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“What should we do now?” “What should we say?”

How you answer the question “What should we do now?” can have far reaching implications for your company or organization.  Preparedness and Resiliency are key brand attributes for every company. Crises come as surprises. Control of events and message are lost. Impacts accelerate. Public scrutiny intensifies.

Are you ready? How do you know? Are you sure?

Most executives are trained to make decisions based upon information, data, and policy. In a crisis,
•    Information is generally wrong
•    Data is not available
•    Policies do not exist
•    Command & Control is lost
•    Brand & reputation are under attack
•    Leadership is involved and engaged personally
•    Impacts are disproportional
•    Events are escalating
•    Speed is quality or even survival
•    You are the center of media focus

The above dynamics work aggressively against traditional empirical management decision processes. Decisions must be made quickly with limited and often incorrect information. A crisis is not business as usual. A crisis is business as unusual. Crises have a short duration, but have consequences that can determine the viability of a business or organization for years to come. If you are explaining, you are losing.

Crises have impacts – for good and bad. Every crisis starts with a combination of opportunity and danger. Where the risk/crisis conundrum balances depends upon your initial critical decisions, your crisis communications, your monitoring of events, and your adjustments made to strategy and actions as events develop.  Your company’s reputation, brand, legacy, and profitability hang in the balance in a crisis.  Crises are personal. Every crisis is a human crisis. It is your company. It is your people. It is your brand. It is your reputation. It is your career. Doing the wrong thing or doing nothing can create a point of no return.


In a Crisis now? 770-643-1114

FIRESTORM® transforms crisis into value.  The FIRESTORM PREDICT.PLAN.PERFORM.® methodology combines C-Suite level consulting, dynamic software solutions, and proven crisis management expertise to empower clients to create resilient organizations. FIRESTORM is a nationally recognized leader in Crisis Management, Continuity Planning, Critical Decision Support, Crisis Response, Crisis Communications, Crisis Public Relations, and Consequence Management.

