Why Measure Organizational Resiliency and Why PS-Prep Makes Sense

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Why Measure Organizational Resiliency?

Why PS-Prep Makes Sense

By Jim Satterfield, Firestorm COO

Considering the devastating straight-line winds and violent storms across the Midwest and East Coast over the past two weeks, the resulting loss of power for millions of businesses and homes, and the outage of numerous high-profile websites hosted on Amazon’s Cloud, we’ve been thinking a lot about the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program or PS-Prep™.

In March of this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that AT&T Inc. became the first private sector company to be certified to DHS-selected standards under the PS-Prep™ Program.

PS-Prep™ is a partnership between DHS and the private sector – enabling private entities to receive emergency preparedness certification.

“Private organizations across the country play a vital role in bolstering our disaster preparedness and response capabilities,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I commend AT&T for achieving PS-Prep™ certification, and encourage other private sector partners to work with the PS-Prep™ program to further enhance the readiness and resiliency of our Nation.”

AT&T’s certification is the first under the PS-Prep™ program, administered by DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency. The PS-Prep™ program enables private sector organizations to enhance their capabilities for planning, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters and other threats.

The engagement of the private sector in disaster preparedness is a critical component of a secure and resilient Nation under the National Preparedness Goal.

To this point, at Firestorm, we know that mapping the right route to any destination requires some mission-critical facts: Starting point. Distance. Best and alternate routes.

Without this information, the map is unlikely to guide you or your organization to the right outcome in an efficient manner. These same principles apply for business continuity, workplace violence and communicable illness planning.

As per FEMA, First Steps to Preparedness include:

  • Evaluating the critical areas of your firm (clients, staff, data files, facilities) and assess what the impacts to those areas would be if disrupted by a range of hazards (i.e. natural disaster, terrorist attack, flood, fire)
  • Taking a candid look at procedures/best practices you have in place for handling those potential impacts.
  • Consider your firm’s missions, internal resources, and departments, and choose a path best suited to your goals: best practices, preparing to a standard, or third party certification.
  • Assess how the firm’s internal practices align with the chosen route of preparedness.
  • Develop a plan to continually maintain and strengthen the firm’s state of preparedness.

To reach your goals of comprehensive preparedness, best practices and regulatory compliance, you must have accurate measurements that provide quantitative assessments. Those measurements can be used to answer a variety of critical questions:

  • Where does your organization stand today?
  • Where does your program need to improve?
  • How much progress are you making in various initiatives?

Firestorm® has designed a unique series of products and services to help organizations measure various initiatives associated with their preparedness programs. The resulting numerical ratings represent key pieces of business data in the relationship of one or more dimensions – your PREACTION INDEX™.

The PREACTION INDEX™ establishes a consistent basis of evaluation and comparison. With this important metric, you can assess how one vendor compares to another; evaluate your organization’s progress toward preparedness; quantify for senior management the urgency of action; and demonstrate the return on investment of instilling a corporate Culture of Preparedness. The PREACTION INDEX™ and related analyses of key measurement points can be focused on numerous areas of overall business preparedness. Firestorm’s Self-Assessment products have been used to:

Practical Application: Firestorm’s Assessment Services

Those businesses not in compliance – in this case unable to document best practices in continuity – face possible loss of contracts with the government and government suppliers, and loss or cost increase for insurance and credit lines.

Firestorm’s process and proprietary software provide a quick, cost-efficient approach to generate a detailed findings report on your current level of preparedness.

Based on your answers to questions spanning 11 dimensions of readiness, our tools provide a complete high-level review and measurement against PS-Prep standards, required of your organization and your critical supply chain vendors.

When the government – or your largest customer – asks if your company is PS-Prep certified, not having the right answer could jeopardize your business, revenues, and shareholder value.

Don’t know where to start? We do. Call us: (800) 321-2219


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