The all-hazards approach to incident planning

Neil Conchie
December 2, 2020 9:31 AM

When you are trying to plan for an emergency it can be hard to know where to start and how to create a system that will be effective. We look at the all-hazards approach to incident planning to help you create an effective emergency communications plan.

The all-hazards approach is an integrated approach which includes considering possible hazards and how likely they are to occur within your business or to your employees and planning for those. This doesn’t necessarily mean planning for every possible emergency, but to focus on ensuring that you have the capabilities and capacity if an incident should occur. This will allow you to respond to a wide range of emergencies by ensuring you have the correct leadership, training and systems in place in a way which is effective and scalable.

1. What are the possible emergencies?

The first step in this approach is to identify possible hazards, and it is wise here to take into account that not all hazards are likely in every place and to look more at incidents which are relevant and have the potential to cause the most disruption to your business. Here are some of the more common events that could trigger an incident response

  • IT Outages
  • Weather-related incidents
  • Power outages
  • Fire
  • Cyber Security Incidents or Breaches
  • Security Issues
  • Health & Safety Incidents
  • Pandemic Updates

2. Put Protocols in place

You now have the blueprint to create a standard protocol for your team to follow in the case of an emergency or critical incident, but because you have looked at a variety of potential incidents your protocols will be more flexible and allow you to respond to a range of incidents efficiently.

3. Create action steps

There are a range of action steps that can be created, and they may vary depending on the incident you are planning for. Your action steps are going to shape the way you respond as a business and how you can keep your team safe regardless of the task at hand. Here are some ideas of steps you can include.

  • Ensuring placement of first aid kits or fire extinguishers
  • Providing training for your employees
  • Testing processes for essential systems such as fire alarms and fire drills
  • Alternative systems in the case of IT outages
  • Appointing named people for incident response
  • Identifying communication procedures

Communication is key

Whatever plan you make, ensuring that it is communicated to all of your team is paramount to ensuring business continuity in an emergency or crisis situation.

This includes making sure that everyone is aware of the plan before an incident has happened, and this can include having a centralised dashboard, adding it to your staff handbooks and taking a step further creating templates that can quickly be distributed in the case of emergency.

Do you have a plan for any potential incidents? Why not schedule a demo to see how Klaxon can help you prepare for any eventuality.