A new client gestured to a bookshelf stuffed with planning paperwork and asked me, “Bo, are we really ready?”
It was an insightful question. What is emergency readiness? Just because you have a lot of pages in plans does not ipso facto equal readiness for your next emergency.
So, how do we define really ready?
“Readiness” is the condition we’re looking for. The military, emergency services and you are striving for this one thing: readiness.
Google it. You’ll find 36,700,000 results. None offer a metric for measuring readiness. None help you define readiness for your personnel, boss, board, government agency—or a jury.
So, here’s the emergency insight: a working, useable definition of readiness for your organization. It addresses the three levels of management’s concern—strategic, operational and tactical. All of which can be easily measured by you or any third party.
Emergency Readiness Defined For All Employers
1. Strategic: The state of preparedness where an organization has written plans, current training, logged drills and exercises that structure detailed, all-hazards response to any emergency within minutes.
Plans, training, drills and exercises shall be:
Approved by senior management, including the CEO in compliance with federal law
Compliant with OSHA, NFPA 1600 and all other applicable laws and standards to ensure effective emergency response and organizational resiliency.
2. Operational: Effective deployment of personnel, their systems and equipment before the crisis to command, control and communicate. All structured to activate their training and implement their plans during any emergency within minutes.
Emergency Response Team is robust in size and deployment during all hours of operation. If in a mult-tenant space, ERT and building management know each other and have planned, train, drilled and exercised together.
All employees know the deep chain of command established by management.
All ERT commanders carry 2-way radios.
ERT commanders can reliably account for all personnel. Assembly areas are established and well-known to all personnel.
FD and PD have conducted an annual walk-through of our space.
Building management has been engaged and participatory in exercises and any walk-through.
3. Tactical: Effective, practiced response before the crisis as proven by outside, independent auditor/s conducting the exercises. What gets measured gets done.
All senior managers, including the CEO, have participated in 45-minute tabletop exercises quarterly.
There you have it. The answer to, “Are we really ready?” The insight to know and measure actual readiness in your organization.
Let me know if this is useful for you.
“Let’s be careful out there.”