We are slowly seeing Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plans becoming more popular for organizations ranging from government, private sector, and not for profit. There are numerous lessons learned that promote the benefits of these efforts to reduce the impacts from an incident on your organization, decrease down time, and increase the overall chances of your organization surviving a disaster. Most COOP plans, however, are focused on organizational operations and mission essential functions, which is great, but organizations must remember that none of these can be performed without staff.
The ability of an organization to care for its staff, to the greatest extent possible, will not only support the organization’s recovery, it’s also the right thing to do. Consider that taking care of staff also includes taking care of their families. It’s difficult for a staff member to come to work focused on your mission when they have family members endangered by a disaster.
What can you do? I don’t think anyone expects their employer to take care of all needs, but a bit of support and understanding go a long way. If your organization has a direct role in emergency or disaster response or recovery, the support you provide your staff is even more critical. While I have a number of tips and lessons learned from my own experiences on this, I came across a paper recently published by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). While ASPR’s mission is to support hospitals and other healthcare facilities, this four-page document provides great information for all organizations.
Remember – the time to prepare is now!
© 2017 – Timothy Riecker, CEDP