Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

National Preparedness Month – Empowering

In emergency situations, moments matter.  And in those moments, such as responding to an active threat like a lone perpetrator active shooter incident, as an individual – you need to be prepared to take action.  

David Schuld
David Schuld, Hagerty Consulting’s Lead for the Active Threat Portfolio

As leaders of organizations and communities develop and strengthen plans to respond from an emergency situation, a key word comes to the forefront of how to build a successful emergency management program – empowerment.

When seconds are precious in life and death situations, an individual asking for permission to respond to an emergency is not a realistic action to take.  A schoolteacher should not need to ask the principal to await official notification to protect their students if gunfire is heard in the hallway. Employers, staff, and individuals must all be empowered to take sound, timely actions in an emergency.

As organizations and communities consider developing programs that empower the individual to act in an emergency incident, a few issues regularly arise, that, if addressed, mark steps toward empowerment.

  • Step One: Overcome the hesitation to empower.  Having an all-staff training on response for emergencies such as an active threat event can be a scary decision for leaders of an organization.  As the leader however, you need to be sure your staff are prepared, and feel empowered to take emergency actions. Hagerty has worked with clients to empower the individual, community member and employee. Empowering in this way not only leads to a more confident individual, but establishes a commitment to the well-being of the entire organization.
  • Step Two: Make plans that are easy to understand and accessible.  When developing tools for individual empowerment, build them so they are user friendly.   To support clients in their planning needs, Hagerty helps to develop checklists, visual aids, and other tools that can be easily followed during an emergency incident.  For an individual looking to effectively respond in an emergency, having actions items that are easily learned, remembered, and executable is key.
  • Step Three: Provide regular and interactive training.  For situations where individual emergency actions are needed, developing and conducting regular training is the best way for plans to become nearly second nature in an emergency.  Hagerty has supported clients in all manners of training and exercises from the standard HSEEP Full Scale Exercises to the unique rapid, five minute tabletop exercises for managers to be added into regular manager or staff meetings.

The need to provide the individual the ability to respond immediately in an emergency is critical.  Hagerty has a long history of building emergency management programs that have empowered the individual. To learn more, visit http://hagertyconsulting.com/preparedness/.

David Schuld is the Lead for Hagerty’s Active Threat Portfolio, supporting communities in the design and management of active threat preparedness planning, training, exercises, and outreach.  David joined Hagerty in 2015, and developed Hagerty’s Life Cycle of an Active Threat EventDavid and a team of experts have been leading efforts across the country in developing CCTA-related programs for urban area and their stakeholders (public safety agencies, as well as their public and private sector partners).  For more information about how Hagerty can help your organization, contact David here.