Emergency procedures – flowcharts Joseph McHugh and Sandesh Sheth describe how to construct an emergency procedure flowchart. Introduction: Emergency procedures are the foundation of any crisis management plan. The objective of the emergency procedures is to be able to protect lives and minimize damage to assets and to try to ‘nip the incident in the bud’ before it escalates into a disaster. The authors developed the following emergency procedures flowchart during the implementation of a business continuity management system. The process flows depicted by the flowcharts enable easy understanding and also provide a quick reference guide for all concerned. Caveat: Please adapt them based on your organization’s uniqueness. List of incidents covered: emergency response procedures are used to address incidents that may occur during routine operations. Below is a list of some of the incidents that would trigger the initiation of emergency response procedures: Emergency Response Procedures Explosive Civil Power Water Fire Disturbance Severe Wind Snow Devices Outage Incident We will address each of the emergencies in detail in the following flowcharts. Need: The need is to create flowcharts that convey the first actions to be carried out and the escalations and process flows based on the emerging scenario. Before the construction of the flow charts the following need to be defined: • Primary contacts • Emergency response team members • Crisis management team members • Floor Marshals • Roll call / head count lists • First aid trained personnel • Emergency service providers contact numbers • Emergency contact numbers for all employees • Vendor contact numbers • Call trees for employees, contractors and vendors • Floor plans with detailed information • Building evacuation drills Fire Fire Incident Employees Activate Auto Alarm Activate manually No evacuation activated evacuation activates alarm Yes Evacuees report Employee Alarm to Gathering informs monitoring Point / Safe Area primary service provider No contact contacts organization Roll call taken by Yes team leads Primary Primary contact contact contacts Fire confirms fire Department incident Primary contact Service informs Provider Emergency contacts Fire Response Team Department Emergency Response Fire Engines Team informs arrives Crisis Management Team Crisis Floor Marshals Management brief Crisis Team Leader Management briefs Team using floor Battalion Chief plans Fire Department becomes Incident Commander Fire Department gives All-Clear signal Crisis Management Team directs future actions The following additional details need to be defined Alarm monitoring service provider details- contact number, disabling procedure, testing procedure. Bomb threat Em ployee receives a threat Type of Verbal W ritten Threat Collect additional Inform inform ation and Prim ary inform Prim ary Contact Contact Contact 911 Inform Inform Inform Crisis Em ergency Em ergency Managem ent Response Response Team Team Team Activate Alarm Activate Evacuation Bom b squad arrives Evacuees report to Gathering Point / Safe Area Crisis Managem ent Team briefs Bom b Squad Roll Call taken Representative by Team Leads Bom b Squad Leader becom es Crisis Incident Managem ent Com m ander Team is briefed Bom b Squad gives All-Clear signal Crisis Managem ent Team directs future actions The following additional details need to be defined Procedure to handle bomb threat calls – bomb threat checklist and agencies to be notified. Civil disturbance Civil Disturbance Observed Location of Internal External Unrest Inform Inform Primary Primary Contact Contact Contact 911 Inform Inform Inform Crisis Emergency Emergency Management Response Response Team Team Team Police arrives Activate Alarm Crisis Shelter-in- Management Place Team briefs Police Team Leader Police Team Leader Crisis becomes Management Incident Team is Commander briefed Police gives All-Clear signal Crisis Management Team directs future actions The following additional details need to be defined - Shelter-in-place procedure - Flooding within premises. Water related incident Water Related Incident Location of Data Center affected Office Area area Employees in Data Employees in Office Center will activate the area will activate the Incident Procedure Incident Procedure Employee contacts Primary the Primary Contact Contact informs Emergency Response Team Emergency Response Team informs Crisis Management Team Emergency Response Team contacts Vendors Crisis Management Team directs JIS actions The following additional details need to be defined Flooding incident procedure – mapping of vital records locations to danger areas, location of shielding material, contact numbers of restoration vendors. Power outage Power Outage Incident Data Center runs on UPS Backup Primary Contact Generator No informs Emergency starts Response Team Yes Emergency Response Team informs Crisis Primary Contact informs Management Team Emergency Response Team Crisis Management Team authorize Soft- Emergency Response Shutdown Team checks with service provider for status report Crisis Response Primary Contact informs Team contacts Fuel Service Company to Backup Generator refill after every X hours Vendor of continuous operations Emergency Response Team informs Crisis Management Team Crisis Management Team directs JIS actions The following additional details need to be defined - Soft shutdown procedures - Determine reorder point of fuel for backup generator. Medical Medical Incident Employee notices the injured Injured is No alive Yes Employee informs Employee informs Primary Contact Primary Contact Primary Contact Primary Contact calls 911 calls 911 Primary Contact informs EMT and Crisis Response Team Police arrives Emergency Response Team contacts First-Aid EMT and trained personnel Police verifies cause of First-Aid trained death personnel provide EMT arrives medical services Emergency Suspicious Response Team informs Crisis Management Team Police seals Natural First -Aid trained area for people transfer investigation the patient to EMT First-Aid trained people update Crisis EMT assumes Management control and Team takes actions Crisis Management Team directs JIS actions Severe windstorm / hurricane Severe Wind Incident Watch Alert Warning issued Alert issued Emergency Response Team is on alert Emergency Response Team verifies Emergency alert Response Team verifies alert Emergency Response informs Crisis Emergency Management Response Team Team prepares for any mobilization Crisis Management Team directs future actions The following additional details need to be defined: - Equipment for keeping alert - Mobilization resources and procedures. Snow storms Snow Storm Incident Snow Storm Impending occurrence Crisis Management People onsite Team verifies alert Employee informs Emergency Emergency Response Team is Response Team put on alert Emergency Emergency Response Team Response Team prepares for informs Crisis mobilization Management Team Snow Storm occurrence Crisis Lights Out Management Skeleton Crew Team declares Lights Out Skeleton Crew Procedure Procedure Crisis Management Team directs future actions The following additional details need to be defined - Lights out procedures - Skeleton crew operations procedures - Mobilization resources and procedure. Conclusion This article highlights the process to develop flow charts for emergency procedures. Each flow chart has to be complemented by the required details. The flow charts in themselves are only able to summarize what needs to be done and should be used during top-level designs, trainings and awareness campaigns. About the authors Joseph McHugh is the Executive Deputy Director Operations for Judiciary Information Systems (JIS) of the State of Maryland Judiciary, US. With more than 30 years of IT experience, he is responsible for providing mission supportive facilities and infrastructure, ensuring security and optimizing operations at JIS. He is the project champion for Business Continuity Management System implementation project at JIS. Joe can be reached on email@example.com Sandesh Sheth is a business continuity consultant, developing and implementing business continuity management systems for organizations worldwide. He represents the Enterprise Risk Management Consulting Group of Satyam Computer Services Limited. Sandesh can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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