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  • July 2016 Client Newsletter banner

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Each year, we work with you to improve planning and training. We participate in your exercises and drills and collaborate with you to make them more realistic and more practical.

Our goal for 2017 is to help you start the year with programmed emergency planning tasks for every month. Whether it is your full-time role, or an additional duty, we want to make planning and training easier for you, because we know how critical it is to a successful response.

We shared a year-at-a-glance calendar in the October newsletter that highlighted a particular area to focus on each month. We’ll be expanding on each area in this and future newsletters. We’re also creating a useful checklist for each month – Click here to download January’s checklist and to receive future monthly checklists.

Let’s look at January, February and March in more detail:

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January

Audit your Emergency Response Plan (ERP) to include designated staff and their deputies, facilities, equipment and checklists.

You already have a great plan, but it was probably written last year and things change; so should your plan. It cannot be static. If you’re not sure where to start, log into the client section of our website for the Capability Assessment Matrix. This tool will help you define the functional areas to plan for, and help you identify any gaps in personnel, equipment, facilities and checklists.

Bring together the stakeholders to plan and create a first draft. Decide what you want to put into the ERP and what you don’t. For example, will it cover a crash, hijacking, ground incident, pandemic, hotel explosion, road traffic accident and so forth? Are the responses for these similar or greatly different? We recommend the formation of a specialist team at your company headquarters to deal with the response to an incident (the Crisis Management Team). Internal questions to ask include: Who needs to be included? Where will they work from? What is it that they are trying to achieve?

You don’t need to think of every possible scenario. The consequences are the same regardless of the circumstances of the incident. Plan for the consequences. For more information on consequence management, there’s a detailed overview of Kenyon’s 12 Principles – those main areas we know you need to plan for – on Robert Jensen’s CEO Insights blog.

You may be in the fortunate position of having a good, well-practiced ERP; if so, then you may only need to add minor updates. Have your operations changed in the past year (new routes, new equipment)? Do you need to train recently appointed staff in their roles? How do you dovetail your actions with those of Kenyon or other partners? If you’ve held an exercise, or even had a major incident, what are the lessons that you can identify? A thorough and honest Post-Exercise Report (PXR) can play an integral role at this point in your emergency planning.


February

Review your crisis communications plan. Are your designated spokespeople trained and ready? Have you pre-written a few template statements and had them approved by legal? Include your IT staff if they are responsible for your website/emergency site in the case of an incident. What is your social media response to an incident?

In the exercises previously mentioned, were your communications/legal/IT teams included? They too need to be aware of your goals. Keep in mind that some individuals will always make better spokespersons than others. On-camera skills are perishable, however. Ensure your designated spokesperson(s) practice regularly.

Crisis Communications is not limited to your interaction with news outlets and social media, though these factors play a large role. Briefings to survivors, families of the deceased and your own employees are equally critical. Employees will be affected by a disaster and will need to see that their company is responding effectively.

March

Train new and existing staff with designated functions in your ERP.

At this point, should an incident occur, your updated ERP would prove effective. What is the best way to familiarize your teams with its contents? Plan. Train. Exercise. You have planned the document, now you need to train the people. Crisis Management Center (CMC) staff, Go Teams, front-line staff, trained staff who will be near the incident and company executives will all need sessions to familiarize themselves with the plan and their roles in a crisis. Their feedback can be invaluable in further refining the ERP.

If you have the time and resources, you can deliver some of this familiarization training yourself. We recommend you train realistically.

Alternatively, Kenyon can assist by putting a tailored package together to meet your requirements; please phone or send us an email and we can make arrangements.

There’s much more that you can do throughout the year to prepare for an incident, all of which will make for a more effective response. Don’t forget to download January’s checklist to ensure you’re on the road to properly organizing your crisis management plans.