A Holiday Message from Firestorm – Jim Satterfield Reflects on 2016 and Looks Ahead to 2017

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Happy New Year 2017

Wow, another year has passed. I hope 2016 represented a year of happiness and success for you, your family and your business. As the year draws to a close, we think about all that we are grateful for. Thank you for all you do to protect your organizations and assure their resilience. Thousands of you participated in Firestorm Virtual Exercises and webinars with Firestorm in 2016. Working together, we can all continue to help to make a difference.

Every crisis is a human crisis. Unfortunately, we have all seen increasing behaviors of concern and violence around our schools and businesses. Threat of violence appears to be the new norm.

We have come to recognize Crisis As a Peril®. As part of that recognition, the rate of change is impacting us all in new ways, causing historical plans to fall short at the most critical time. During 2016, we have seen organizations jump immediately to perform in a crisis, bypassing the critical predict and plan stages. As a result, mistakes were made. PREDICT.PLAN.PERFORM.®

The New Year provides us with the opportunity to make a difference in our organizations. How can your plans transform crisis into value?

Jim Satterfield Firestorm President and COO

Jim Satterfield Firestorm President and COO

First, update your vulnerability threat assessment. Do your plans address emerging risks like cyber breach, rate of change, and violence? Have you identified their impacts? Do you have an open-source intelligence plan to monitor traditional and new emerging risks? Do you have defined risk triggers to activate your plans? How does your insurance coverage respond to each vulnerability, risk and threat?

Second, make sure your plans are up-to-date and actionable. Most plans Firestorm reviews are out of date and not actionable (Does your plan say what to do, but not how to do it?). Share your plan with a new employee. Describe a potential crisis event. Ask them to use the plan to determine immediate actions and identify potential consequences. If they can’t find information in the plan or don’t know the next steps, your plans won’t work. Align your program with best practices before the next crisis.

Third, engage everyone in your organization to create a culture of preparedness. Most organizations look to a single person or team to own business continuity, security or preparedness. Resilience is everyone’s job. How aware are your employees? How does your senior leadership demonstrate their support? How do you know?

Fourth, if you find your organization in a crisis, call Firestorm immediately. The initial decisions you make, the actions that you take, and the words that you say will determine whether the event stabilizes or escalates. The first hour and day are critical. The Firestorm CRISIS STOP® program provides you with immediate support in the first hour of a crisis at no cost. CRISIS STOP is our commitment to make a difference.

In January, we will announce exciting new capabilities at Firestorm. These changes will include new resources and people.

Last, it has been our sincere honor and pleasure to work with you this year and to assist you in your most critical decisions during crises. On behalf of the entire Firestorm Team, we wish you the best of holidays and a prosperous 2017!


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