task is to serve as a deliberative body to plan and prepare for a crisis and, when a crisis occurs, manage that crisis so as to mitigate damage or its impact. CMTs should include members with expertise in the following areas: security, human resources, site management, safety and environmental and safety services, business management and communications. For example, following an earthquake the surrounding area may not be safe for travel. Employees may have no choice but to seek shelter at the workplace for hours or days.

Furthermore, emergency personnel may be needed on site for an extended period to assist in recovery operations. Being prepared to deal with this or similar scenarios is essential. Preparation will include ensuring sufficient supplies are on hand to meet the needs of a reasonable number of stranded or support personnel. It is necessary to ensure that sufficient food, water, medical supplies and emergency sanitation, and shelter facilities are available. All of these items can be acquired and placed in a long-term storage condition, providing they are regularly checked for serviceability, spoilage, and maintained within the expected shelf life. During a crisis, much uncertainty exists.

Consequently, it will be necessary to communicate to employees, keeping them as up to date as possible about the situation and events and providing guidance concerning their safety and work expectations. During a crisis, employees are naturally anxious. Prompt and clear communications can help reduce this anxiety and keep employees informed. Communication may need to extend beyond the duration of a crisis into an undefined subsequent period. Using the previously referred to emergency contact and notification number, or company Web site, can be very effective. Messages can be updated regularly as needed so the information is current. Also, information broadcast on local news radio stations can reach a large population of employees.

At the point in time where an incident escalates into a crisis, the CMTs become involved, managing the crisis to closure. At some point during a crisis, a deescalation of events will occur and eventually the crisis will terminate. If the impact or damage from the crisis is significant, the CMT will commence with restoration activities. These activities may be led by the CMT or passed on to a business continuity team. How this can work will be discussed further in the next section. For example, large industrial fires always draw the attention of local media. Natural disasters also draw much media attention.

The largest employers of emergency management directors were as Critical Thinking Skills In Emergency Management And Public Safety. Read our complete resume writing guides. Snapchat: A Fictional Narrative response activities involve responding to Critical Thinking Skills In Emergency Management And Public Safety incident, crisis, John Rawls Individualism disaster and managing that incident at the scene.

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