Gathering a list of potential and contracted companies will better equip an organization during an emergency situation. While some disasters can be handled with on-site expertise and equipment, outside sources may have additional crisis management knowledge, experience, and equipment that may be beneficial during certain emergency situations.
During the initial planning stage and consequential emergency planning reviews, facilities need to assess the impact of the potential emergencies, determine the need for backup or external resources, and confirm contact information.
If one, multiple, or all of the essential internal sources were to fail, companies need to arrange sustainability through outside resources. Highlighted areas to review include, but are not limited to:
- External facilities and equipment needed to produce company’s products and services
- Necessary products and services provided by suppliers, especially sole source vendors
- Lifeline services such as electrical power, water, sewer, gas, telecommunications. and transportation
- Operations and personnel vital to the continued functioning of the facility
Identifying and including the appropriate contact information in emergency plans is critical. Unfortunately, it is this step that tends to neglected. It is essential that contact numbers are routinely checked and updated in the plans. During an emergency, time is critical and shouldn’t be wasted calling wrong or out of service phone numbers. If using an automated call out system, important information may not be received if numbers or e-mails have changed. A scheduled verification system should be put in place to solidify the accuracy of any applicable means of communication (ex.e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers and landlines).
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.