Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hey Fletch … Can you review our Emergency Response Plan? We are struggling with how to address three main issues: suicide prevention, an active shooter and fire.

DRF— In that question, you have some big fish to fry. Or, as we would say in Texas, “that’s a big herd to roundup.”

You have a great focus in your Emergency Response Systems. Your team has done a ton of work. Hopefully it will never need to be used! I don’t have any major items to add to the good work that has been done.

I would add, however, that a response plan is just the beginning. The next and vital thing to do is to implement the plan. If your plan stays on the bookshelf, then it is next to worthless. If you only train staff and key leaders once on the plan, then they probably won’t remember what to do in an emergency.

Get your key leaders together by affinity groups and regularly talk about emergency measures. For example, empower the leader of your ushers and greeters to review the things they should do. I would suggest that this be done twice a year. Do it in a regular team meeting of the group, so that emergency plans get engrained into the thinking of the team.

For people leading from the stage, have laminated cards with your instructions. In an emergency, it is so easy to forget the training! Have simple steps of what to say in case of a fire. Have those cards easily accessible for leaders to get to.

In real estate the mantra is “location, location, location.” In emergency plans, the mantra is similar: “Locate the instructions in an easy to reach place.” 

Response—Your thoughts are just what I needed. I’ve been wrestling with how to keep moving forward with so many things without losing track of them or steam to continue to move forward. Thank you! Thanks again for sharing your helpful thoughts and insights.