September 30th may mark the end of National Preparedness Month, but it by no means signals the end to your organization’s readiness and response efforts.
Whether your emergency preparedness program is in the infantile stages or fully mature, there is always work to be done and improvements to be made. Hence, our final post in Send Word Now’s “Ready” blog mini-series, which aligns with FEMA’s popular “Ready” public outreach campaign, and to date, has focused on the Agency’s five key steps in developing a successful emergency preparedness program.
Today, we’ll focus on step five, Program Improvement.
Program Improvement is your opportunity to:
1) Review and amend any issues discovered during step four, Testing & Exercises (make sure these changes are well documented, understood by all involved parties, and maintained on file)
2) Critique your organization’s past performance in response to critical incidents and take corrective action, if necessary, to fill any gaps (don’t make the same mistakes twice)
3) Share in lessons learned by others in your business community or industry, and apply best practices as identified by trade associations, professional groups and others (resources such as these are plentiful and most often, free)
FEMA suggests reviews of the preparedness program should be conducted periodically and whenever the effectiveness of the program is questioned. Common triggers for these reviews include, but are not limited to new or changed processes, new or changed hazards, a company, division or business unit being acquired, budget amendments, or a new product or service being launched or withdrawn.
Regardless of the reason(s) or timing, these reviews should assess compliance with policies; determine whether performance objectives are being met; assess the adequacy of program implementation; and determine whether preventive and corrective actions have been taken on previously identified deficiencies. Through such reviews, your organization will also ensure:
• Plans and procedures have been reviewed and are up to date
• Team rosters have been updated to ensure membership is current
• Contact information for team members, public agency contacts, contractors, vendors and suppliers is accurate and on hand
• Resources (e.g., systems, equipment and supplies) are in place and properly maintained
These measures, in particular, are key to effectively carrying out the critical communications strategy – manual or automated – outlined within your organization’s preparedness program.
At Send Word Now, we believe there’s something to be said for the old adage, “There’s always room for improvement.” That’s why we continually build upon our award-winning Alerting Service by offering such features as Self-Registration Portal, WeatherBlast® and Desktop Alerting, and bring new products like SWN Direct to market. It’s also why we are compelled to share relevant, timely information with you through white papers, webinars, blog posts and other means.
Thank you for following our “Ready” blog mini-series during September, National Preparedness Month. We hope you found the content useful, and that you will continue to rely on us and other credible sources like FEMA to support your organization’s continued resilience.