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Everbridge

* Recommended Everbridge is an Ultimate Business Continuity recommended solution.

Tips & Techniques

Crisis Management part of the website focuses on suggestions, tips and techniques that can help you successfully manage a crisis. Information includes how to:

A resilient organization might bend but NEVER breaks! A culture of resiliency and preparation enable us to survive any disruption! We always spring back STRONGER than our previous state!

You must have a tested crisis management plan in place. Planning is essential. Your plan is your roadmap to success. Crisis management plans are created in many different formats. There is no one size fits all. Huge overly complex plans numbering in the hundreds of pages often do not work well. A more streamlined approach of checklist format tasks, contact lists, team responsibilities, emergency response best practices are preferred by some organizations. I lean toward a streamlined approach but you must decide what is best for your organization.

You must have the right leadership and culture of resilience in place that meets the needs of your organization and employees. Every crisis is different and you must have a team that can adapt. Having the right people on the team is crucial.

Our number one priority is Employee Safety. There must be awareness throughout your organization of safety, security and continuity best practices. Emergency procedures must be documented for different scenarios. Evacuation procedures must be thoroughly tested and clearly understood. Communications must be well thought out – it is critical to your employees and the continuity of operations.  Ready.gov and Homeland Security have good information that can help you with content for your emergency response plan. I have consolidated some of their guidance in another posts on UltimateBusinessContinuity.com.

High level phases of managing a crisis that must be included in your planning and testing include:

  • Prevention – understanding threats and vulnerabilities and implementing the necessary controls
  • Response – managing the crisis from start-to-finish
  • Resumption – resuming your time sensitive processes in the required timeframe to keep your business going
  • Recovery and Restoration – how you will recover and resume normal operations

Communicating during a crisis is critical.

Crisis management tools such as situational alerts and mass notification as well as data quality are discussed here and in the technology posts on UltimateBusinessContinuity.com


Active Shooter – The Time To Plan Is NOW!

If you have an Active Shooter response program in place, that is great. If you have robust controls in place I applaud you for considering your employees! Your employees must know best practices when confronted with an active shooter scenario. Provide them with that guidance. Professional in-person training seminars and classesRead More

Situational Awareness – A Life Saver and Revenue Generator

Why situational awareness is critical: During a crisis or during business as usual we MUST understand what is happening that can impact us. Situational awareness enables us to understand the probability of threats. Accurate information is critical and it must be available in a timely manner. During a crisis makingRead More

How to Build A Value Laden In-House Recovery Hot-Site

I know you can do it, because I have done it multiple times, for many clients!  Every scenario is different; however, I have saved $150k+ (and much higher) annually in some instances. Enormous savings are achieved due to the high expense of a using a third party vendor for dedicatedRead More

Threat Thoughts

Welcome to our world! Every day I get hundreds of threat alerts from situational awareness sources I monitor. They include earthquakes, floods, shootings, fires, power outages, protests… Some sort of threat event occurs every few seconds somewhere in the world. I analyze the threat data for trends and possible impacts toRead More

Vital Records – Critical Low-Hanging Fruit

I can almost bet that there are vital records lurking in cabinets in private and public organizations that would cause an impact if they were not available during a disruptive event. There may even be some important documents ‘safely tucked away’ in that damp, dusty basement that floods every so often. ActRead More

Emergency Guidebooks (desk guides, flip books). Good Things Come in Small Packages

I suggest you consider making your guidebook simple, mobile, attractive and compact so people can easily carry it and have it on hand always. If it is too large and cumbersome it defeats the purpose, people will not use it…

Salvaging Vital Records – Act Fast and All May Not Be Lost!

You should strive to have copies of all vital records backed-up in digital format and physically stored safely off-site. If vital records are damaged it is important to have a process in place and a trusted vendor that can jump in and help save them. A good professional mitigation partner isRead More

Homeland Security – Bomb Threat Checklist, Guidance and Video

It is critical to prepare for a bomb threat. The Homeland Security Checklist, Guidance Brochure and Video information and links below are excellent! You can use it as-is or customize for your company. I leverage them for my programs and I wanted to share this important information with you. DHS-FEMA BombRead More

A Golden Dozen Valuable Government Resources

These are some of my favorite government resources. I use and recommend them on a regular basis. They have provided me with exceptional value. Most of them have newsletters and real-time feeds. Subscribe! A few are duplicated from the Hazards Central post but I thought it would be handy if you had themRead More

Hazards Central – Resources, Checklists, Playbooks and Tabletops

Hazard information at your finger tips! There is more natural and man-made hazard related business and personal information below than you or I could ever hope to assemble. The great news is we do not have to! Disclaimer: Because every emergency is different, it is important for your safety thatRead More

Plan for Pet(s) Tips – They Are Family

Our pets depend on their human ‘mommy and daddy’. How we plan for our pets prior to encountering a disaster can mean the difference between life and death! Pets are part of our family. I know my rescue dog Flakes (aptly named as he is a bit flaky and very ‘yappie’)Read More

‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) Saves Lives! Spread the Word!

