Our clients use crisis and emergency planning interchangeably. However, CMCG believes that these two concepts differ slightly in their focus. Emergency plans establish immediate emergency response actions to respond to natural (e.g., tornadoes, hurricane, weather events), technological (e.g., fire, data loss), and human (e.g., bomb threat, bus accident, missing children) events. These emergency actions focus on the tactical activities to, for example, evacuate a school campus or restore power to the physical plant. A crisis plan is more strategic focusing on addressing emergency issues AND anticipating escalating issues that threaten the viability and reputation of the institution. CMCG encourages clients to create all-hazards, integrated plans that address the full spectrum of emergency management: Crisis, emergency and business continuity.
CMCG consultants will review your school plan against our expertise and best practices exhibited by peer institutions, as well as other industries. We will identify planning gaps and make recommendations to improve overall preparedness.
The Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education and most recently the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission are encouraging schools to adopt the National Incident Command System (NIMS), Incident Command System (ICS) as their internal response organization. ICS is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards incident management approach that:
- Allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure.
- Enables a coordinated response among various jurisdictions and functional agencies, both public and private.
- Establishes common processes for planning and managing resources.
ICS is flexible and can be used for incidents of any type, scope and complexity. ICS allows its users to adopt an integrated organizational structure to match the complexities and demands of single or multiple incidents.
However, implementing ICS can be daunting. CMCG consultants are experts in creating ICS-based response organizations and we understand schools may only need a scaled down version of ICS. Whether your institution is considering ICS or simply an evaluation, CMCG can assist.