Alan Walker on… Neighbourhood Watch

This week Alan Walker from AW Continuity Ltd thinks hard about Neighbourhood Watch!

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Whenever an incident occurs the focus is always on the organisation that is most impacted or the organisation that was the cause.

I know it’s going back a few years now but consider the Buncefield incident. All the initial media coverage was about the incident itself and it was only after a few days that stories began to emerge of how many businesses in the vicinity had been impacted – each dealing with their own crisis event, the success of which would determine whether they survived or not.

Of course most organisations are not located next to something as big and obvious as an oil refinery. Most of us are able to make our way to work without much thought about the buildings we are passing, what goes on in them and what potential incidents may arise. Do we ever give a thought to what hazards lurk within?

It doesn’t take much for the Emergency Services to implement a cordon. This may be due to a fire, crime scene, chemical incident, riot, protest or potential terrorist incident. The impact is that  organisations within the cordon are immediately faced with a denial of access incident through no fault of their own.

So the point is your organisation may not always be the target, cause or direct impact of an incident.

It’s worthwhile to plan and practice for scenarios that start in the neighbourhood. Go and do a risk assessment and talk to your neighbours about what they undertake.

Another aspect to consider is how your Emergency and Crisis Management procedures may be impacted by your neighbours. Do you talk to them to find out their plans? If several buildings in the vicinity evacuate simultaneously are you all hoping to use the same assembly point. How do you find and control your people when your neighbours are all doing the same?

Some key points to consider:-

  1. Who are your neighbours and what do they do?
  2. Do your Emergency and Crisis Management Plans conflict?
  3. How and when will you communicate?
  4. It’s good to talk.

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[Note: The views of the columnist are not necessarily those of ContinuityInBusiness.com]

 

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