The Importance of Emergency Planning

Anna Kotlabova
. 4 min read
Today’s world is more complex and interconnected than ever. This means that emergencies have much further reach than before.
The first moments after an emergency occurs are the most crucial. During this narrow window, the response taken is likely to determine how successful the emergency response will be. WatchKeeper discusses the importance of planning for emergencies in advance and how doing so can help mitigate the impacts of crises on businesses or organisations.

What is emergency planning?

Emergency planning is the act of proactively getting ahead of crises before they damage an organisation. By analysing historical data and trends relevant to the context that an organisation operates in, security teams can preemptively decide on the organisation’s reactions to a variety of plausible future scenarios. For example, if an organisation operates in a tornado zone in Oklahoma, its security team can preemptively create emergency plans for tornadoes, and figure out how they will communicate with stakeholders if tornadoes damage power supplies.
All companies have duty of care obligations to their employees, and this legal responsibility has been made more complicated by the shift toward remote work. This makes it all the more important that organisations take proactive steps to comply with local health and safety regulations which legally require businesses to identify and mitigate threats to their employees wellbeing or life safety.
Good emergency plans are complex. A solid emergency plan will include transparent procedures to follow in a variety of crisis situations and clear duties for security teams responsible for managing the emergency. 

What types of emergencies should you prepare for?

The types of emergencies that an organisation needs to prepare for will vary depending on the complexity of its operations and the amount of facilities or staff it has in numerous locations (or travelling).
Typically, though, there are broad categories of risk events that are likely to affect everyone. For example, pandemics such as the COVID-19 pandemic spread extremely quickly in a hyper-globalised world. Preparing for the next major outbreak is in every organisations’ interest as scientists agree that it is only a matter of time until the next one strikes. 
Other categories of risk events that can happen anywhere include civil unrest or public violence incidents such as protests or shootings. These take different forms depending on location and regulations but most large organisations take steps to prepare for such scenarios. Likewise, climate change continues to increase the frequency and severity of natural disaster events. If an organsiation has operations in California, it is wise to put an emergency plan in place for wildfires. If an organsation has operations in Indonesia, then preparing for earthquakes is prudent. 
If in doubt, looking through historical geospatial data can help organisations discern which types of emergencies are the most likely to affect them, and can then prepare in advance. 

How can technology help you prepare for emergencies?

Today’s world is more complex and interconnected than ever. This means that emergencies have much further reach than before, with COVID-19 demonstrating exactly this. However, technology is advancing rapidly too. The ability to use historic data to predict future emergencies has never been easier. Likewise, as life moves into the digital sphere more and more, the ability to pick out risk alerts from ‘the noise’ has never been more efficient. 
Most organisations are taking preemptive measures to prepare for future emergencies, often these measures include a technological component. For example, WatchKeeper is a geospatial critical event management platform that many organisations are using to be alerted to, and respond to critical events. 

WatchKeeper for emergency planning and response

WatchKeeper’s geospatial critical event management platform allows organisations to view their assets and personal alongside real-time risks on an intuitive map interface. Combined with intelligent alert rules and a user-friendly case management system, WatchKeeper is the ideal solution for organisation emergency planning and response. 
How prepared is your organisation for critical events? Get a bespoke report on your preparedness by taking our short assessment.
To find out more about WatchKeeper, or to request a demo, please visit https://watchkeeper.com or email info@watchkeeper.com.
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