Recognizing and Mitigating against COVID-19 Organizational Impacts
In 2023, the U.S. declared the COVID-19 Pandemic “over” (note the word was not “eliminated” or “vanquished” – semantics, moving more towards “endemic” rather than “pandemic”). Many U.S. State and other countries are experiencing a significant decline in positive cases (or is it just another wave of “pauses” in increasing positive cases from new variants?). When might the next wave be coming? What will happen when a hurricane comes ashore? Or an earthquake strikes? Can our expanded use of at-home technology continue to support virtual work? What if a large-scale computer virus attack occurs? Are schools really opening for in-person classes each fall? And how bad is the next election going to be?
Download our free white paper on the subject of Recognizing and Mitigating against COVID-19 Organizational Impacts, which includes sample S.M.A.R.T. goals for business continuity along a POETE (Planning, Organization, Equipment, Training, Exercises) construct.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Social Media Emergency Management (SMEM) Guidance Tool (SMEM Guidance Tool) is an easy-to-use tool designed to support emergency managers (EMs), public information officers (PIOs), and others working in crisis communications with the development of planning materials for SMEM operations. The SMEM Guidance Tool is free and provides potential users a simple, step-by-step line of questioning to create plans to improve SMEM operations within their organizations. It is automated, web accessible, and mobile to enhance usability for practitioners, who often have limited time to dedicate to SMEM planning and operations efforts.
DHS S&T released the existing SMEM Guides (Social Media Business Case Guide, Digital Volunteer Program Guide, and Social Media Plan Guide) in a PDF format as a resource for SMEM practitioners. The SMEM Guidance Tool builds on the existing DHS S&T SMEM Guides (linked below) and provides users with a more robust and user-friendly experience in creating planning materials for SMEM operations. Users can create a Social Media Business Case and Digital Volunteer Program with the tool. The feature for completing a Social Media Plan will be integrated by the end of 2019.
Barton Dunant has created a Reception Center/Shelter Table Top Exercise for government and non-government groups to use for planning for congregate care sheltering in the “new” normal of a Post-COVID-19 world. Things have changed dramatically in mass care, thanks to the pandemic. Many of the standard protocols for sheltering (including reception centers, warming/cooling centers, etc.) are no longer applicable or need significant modifications, along with additional staff training and equipment. COVID-19’s impacts on Sheltering, requires a re-analysis of POETE – Planning, Organization, Equipment, Training and Exercising. Once a jurisdiction re-evaluates its Planning and Organization of congregate care sheltering and identifies and implements additional equipment and training; it is highly prudent to make sure everyone (and everything) is on the same page by conducting a series of exercises – before the need for sheltering comes calling.
Barton Dunant is developing a series of workshops and exercises for the healthcare sector – on crisis communications. What does a Public Health Officer say about a Measles Outbreak, that is impacting multiple locations in their community? What does a hospital tell the public about a MRSA incident at their ER? How should a press release be worded from an assisted living care facility that had a Legionella outbreak?
Let us know what topic (or scenario) you would like to see developed into a workshop and/or exercise series (table top, functional, etc.).
We think the world of Emergency Management has expanded almost exponentially – as it relates to the use of telecommunications devices both by the public to connect with Emergency Services; and also by emergency managers to connect to responders.
We’ve come a long way from the rotary phone days where 911 might have been your only option and you called your responders out on pagers. SmartPhone apps, text alerts and social media are just the tip of the iceberg and the upcoming FirstNet phone system dedicated to responders has the promise of interoperable communications – which started from the 9-11 Commission.
Let us know how your department or agency is leveraging telecommunications for both public information and responder accountability.
What’s the Pink Slice? The Pink Slice is a term used to describe what you don’t know you don’t know. In many aspects of Emergency Management Intelligence (EMINT) and Incident Command, there are things you know – for example what the strategic, operational and tactical objectives should be during a routine response to an incident – and there are of course things you know you don’t know (like whether the incident will escalate beyond your command and control). Some of those things you don’t know may be things other people do know (that’s where Intelligence and Situational Awareness comes into play). There are also things you don’t know what you don’t know – meaning you didn’t even have a clue there was a possibility of this (whatever “this” is) occurring or impacting your Incident Command structure.
The origins of the term “Pink Slice” is credited to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who, in a speech to NATO in 2002, stated:
As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.
And Mr. Rumsfeld probably learned this concept from a 1955 concept called the Johari Window, created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham:
Here’s an example on the use of a Johari window, from McKinsey & Company: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis/charting-the-path-to-the-next-normal/the-great-attrition-stems-from-a-great-disconnect?cid=soc-web
The goals for this post are to have threads that provide good examples of how to shrink the Pink Slice in Emergency Management situations (it does not have to just be Response – it could be any of the other phases of the Disaster Cycle: Preparedness/Protection/Prevention, Mitigation or Recovery). We have started a new thread of comments below – please feel free to add new Pink Slice “Aha” boxes which are Emergency Management related – or add additional Pink Slices to the existing ones above and below. Better knowledge and understanding – and the chance to shrink the Pink Slice a little more each time, is what we hope to achieve.
More than 500 people were treated for scorpion stings in Egypt, when massive flooding – climate change related – impacted the underground homes of the scorpions. Could this happen in the U.S. Southwest?
Details of the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority’s plans for a full ground stop. OSINT indicates they have one, but it has never been activated/implemented across this country.
Which other countries have formal plans to ground airlines in their airspace – and for what reasons?
Did not know that there is a clause in all airline insurance policies, which will effectively ground every commercial flight around the world, if war breaks out between two or more of the top five nations.
The war risk coverage under both hull and liability insurance terminates automatically upon outbreak of war (whether or not declared) between any two or more of France, China, Russia, United Kingdom, U.S., or hostile detonation of any weapon of war employing nuclear fission, etc. (AVN52E; LSW 555D).
What is LIP? It’s an acronym for Life Safety, Incident Stabilization and Property Protection – and those three areas – in that order are the top-line Priorities or Objective Categories of any incident response operation. They must always occur, and be prioritized in that order when it comes to creating Strategies and Tactics on the Operation. When you are considering a Mission Assignment, ask yourself: Does it fit this criteria? Are we making sure our team is safe at all times? Remember Responder Life Safety is always the number 1 priority.
And for our healthcare professional folks – our “LIP” is different from the LIP you may be familiar with: Licensed Independent Practitioners.