An emergency management plan (EMP) dictates the actions and resources your personnel and other stakeholders should use during an adverse event to save lives and minimize harm by enacting a timely, integrated and coordinated response.
Fortunately, many corporations, facilities and schools have such a plan. But in far too many cases, they only reach for it when a crisis occurs or an oversight entity (e.g., a league, corporate headquarters) mandates a review, often in response to the former. Considerable time may elapse before these externally prompted reviews take place. Unprompted internal reviews that are primarily for the health, relevance and upkeep of the EMP are still somewhat rare.
When was the last time you reviewed your emergency management plan?
The mission of an EMP is to remain updated, vibrant, relevant and well known – a living document – not a fixture on a shelf or 6,000 KBs sequestered on a flash drive. The absolute worst time to re-familiarize yourself with your EMP is in the midst of a crisis.
Four reasons to review your organization’s emergency response plan today
- TECHNOLOGY changes constantly. Your plan may need to be revised based on trends that range from 3D-printed firearms and gunshot detection technology to mass notification platforms.
- PEOPLE have changed since your EMP was last updated. Internally, your workplace may have grown younger or older. Some people may have retired, while others have left to pursue other opportunities. Individuals who held key roles (e.g., floor wardens, security supervisors, mass notification system operators) may have moved on. Lost experience must be replaced, and new experience incorporated.
- THREATS continue to evolve. Consider conducting a risk, threat and vulnerability assessment periodically to evaluate the probability and potential consequences of various events, trends and shifts in environments – business sector, physical, social – that can impact your corporation or facility.
- BEST PRACTICES Is the Run, Hide, Fight protocol still the best model for active assailant prevention and response training? Are new apps available for mass notification – and if, so, would it be wise to recommend that all employees download these to their cell phones? Are better software solutions available that integrate emergency response plans and communications, allowing a single-point of maintenance for high-change inputs like personnel titles, roles and contact information with features that automatically populate various emergency preparedness forms? This list is endless.
Familiarity, borne of regular review, with your EMP in non-emergency times better prepares you to activate the plan when needed during a crisis. As emergencies rarely provide advance notice, the best time to prepare is when you still have time to prepare.