NFPA 1600, EMAP and the various professional organizations generate helpful, commendable and applicable tools … but they yet remain on the journey to understanding why academe is so fundamentally different, and therefore how its crisis management tools should be reconsidered.
Standard protocol dictates that we apply currently acceptable benchmarks like NFPA 1600 to these organizations and end up with a NIMS/ICS plan that will work. The good news is that the NFPA tool leaves no stone unturned – more challenging is the time, staff, energy, collaboration, organizational complexities, expertise and unique approach required for an educational institution to use this tool. (Also problematic is the apparent absence of actual rubrics for these tools – lt me know if you find some.)
If you’ve spent any time in emergency management, especially in traditional settings like business, state or local government, the knowledge available is extensive and thorough. We identify potential hazards and rank them to make the task more manageable, then plug on through the planning process until thoughtful and well-exercised plans are in place.
But have you noticed that the hazard part is getting trickier? Earthquakes, fires, hazmat incidents and even terrorism are certainly better understood than they were ten years ago. But what are we missing? What are the hazards yet to be comprehended which will create unpleasant surprises? [Read more...]