Your Solution for SMART Response Plans

Crisis Management - Who are you going to call in an Emergency?

Posted on Mon, Oct 10, 2011

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.

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Tags: Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Incident Management, Emergency Management Program, Supply Chain, Disaster Response

Idenitifying Critical Equipment for Business Continuity

Posted on Mon, Sep 12, 2011

There are numerous reasons why power outages occur, ranging from natural disasters to rolling blackouts. For the general population, short-term power outages typically become an inconvenience rather than a problem. However, if vital business operations are affected by the loss of power, the financial bottom line can be affected. Companies need to become aware of their essential back-up equipment in order to sustain continuity of operations and not be caught off guard if an incident were to occur.

The process of business continuity planning should include identifying the equipment necessary to sustain business operations. Factors to consider for business survival are complex and extend well beyond first glance analyses. Being prepared for business interruption involves analysis of every aspect of the organization’s management and business processes. Companies need to position themselves with the proper equipment to survive long-term dramatic disasters, as well as smaller, isolated incidents that affect daily continuity of operations.

Some equipment consideration when conducting business continuity planning include, but are not limited to:

  • Generators and necessary fuels
  • Portable Heating and Cooling units
  • Portable toilets
  • Off-site data storage
  • Charged batteries for radios/laptops/cell phones
  • Applicable Personal protective equipment (gloves, specialized clothing, safety glasses)
  • Site-specific equipment (chainsaw, hand tools, self contained breathing apparatus )
  • Emergency Medical supplies
  • Availability of equipment to hire or lease on short notice
  • Back up suppliers

Facility emergency managers should ensure pre-identified critical business units have the necessary equipment to be a functional department in case the unthinkable does occur. This will prevent unnecessary downtime and additional recovery efforts.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.

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Tags: Business Continuity key points, Business Continuity, Training and Exercises, Emergency Management Program, Supply Chain, Disaster Response