A robust business continuity plan can take months, even years, to construct and today in these pandemic crisis there is a need for ERT more than ever.
If your business already has an emergency and continuity plan, you should familiarize yourself with it and become an active member of the planning process.
This is a quick and tactical guide to crafting an emergency response team.
Emergency response teams (ERT), also called incident response teams, are groups of people who prepare for and respond to emergency incidents such as natural disasters, security threats, public health crises, or other potential business disruptions. The goal of an ERT is to restore or maintain operations and minimize losses during an emergency incident.
ERTs may take many forms and have many purposes.
Many companies have professional response teams. They have their own fire departments, paramedics, and law enforcement personnel complete with fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars.
While businesses need first responders to restore the immediate health, safety, and security of workers, they also need a team of professionals who can keep the business operating through emergencies. Orders need to be shipped, employees paid, and telephones answered no matter what or when disaster strikes.
The first step in assembling your ERT is to determine who should be involved. Emergencies often require quick, coordinated action by units across the enterprise, so your ERT should reflect the various functions of your organization. You want to make sure that people from all the department should be in your ERT.
Once you've assembled a group of domain experts to join your ERT, you must be able to communicate new developments rapidly throughout the entire organization. While regularly scheduled meetings are useful in advance of an incident, constant communication is essential while emergencies are ongoing.
A common practice is to designate a space as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), where members of the ERT work side-by-side to quickly share knowledge and make decisions that are communicated back to their respective teams.