Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Predict.Plan.Perform.® for the Threats of 2017

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Firestorm Principal Ken Mercer wants you to focus on a culture of preparedness in your organization, and we are happy to share the first of a series of essays by Ken to get you started in 2017.

Crisis Management Ken MercerABOUT KEN MERCER

Ken is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in pharmacy.  He brings significant experience to Health Industry businesses with a focus on Hospitals and Senior Care Centers.  He has managed retail, nursing home, and hospital pharmacies and has owned a successful business during his twenty-nine year career.

Ken’s extensive operations management and lean principals experience provides our customers with a global business perspective with a clear and profound connection to the impact on human well-being and safety.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Predict.Plan.Perform.® for the Threats of 2017

What threats to your business keep you up at night?  What do you worry about?  In analyzing the risks to your business perhaps this is a good first question.

  • Natural disasters represent the one truly non-preventable crisis. However with good planning and intelligence, your risk of lose due to the event can be minimized.
  • Workplace violence is seen in the news every day. If you were to have an incident of workplace violence in your organization the data shows that you can expect sixty percent of all your employees to leave within eighteen months.
  • A communicable illness outbreak can result in forty percent of your employees not being available for work.
  • Are you susceptible to a cyber breach? The FBI says that there are two kinds of companies, those that know they’ve been breached and those that have been breached and don’t know it. With a cyber breach you’re required to report.  Do you know that a large retailer spent $22 million in just postage to mail out notifications to customers whose data may have been compromised in a 2014 cyber breach?
  • Have you ever been forced to evacuate your building? In school we conducted fire drills to practice evacuating the school. Do you have an emergency response plan to implement and efficiently manage evacuation if required for a fire, bomb threat, or natural disaster?
  • Do you have a media relations plan? Do you have message maps that are pre-written and can be used during a moment of stress when the microphone is pushed in your face? Saying the wrong thing can be just as damaging as the original crisis.
  • Your response to any crisis, if not done well, will result in your second crisis. How efficiently can you communicate directly to all of your stakeholders in a crisis without going through the media?

The risk of threats you’re subject to is analyzed with a risk assessment and business impact analysis.  Once your threats are known you can begin planning to mitigate the damage should the event occur.  Risks that can’t be mitigated through planning can be insured against.

The task of preparedness might seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be with the right expertise.

Please join me for my next topic to discuss workplace violence prevention.  For more information I can be reached through our Contact form.

Ken Mercer is a Principal of Firestorm, a national consultancy focusing on risk analysis, preparedness planning, and crisis management. Our mission is to uncover an organization’s risks and vulnerabilities, develop plans and procedures to mitigate damages, and implement a robust training and testing program to quickly and efficiently respond to crises.

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