Canadian Security Magazine

Emergency Management Survey Results – Part 2

By Staff   

Features Emergency Management Week crisis communications emergency management emergency manager emw mass communications Mass notification and emergency communication systems

Canadian Security recent conducted an Emergency Management Survey, sponsored by Calian. Respondents answered three questions pertaining to the roles of emergency managers and security leaders. You can find the answers to Question 1 and more information about the survey-takers here.

Question 2: What type of emergency requires the greatest amount of preparation and poses the most likely threat?

Active shooter/terrorist event 24.26%
Weather-related event or natural disaster (fire, flood, etc.) 36.76%
Digital/data breach (loss or damage of records, cyber-attack, privacy breach) 27.21%
Disease/viral outbreak 8.82%
Contamination (CBRNE) 2.94%

Respondents’ comments:

All these require training and preparation in different ways, Weather events can most likely require the most in manpower, equipment and monitoring…Response training and warning systems for weather events do take a lot of people and equipment…Weather events are also more likely than the others listed…

Those are two different questions, with in my case, different answers. Greatest prep – shooter. Most likely – breach.

Although I believe that all of these pose a threat and should be treated the same, the active shooter/terrorist event requires the greatest situational awareness by EM personnel and the general public.

Bad guys only have to get it right once. We have to get it right all the time.

While active shooter is always a risk weather events such as storms etc. happen with more regularity.

Digital breach requires the most preparation, but in most of Canada the weather is the most likely threat.

A standard Emergency Action Plan can cover most of these events, along with a few drills. However, data breaches will involve education, diligence, possible re-coding of websites, and actual retraining of digital users…it would entail planning, education, execution, and follow-ups on a constant basis. All of the other events are truly sporadic, despite what the media constantly says.

While weather related events may pose the most likely threat in many places, cyber-attacks are equally common and require a high level of advance and on-going protection and vigilance.

This is a question largely about perceptions. The reality is that the best approach is what emergency managers call an “All Hazards” approach to preparation. How much preparation should be committed largely depends on that your organization stands to lose if an incident happens, what the need is for business continuity (for example if you are a hospital it would be crucial to recover quickly or to continue service throughout an emergency), etc. The likelihood of a threat is different for each business, government entity, or organization but in terms of historical data weather related events or natural disasters tend to be much wider in their effects… affecting more people and broader geographic areas than the other threats listed.

Active threats and or terrorism are on the minds of most agencies and companies as they relate to critical infrastructure. Response plans should be developed, tested [Table-Top Exercises/Discussion based] and assessed annually.

The answer all depends on the nature of the enterprise.

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