Understanding capabilities and identification of
opportunities for program improvement.
A long list of events including the terrorist acts of 9/11, workplace violence, Hurricane Katrina, Midwest floods, August 2003 power outage, and the specter of pandemic influenza call attention to the need for businesses to be prepared. Natural disasters such as the 2010 flooding in Thailand and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused global supply chain problems. Suppliers are now being asked “do you have a plan to ensure that my supply chain will not be interrupted.” Boards of directors are asking about preparedness.
Program Self-Assessment Checklist
This 200+ question checklist is based on NFPA 1600 “Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs” published by the National Fire Protection Association and available online for free download at www.nfpa.org/1600.
Auditing the Preparedness Program
Our Preparedness Bulletin provides guidance on auditing your preparedness program.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, the 9/11 Commission endorsed a national standard for private sector preparedness. This recommendation was incorporated into Title IX of Public Law 110-53 and began the voluntary program "PS-Prep" to certify private sector preparedness programs.
Whether required by law or requested by your customers, preparedness is essential to protect your employees, business, reputation, and the environment.
Evaluating Your Program
All businesses should evaluate their program using national standards and industry best practices as criteria to ensure that the program meets business needs and is compliant with regulations.
Preparedness, LLC utilizes a 200 plus question tool and more than three decades of experience working in a diverse range of industries to evaluate emergency management and business continuity programs. Our evaluation benchmarks your program against NFPA 1600, our National Preparedness Standard, in addition to important regulations and best practices.
Our evaluation tool enables us to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your program and offer prioritized recommendations for improvement. Our evaluation begins with a survey of your facilities, interviews with persons involved in your program, and a review of program documentation. Our goal is to learn about your business, management, hazard profile, and available resources to make specific recommendations for your benefit.
Do you have an effective capability to respond to the many different emergencies that you may confront? Can you quickly detect an emergency and alert trained responders—internal teams or public emergency services. Do you have the ability to protect people whether that requires evacuation, lockdown, or sheltering in place?
Our evaluation will help you understand the minimum regulatory requirements. We also identify how to protect people, property, business operations, and the environment. We can help you understand the limitations of critical resources including your own staff, public emergency services, systems and equipment, and your ability to manage a difficult incident.
A key element of a business continuity program includes the business impact analysis, which should identify and prioritize time critical functions. Strategies, resources, and information needed to support critical functions at minimally accepted levels should also be determined along with manual “workarounds.”
The program evaluation looks at each of these important areas as well as the business continuity organization, plans, and procedures needed to activate and implement pre-determined strategies.
Every organization must have a plan to reach out to important stakeholders when an emergency or incident occurs. This includes customers, investors, employees, and regulators—as well as those potentially impacted by an incident. Preparedness can evaluate the communications organization, procedures, scripts, and the ability of staff to communicate during an incident.
Training, Drills & Exercises
An emergency management and business continuity program is only as good as the ability of personnel to respond effectively during an emergency. The program evaluation includes interviews with participants and a review of training records. We can also evaluate your program by designing, facilitating, and evaluating drills and exercises. Drills and exercises are essential to hone skills and familiarize teams with plans, procedures, and incident management.
The culmination of the program evaluation is the submission of our report. We provide detailed recommendations prioritized to enable you to decide how to enhance your program. Recommendations include references to codes and standards.