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Preparedness and Emergency Response Lessons Learned

Posted on Thu, May 31, 2012

Incorporating “Lessons Learned” into an preparedness and emergency response planning ensures evolving response practices are captured and implemented to improve the effectiveness of a crisis management program. TRP Corp. recently asked followers on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to comment on the following question; “What has been your greatest emergency response lesson learned"?”.

The goal of emergency management is identical, despite varying industries: to protect lives, prevent hazardous environmental impact, and limit property damage. Responses came from numerous backgrounds and cover a wide array of industries.

Gene: Good Communications means everything during a response !!!!

Christopher: Don't allow yourself to become overwhelmed. All too often, responders start in one direction, then jump around because the rest of the situation seems too daunting. Keep your head and steer your folks calmly through the storm.

Chuck: Coordinated training is a must! Varying communication paths resulted in tasks being conducted multiple times. An understanding of common terminology is necessary when managing multiple mutual aid responders.

Lesli: You need to have your Emergency Operations Manuals, information, forms, phone numbers, etc. with you all the time because "emergencies" never happen when you are in the office.

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Terri: If an enunciator (alarm) goes off repeatedly because of a sensor or system that is marginal or broken, people will learn to ignore the alarm. Fixing problems quickly helps to avoid apathy on the part of occupants.

Petrus: To prevent panic, people have to be well trained for an emergency condition.

Don: Exercise your plan! Prior to flooding, our team was able to make the split-decision to relocate mechanical and electrical equipment — those decisions were integral in restoring a handful of buildings in time for fall-semester classes.

Sophia: Evaluate the contents of a site’s first aid kit and include advanced first response medical equipment that are associated with the facility’s potential threats. Quickclot combat gauze and medical grade shears are great tools to have on hand at an industrial facility.

Stephen: Conduct a risk-versus-gain analysis prior to committing to confined space operations and continue the assessment throughout the operations.

Chuck: Coordinated training is a must! Varying communication paths resulted in tasks being conducted multiple times.  A consolidated response is necessary when managing multiple mutual aid responders.

John: Use multiple evacuation routes. All employees tried using the front stair for egress, it became overloaded and difficult for people to exit.   

Michael: Having a good emergency action plan is the first step. Communicating, training people on the content is the second. And third, practice, practice, practice!

For more effective preparedness, recieve TRP's "Be Prepared for Your Next INcident - A Step-by-Step Guide".  

Preparedness and Emergency Management - TRP Corp

Tags: Resiliency, Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Emergency Management Program, Disaster Response