Emergency Readiness at Your Site

In the last few weeks, I’ve written a few posts about how our customers enjoyed a year well spent with AllClear. Each of them began 2022 with a deep concern about their ability to perform their role of accounting for everyone effectively. This is natural because the nature of Emergency Readiness is to ask the question: “What if?”. Their success came because they could foresee and articulate a risk and do the work to close the gap. Used properly, “What if?” can lead to taking action to address a potential issue. A good example is in my last post about power outages.

Used incorrectly, “What if?” can be used as an excuse to do nothing, such as “What if it doesn’t work? What if I can’t get the project funded? What if I get shot down by [insert corporate function here]?” There’s an answer to each one of these but only if the person asking the question is sincere in their vow to fulfill their duty to account for everyone on site. If they’re not, the question serves as an excuse to avoid “wasting” their time. This brings to mind another great example from 2022 of someone using “What if?” correctly.

Frank is the archetype of the highly skilled and passionate Emergency Response professional. He’s active in peer learning and sharing. Through industry conferences and associations, he is constantly upgrading his knowledge and skills. He is committed to serving his employer to the best of his ability with the clear evidence being that his daughter now works for them too.

His competence enabled him to see that his site’s accountability system was broken. He had a deep concern that he wouldn’t be able to account for everyone if a real emergency took place which is a core purpose of his role. While trying to be positive in his efforts, this vulnerability weighed on his morale. He needed to break through somehow.

To him, the key was to convince leadership, who was satisfied with the status quo, that it wasn’t good enough. Frank believed that his leadership was simply unaware of the reality and would support him if he could present them with the evidence. But how could he prove the existence of a problem when, for years, the site performed accountability drills with 100% accountability?

Then it came to him. The process required accountability marshals (many from contracting companies) to confirm that their group was accounted for by reporting it to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Frank wasn’t convinced that the marshals were able to perform that role accurately so he asked himself “What if the marshals don’t do their job correctly?” So, just before the next drill began, Frank asked 2 contractors to join him in the EOC. As the drill progressed, each marshal reported 100% accounted for – including the marshals that were missing Frank’s 2 guests in the EOC!

As a result, Frank had irrefutable evidence that the accountability process was broken. As expected, the site leadership was grateful for his effort to spotlight a potentially disastrous vulnerability and supported his project to close it. Today, the site can account for its entire population quickly and accurately, and Frank feels much more confident in his ability to continue to improve the Emergency Response process. He could have easily looked the other way, as his predecessors did, but his competence, passion, and pride in his work made that impossible.

Will this be your year to move the needle with AllClear?