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Recent blog posts
antivac
Last week, an e-mail popped into our in box calling for voters in California and Vermont to campaign against state laws that will limit the allowable exemptions from mandatory vaccinations.  Sent by an organization called Citizens for Health, the appeal cites “bodily integrity and personal and domestic sovereignty”, alluding to some vague, potential loss of liberty and founding constitutional principles. Notably absent from this appeal is any mention of the responsibilities that necessarily accompany freedom.  What Citizens for Health considers “the essence of American liberty” – the right to refuse an immunization – inherently includes the ability to pose risk to others.  Refusing a vaccination places you at risk for contracting the particular disease.  Once infected, you become a vector for transmission.  You are now a danger to infants, transplant recipients,...
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socialgraffiti
Connecticut Restricts Employer Access to Personal Social Media, E-mail and Online Retail Accounts of Employees and Applicants Summary: On May 19, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute restricting an employer’s ability to gain access to social media, e-mail and other personal online accounts of employees and job applicants. Connecticut is the twentieth state to enact such legislation. Connecticut’s law generally is in line with similar state laws, having no outlier provisions that could pose a particular compliance challenge for multi-state employers. Analysis: Connecticut Public Act 15-6 does not have an impact on accessing publicly available information and converting it into actionable intelligence. We are this point in time on the cutting edge of social media risk regulations, laws, and best practices. The best analogy? If someone writes a mess...
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Register Webinar Image
On August 26, 2015, Firestorm will be offering an Interactive Virtual Crisis Exercise for schools and business to focus on critical decisions and consequence management. For Schools For Business   For Schools, the session will be held from 11-12:30 p.m. Interactive Virtual Crisis Exercise for Schools Prepare for the new school year and gather your teams in a conference room to experience this unique, 90-minute Virtual Crisis Exercise led by nationally recognized crisis expert Jim Satterfield. This no-fee, national exercise will allow participants to experience a crisis environment, learn how and why of actions and communications, and see how other schools in the nation are responding to crises and disaster. Who should attend? Senior Crisis Team Members, Emergency/Safety Teams, Communication Team Members and school leadership who wish to work together more effectively duri...
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home depot
The first of June not only brings sunshine and summer activity planning, it also marks the beginning of Hurricane Season. For those who live and work close to coastal lines, taking necessary precautions for disaster is extremely important. According to Ready.Gov, hurricanes can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour and be accompanied by tornadoes and microbursts. Excessive flooding and heavy rain must be expected during storms with damages occurring hundreds of miles inland. Last week, The Home Depot released supply lists to help customers prepare and recover for hurricane season. The home improvement store suggested those who live in hurricane-prone areas to follow precautionary steps by stocking up on the following materials: Preparing for a Hurricane: Building Materials Plywood and sheathing Storm and hurricane panels Weatherstripping Builder’s hardware Generator...
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mers 1
The 1990 play “Six Degrees of Separation” popularized a theory first espoused in 1929 by Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy; that the modern world was “shrinking” due to the ever-increasing connectedness of human beings. Today, that nearly century old concept is proving itself in the worlds of travel, commerce and communicable disease.   The widespread alarm over Ebola diverted the public’s attention away from another emerging and highly dangerous disease, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). MERS is an illness caused by the coronavirus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that emerged in the Arabian Peninsula, having been first identified in 2012. MERS is fatal in 3-4 of 10 cases. While most cases of MERS were confined to the Middle East, three people in the United States were diagnosed as having the disease. These cases occurred in Indiana and Texas and had ...
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Posted by on in Management Team
DRJ 2015 Fall World
Firestorm is pleased to be a Silver Sponsor for the DRJ FallWorld 2015. The 2015 DRJ Fall World Conference will be held in San Diego, CA from September 27-29. The theme for the 2015 Conference is Business Resiliency Today, Tomorrow and Beyond. The conference is the “premier business continuity conference” in the world. It brings together the best in the business continuity education, technology and research. The first Firestorm session is entitled Crisis Chaos Management: When Data Breach Strikes. The workshop (Session 5) will be held Sunday, September 27 from 1-3:30 p.m. Firestorm Business Crisis-Risk™ Leader, Jack Healey, will be the session speaker. When a Cyber-Risk, Data Breach occurs, the company’s profits, people, brand, and reputations are at stake. Understanding how business crisis-risk evolves, how to identify the onset of the data breach, what steps should be taken and whe...
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PTSD
I have been a frequent and persistent advocate for the importance of providing psychological as well as physical aid for people who have endured traumatic hyper-stress experiences. I think that such post-disaster care should be integral aspects of any crisis management or disaster recovery planning. A recent CNN report on the horrific devastation inflicted by floods in Texas (Race to Find Survivors after Texas Flood) describes the emotional and psychological toll experienced by the survivors. The agony of those who lost homes and businesses is even more severe for those whose family, friends and even pets are among the injured, missing or killed in the floods. Events such as this natural disaster result in physical and emotional devastation for a wide range of people. Obviously, it will take time for those injured to heal, for those grieving to mourn and for business to get back to some...
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Houston alert
In a recent Firestorm and Black Swan webinar, Michelle Colosimo, Black Swan Solutions Director, explains the financial impact of closing down an airport for a day. In that day, the airport would lose $12 million in revenue. It is an extreme example, but signifies how disastrous shutting down a business can be for its livelihood. This is what businesses in Houston are facing due to flash floods from Monday. After a torrential downpour Monday evening, the Houston metro area remained underwater Tuesday morning. An astounding 11 inches of rain fell over the city causing bayous to swell far past their limits, stranding drivers on highways and prompting a flash flood emergency. According to the Washington Post, heavy rain began to spread across the Houston area around 9 p.m. Monday night. It was the southern flank of a line of storms pushing east across the southern U.S., associated with a d...