You can get a lot of mileage out of this In Case of Emergency (ICE) tip.  I learned this tip while hosting a tabletop exercise years ago, one of the participants mentioned it and I have paid it forward during hundreds of tabletops, blog postings, newsletter alerts, dinner conversations withRead More

Shelter In Place – Dangerous Issues to Consider

During certain events, external to your location such as chlorine gas in the air, a chemical spill or a fast approaching tornado it often makes sense to shelter in place (internally). Develop a plan so that your organization can provide for your employees for 72 or more hours sheltering in place.Read More

Streamline Reporting Critical Events – Every Second Counts

Team with Your Safety and Security Professionals on the following tips. Tip – Place local fire, police and ambulance contact numbers plus the 911 emergency number on all desk handsets. Tip – Create wall signs and display them to re-enforce awareness for these potentially lifesaving critical numbers. Tip – AskRead More

Emergency Operations Center – Critical Considerations

An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or Command Center is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management at a strategic level during an emergency, and ensuring the continuity of operations for your organization. Having a well thought out Emergency Operations CenterRead More

Why a Strong Incident Commander Is Critical for Success

I have partnered with all types of Incident Commanders (called Site Leaders in some organizations) during my career. Some were great and some not so great. I can confidently say that a strong, intelligent, confident, calming, take-charge, decisive leader is critical to successfully leading an organization through a crisis. My advice to you, ifRead More

It Takes a Village – Teams and Partnerships

To achieve real-world resilience, you must build strong and well-coordinated teams. Teams must meet and test often to be ready. A culture of resilience is critical to be truly prepared for disruptive events. The Crisis Management Team is critical as it is tasked with managing a crisis from start to finish.Read More

Safety of People is Always Our #1 Priority!

I HAVE ALWAYS STRESSED EMPLOYEE SAFETY AS A COMPANY’S NUMBER #1 PRIORITY SINCE THE FIRST DAY I STARTED BUILDING BUSINESS RESILIENCE PROGRAMS AND IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE TOP PRIORITY FOR ME. LIVES CANNOT BE REPLACED. EQUIPMENT, LAPTOPS, PHONES, SUPPLIES CAN BE REPLACED. WHEN YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE SAFE AND SECURERead More

Mapping Threats to Assets to Determine Risk

Welcome to our world! Every day I get hundreds of threat alerts from situational awareness sources I monitor. They include earthquakes, floods, shootings, fires, power outages, protests… Some sort of threat event occurs every few seconds somewhere in the world. I analyze the threat data for trends and possible impacts toRead More

Recipe for a Successful Risk Assessment

The goal of a risk assessment (RA) is to calculate risk as it relates to threats, probabilities, impacts and vulnerabilities. If you think creatively, the risk assessment can also tip you off to business opportunities and revenue generators! This post provides one framework for developing a risk assessment. There are manyRead More

Recipe for a Successful BIA

The Business Impact Analysis (BIA) will empower you to clearly understand which processes are time-sensitive (critical) to your organization’s ongoing success based on several factors. You will be able to accurately gauge when each process needs to be up-and-running and the impact to your organization if it is not available when the businessRead More

25 Tips for Mass Notification Success

In this post I list some of my favorite mass notification system tips, tricks and techniques. Many of these have served me well. Some I learned the hard way and I have the bruises to prove it!

Crisis Communication Channels – Basic, Beyond and Way Beyond

A handy-dandy list of my favorite communication channels. You might want to consider using some or all of these to reach people. Some are basic and others may be considered innovative such as a favorite of mine – PTT (push to talk). The more methods you have to reach peopleRead More

Prepare Time Sensitive Notification Procedures Today!

I wanted to break-out this brief discussion so you can get a head start on this important issue. I have seen this go wrong and I do not want it to happen to you. I have documented many additional mass notification best practices in the post, ‘Marty’s Favorite Mass Notification System Tips,Read More

The Importance of Digital Incoming and Outgoing Communication Tools

Emergency Hotline and Mass Notification Tools This post frames the value of two types of communication tools that can be of great benefit to you and your organization – incoming and outgoing communication tools. These are two of my passions and specialties. In the technology posts on UltimateBusinessContinuity.com we will discussRead More

Crisis Communication Plan Success

I consider crisis communications one of the most important things we do as business resilience / continuity professionals. You will undoubtedly be judged by management on how well communications are triggered and maintained throughout a crisis. Communications can make or break you, so I implore you to give it a lot of thought.Read More

Critical Event Management Tools & Techniques

Top Tools Tips & Techniques Crisis Management part of the website focuses on suggestions, tips and techniques that can help you successfully manage a crisis. Information includes how to: A resilient organization might bend but NEVER breaks! A culture of resiliency and preparation enable us to survive any disruption! We always springRead More

A Detailed Case Study of Response and Recovery to an Historic Event

During the early afternoon of August 14, 2003 I hosted a tabletop exercise at my company’s New York City headquarters. The scenario we played through during the tabletop was a power outage. The tabletop was fun, went well and a lot of valuable info was shared by the participants. Does August 14,Read More

VOLO

A mass notification tool I have used in the past. When I used it it was still under development. It was not on par with leaders such as Everbridge and OnSolve. Tech support was good and they had a roadmap of improvements. A mass notification tool I have used inRead More

Mass Notification Tools

A robust mass notification system will benefit you in many ways. While the wrong mass notification can be more harmful than no system. It can even be life threatening. I have experience many mass notification systems and have some excellent stories, both good and bad, and guidance to share withRead More