In the past, emergency preparedness for crises like shootings or natural disasters in your workplace may have felt a bit over-the-top. “That wouldn’t happen here,” you’d say. “I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
And then you turn on the news.
Rethinking Emergency Preparedness
Whether these incidents have multiplied lately or just didn’t get enough reporting in the past, the reality is that the frequency of workplace disasters is alarming.
Lest you think we’re being dramatic, here’s a sampling in the span of seven days:
- 11/7 – 26 dead in Texas church shooting [CBS News]
- 11/13 – Doctor shot at Ohio hospital [USA Today]
- 11/14 – Gunman kills 5, wounds 10 in California elementary school [CNN]
Dr. Mayur Narayan, a trauma surgeon in New York, recalls when mass casualty incidents were a “one-off,” as he described to CNN. Now, mass casualties have become so frequent, it’s forcing hospitals, businesses, and schools to think carefully about emergency preparedness and response.
But it takes adequate training and equipment not to botch your response, Narayan adds.
At a minimum, that entails the ability to instantly disseminate emergency alerts to multiple audiences using multiple messaging formats, integrating communications systems to make that possible, and integrating physical building security.
But how do you do that, specifically, and what tools do you need in your arsenal — particularly if money is tight?
Emergency Resources for Businesses
In previous posts, we rounded up free crisis response resources to get you started. You’ll find them listed below:
Emergency Preparedness Checklists
Now, we understand even these resources may be overwhelming at first glance, so we’ve compiled printable checklists summarizing needs and potential solutions for specific types of organizations:
Note that enhancing your emergency management strategy doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, or require a massive upfront investment. Rather, we’ve helped many organizations increase their capabilities using tools they already have today, then gradually refining them over time.
“I think everybody, no matter where you are, needs to think about this,” said Christopher Combs, FBI special agent, to CNN. Whether in a school, university, church or business, “we should all be thinking about what we are going to do if a crisis breaks out right here.”