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24/7 Software Blog

When is the last time you took a close look at your emergency management plan (EMP)?

It’s probably been a while, right? But, you know you need to be on top of it – especially with 2017 rolling in quickly.

Your EMP defines how your team responds in critical situations. From adverse weather to bomb threats, everything is outlined in your plan.

The plan in a binder, on a shelf, in the back of your office…

Far from anyone that would need it.

Sound familiar?

You’re probably not using half of the protocols either, are you? Even worse, your team is “winging it” when incidents happen.

Let’s be honest. This practice doesn’t work.

It’s not effective, and it’s a dangerous way to run your operation. It puts your people, property, and guests at risk.

You’re probably still using pen and paper too. This practice also needs to change. 

21st century here you come!

Today is not like any other Monday.

It is exam day.

You expect your college campus to fill up with “eager” students running to their exams. You even enjoy it because you reminisce your college days.

You remember, the panic to make your exam on time, the late night cram, and a month’s worth of coffee your parents sent you – finished in one week.

You think to yourself every semester, “Those were the days.” Sometimes you miss them.

As you finish daydreaming, you make it to your office at 7:15 AM. You start making your rounds on the radio.

“Come in, John.” John, your security supervisor, responds, “Morning.” He is making his way to your office for your Monday morning supervisor meeting. “I’ll be there in 10 minutes; I have to check something out at the library.” “10-4,” you reply.

You grab a cup of coffee and start reviewing the high priority reports on your desk.

Emotions run high on exam day, so you expect to be interrupted with calls. It happens all the time. A student cuts another student in line at the testing lab. A brief altercation erupts, and then everyone moves on his or her way.

You are in charge, which unfortunately means you have to get involved to ensure there is no need for an incident report.

Five minutes after you begin reviewing reports, it happens. John comes in over the radio. You are expecting the usual.

However, this call is not the usual.

90,000 fans are screaming for their home team.

It is the final minutes of the 4th quarter for Thursday Night Football. Your home team is down by seven points with 2:42 left on the clock.

You are watching the clock, but not because your biggest concern is whether the team scores to tie the game.

You know that you are two minutes and forty-two seconds away from a smooth egress going off without a hitch.

You finish up your protein bar and start to pack your briefcase. The weather is beautiful, so you call your wife to Google a restaurant for a much deserved Thursday night dinner by the water.

The refs call the two-minute warning on the field.

Your team has everything under control. You start making your way down the hall. It looks like you will be able to hit the road a few minutes early tonight.

However, you start hearing loud chatter throughout the hallway. Then, your radio goes off. Your team is trying to contact you.

On Tuesday, November, 17 the FBI along with many other law enforcement agencies conducted security training at Levi’s Stadium in preparation for Super Bowl 50 in February.

The training involved SWAT teams, bomb and hazardous materials (HAZMAT) units, and medical staff. Over 100 people participated, inclusive of helicopters that flew over the stadium.

Rick Smith, a former FBI agent, and training participate made a precise, extremely important, and intriguing comment that caught our attention:

“It takes the coordination in the event something happens. Every time there’s a major event there’s a problem with radio.”

This statement really got us thinking.

When was the last time you reviewed your emergency management plan?

You probably have one sitting on the shelf somewhere collecting dust…but what good is that doing you?

You might be wondering:

“Does my team really know what to do in the event of adverse weather? How would they handle a bomb threat? How is everything communicated to my need-to-know staff?”

Are you using an incident management system to organize, track and manage your high priority issues?

Sure, these protocols are organized and outlined in your emergency management plan binder. Every protocol you’ve established is well written with a complete list for each issue and incident related to your venue.

You even do an annual training workshop for new and returning staff that includes role-playing to perfect response times.

Imagine, you’re celebrating your winnings from an exciting Halloween night aboard the Bahamas Celebration cruise line.

Then all of a sudden the lights dim, then they begin to flicker. “Oh, this is fun!”

As you’re exclaiming to your family the cruise line is putting on a haunted house show…you realize something.

No haunted house production here – this is for real! The ship you’re on hit something. We’re not talking about a little nudge.

We’re talking about a Costa Concordia type of hit. You know, the incident that occurred off Isola del Giglio in Tuscany back in 2012. An incident that lead to the loss of 32 lives.

What occurred around 9 p.m. Halloween night is a similar incident proving to be as real as it gets. The Bahamas Celebration cruise was en route to Florida when it struck an unknown obstruction, lost power and was forced to return to port on the Grand Bahama Island.

Passengers on board were to be immediately evacuated…BUT that never happened according to plan. That’s because it appears there was no incident management plan in place or no one knew how to communicate it if one ever existed.