emergency preparedness

One of the great punk rock bands of the 80s, the Clash, wrote about the pain and anguish of indecision. The hit song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” speaks to the suffering we can all experience when we lack the confidence to make a good decision. Listening to this song may remind us of that one person we should never have dated or the career move we should have made but passed on. Simply put, indecision can paralyze us, and having the right preparedness plan can equip us with the decisiveness needed to make life’s tough choices.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

To paraphrase the Clash, the last thing we want to do in an emergency is internally debate about what to do. Worse, we do not want indecisive decision-makers acting on behalf of others. Today, assuming the role of an incident commander or crisis management leader requires a confident decision-maker. Although this kind of assertiveness may not come naturally to some of us, the good news is that there’s actually a method we can follow to act as informed, confident decision-makers during a crisis situation.

Defeating indecision, however, requires a continuous commitment to preparedness. An organization must commit to creating an emergency preparedness program. The goal of such a program should be to develop a decision-maker mentality throughout an organization’s entire emergency management team.

7 Steps to Emergency Management

An organization can build a cadre of strong decision-makers if it commits to the following steps:

  • Create an emergency management plan
  • Develop an information sharing and intelligence program with key stakeholders and local first responders
  • Adopt the Incident Command System
  • Conduct training sessions
  • Engage in internal and external exercises
  • Develop a corrective action program to update plans and training sessions with “lessons learned”
  • Maintain an up-to-date emergency resource inventory list

Writing plans, sharing intelligence, conducting training and exercises, and evaluating capabilities are all critical to building an anti-indecision preparedness program. Committing to a culture of preparedness will help those in leadership positions make informed, life-safety decisions and better protect their employees, property, environment and reputation during emergency or disaster events.

Fortunately, given the benefits of preparedness, starting an emergency preparedness program is an easy decision to make.