Crisis Lessons – Chicago’s CP3 Partnership

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How soon could your business reopen after a crisis?

Emergency PortalDaveFloraBy Dave Flora, Firestorm Principal, Chicago

One of the many lessons learned from the Boston Marathon bombings was the need for better public and private sector coordination.  In the after action reports, Boston responders cited how difficult the reopening of businesses was along Boylston street, the scene of the crime.

Over 300 buildings—mixed commercial, residential and multi-tenant—were placed behind yellow crime scene tape on that tragic day in April.  For the most part, these buildings were off-limits to tenants, building owners and businesses for up to nine days.  Yet when it came time to allow reentry, there was mass confusion. Something as mundane as collecting keys and determining essential “first in” employees was chaotic and frustrating for both public and private sectors.

In contrast, Chicago addresses these risks through a partnership for a safer and more secure Chicago.  Dubbed the “CP3 Partnership,” Chicago’s Public and Private Partnership initiative allows numerous public agencies to centralize the city’s efforts to better prepare First Responders in a crisis through enhanced information sharing and more timely communication. This voluntary initiative uses a single secure website to collect vital information for safer and more secure Chicago.

The CP3 Partnership program allows building owners, tenants, and multi-building corporations to submit information such as floor plans, HVAC and mechanical diagrams, and inventories of hazardous materials to a secure, centralized portal. Then, when an emergency occurs, that site can be accessed by a consortium of city agencies including the Chicago Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Chicago Police and Fire Departments.

2013 Boston Marathon explosions aftermath emergency services“Information that businesses provide will assist First Responders in addressing an incident and will assist emergency management executives in the development of citywide response plans,” states the program charter. “Information can be updated and submitted in a timely manner, providing instantaneous access to those who need this information in critical situations. . . . All users are included in the CP3 Mass Alert System which provides timely situational awareness and briefs on subject matters specific to issues specific to businesses.”

Membership to the CP3 program for facilities managers, business owners or tenants is as simple as completing a registration application. Yet, security of the portal is assured since all users undergo a vetting process.

For more information on Chicago’s Public and Private Partnership Initiative (CP3), to explore if your community has a similar program, or to know what your business can do to prepare for a crisis, contact Firestorm’s Dave Flora at [email protected].

Boston Image Credit

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