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Posted by on in School Violence
ies cover
In May 2015, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) published its “First Look” analysis of survey data on school safety for the school year 2013-2014. The NCES is a government organization chartered in response to a Congressional mandate to collect and analyze statistical data characterizing public schools throughout the United States. It is important to understand that this report: Considers only safety/security in public schools Is an initial report and does not include prioritized findings or recommendations The data was collected via a survey and therefore represents self-reported data The response rate for the survey was 86 percent representing more than 54,000 elementary, middle and high schools. A sample of this size should yield statistically significant information. Based on the “selected findings,” data tables and remarks captured in footnotes included in...
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NWS norman 4
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) experienced a crisis of their own Sunday when their weather radios went out of service throughout Oklahoma. The outage was caused when a fiber cable was cut near Wayne, OK. Although the service was restored early Monday, Oklahoma residents were unable to hear any type of weather warnings from the radio. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Norman reported that Level II radar data remained unavailable for sites in Tulsa, OK and Fort Smith, Arkansas throughout Monday. Additionally, another outage was reported in Booneville, Mississippi on Sunday. Although the radios were down, NWS of Norman continued to keep residents updated via their Twitter page; posting real-time updates of the outage. The account also updated followers of any weather updates. Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong; and usu...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Memorial-Day
Barbeques, parades, festivities and no work or school. Memorial Day is just around the corner, but let's not forget the reason for the holiday: to remember those who have fallen in war. Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971. Following the Civil War, Americans began decorating the graves of fallen soldiers and holding springtime tributes. Waterloo, New York became the official birthplace of the holiday in 1966. The town was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated with flowers and flags. For many years, Memorial Day was observed on May 30. In 1968, however, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established the holiday would be the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The act was approved and went into effect in 1971. If you're looking to...
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Data-Collection
This blog originally posted on the Community & Regional Resilience Institute  One of my favorites among the myriad definitions of resilience is a generalization of ones developed by Brown, and by Adger: Resilience is positive adaptation to perceived change. I like this definition because its few words hint at so much more – just as a shell held to our ear echoes the vast ocean from which it came. This simple definition implies change – or what else is adaptation? While the definition indicates that the adaptation is an improvement, it does not state an endpoint; thus, resilience can be seen in coming back from disaster whether or not the Old Normal is reached. The definition is ecumenical – the perceived change may be a threat or an opportunity. In either case, the definition requires that the change and its potential consequences are recognized, and that that recognition le...
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marijuana
The Colorado Legislature is set to debate a bill that would authorize the use of medical marijuana in elementary and high schools in the state. While far from certain that the bill will pass or that other states will follow suit, it is vitally important that schools and school districts consider the implications of such a law. The logic behind the Colorado bill is that school children are currently allowed to take medications at school – under a specific set of rules. The medicines must be prescribed and they cannot be self-administered. The student must take the medications under the supervision of an authorized school official (frequently, the school nurse or the school nurse’s aide or assistant). The currently permitted medications include psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin, and the bill proposes to treat medical marijuana in the same manner. The purpose of this article is not to di...
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IMG 4946
Visit the Florence Township Fire Department GoFundMe Page Day in and day out, firefighters, police officers and other first responders risk their lives for their community. Some make this their lifelong profession, others voluntarily run toward fires, accidents and other emergency situations. All do this to protect their family, friends and community members - us. What happens when the tables are turned and the brave men and women who protect are the ones in danger? What happens when a fire station goes up in flames and destroys the very engines and gear that have saved hundreds of lives and homes? The Florence Township Fire Department firefighters found themselves in this very situation last week. Nestled in North West Ohio, the Florence Township Fire Department (located in Edon, Ohio) is a volunteer-based fire department comprised of 32 firefighters that serve 49 square miles. It...
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Rock Hill Run and Ramble banner
Firestorm Founders Race to Fight Against Leukemia and Lymphoma -  A Father's Day Tradition Runners and ramblers from throughout the Hudson Valley will support a great cause during the 23rd Annual Rhulen Rock Hill Run & Ramble (R4) on June 20th, 9 a.m. EDT in Rock Hill, New York. The 5K walk/run will raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America, the R4 Patient Fund, Catskill Regional Medical Center and other worthy charities. The event is one of the longest running road races in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. “The Rhulen Run & Ramble is a Father’s Day-weekend tradition that raises people’s awareness of blood-related cancers, and although the event is lots of fun, and focuses on health and wellness, we must remember why we do it—to save lives” said Firestorm co-founder Suzanne Rhulen Loughlin, the race director and daughter of the race’s honoree, the l...
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FIRESTORM® transforms crisis into value.  The FIRESTORM PREDICT.PLAN.PERFORM.® methodology combines C-Suite level consulting, dynamic software solutions, and proven crisis management expertise to empower clients to create resilient organizations. FIRESTORM is a nationally recognized leader in Crisis Management, Continuity Planning, Critical Decision Support, Crisis Response, Crisis Communications, Crisis Public Relations, and Consequence Management.

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