Disaster Preparedness: Survey Findings of Organizations ...


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  • Would your organization be ready? Who would you call to convey information to employees? Do you have alternative work sites? Storage facilities for critical documents and IT data/equipment? Is there a plan to resume temporary operations in case of facility damage? How will you retain employees if region is under mandatory evacuation and incurs severe damage? These and other questions are issues to be addressed in a disaster or crisis plan. Differentiate between “disaster” and “crisis”: A disaster is one type of event that could become a crisis if left unmanaged. Most of literature on planning for disasters—and other crisis events for organizations—comes under the rubric of “crisis management” Ask for show of hands for those that could answer exactly how they would address each question? How many? How many got a knot in your stomach just thinking about it?
  • -Discuss NASA early warning signs and close calls of integrity of the tiles. Memos circulated among engineers concerning these issues, put admitting these would result in flight delays and more $ for redesign. -Katrina: Storm + levee breach + slow gov’t response + lack or coordination between local/federal officials + delayed cleanup.. -Interaction of technology, people, org. culture: safety, maintenance, training on technology?; reward/incentive/accountability in org culture for supporting maintenance, continued improvement, continued training, and bringing up issues (early warning signs) that could thwart crisis events, is crisis preparation valued and communicated in organization: from executives to line workers?
  • These are the areas of crisis planning that were evident in the literature and were further supported by research conducted (2005) by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American Management Association (AMA) concerning disaster planning and crisis management.
  • Discuss reasons we selected HR professionals: disaster planning and crisis management require knowledge of selecting and developing organizational stakeholders for roles in planning, responding and recovery efforts. Given time today, will focus just on Manufacturing .
  • Reasons why #s were lower than average, especially in a region that is vulnerable for hurricane damage? Ask participants. Could go into faulty assumptions here: “Too many close calls; The big one has threatened us before but never happened”, “Planning is too expensive; not sure HOW to plan”; “Not valued by top mgmt, not be valued by midlevel or line workers”, ‘FEMA or insurance will rescue us”.
  • Compare these with SHRM & AMA results: Comm Plans: 81%; 82% (AMA) BCPs: 90%; 63% (AMA) Crisis Training: 74% (for those individuals in leadership roles and not ALL employees); 38% (for all employees) Crisis team: no SHRM data; 56% (AMA)
  • Compare these with SHRM & AMA (..)results: Comm Plans: 81%; 82% (AMA) BCPs: 90%; 63% (AMA) Crisis Training: 74% (for those individuals in leadership roles and not ALL employees); 38% (for all employees) Crisis team: no SHRM data; 56% (AMA)
  • Review assumptions discussed earlier: “Too many close calls; The big one has threatened us before but never happened”, “Planning is too expensive; not sure HOW to plan”; “Not valued by top mgmt, not be valued by midlevel or line workers”, ‘FEMA or insurance will rescue us”. Or, perhaps little guidance on HOW to prepare. Good start: Facility Hurricane Preparedness Standards
  • HR: Plant closures, compensation/EAP, Union issues HRD : crisis audits, scenario planning, training (interpersonal (crisis leadership), skill-based: evacuating others; disabling equipment), evaluation of training, succession planning/CD, rewarding those who identify early warning signs Workforce development issues: staffing, hiring, selection, training, recovery support (training grants)
  • Disaster Preparedness: Survey Findings of Organizations ...

    1. 1. Disaster Preparedness: Survey Findings of Organizations Impacted by Hurricane Katrina Holly M. Hutchins, Ph.D. College of Technology University of Houston [email_address]
    2. 2. Is your organization prepared? <ul><li>Think for a moment what you would do if you received the following message on your way home from work today: </li></ul><ul><li>This just in…tropical storm “Cougar”, expected to develop into a hurricane later today, has a projected West, NWest tract and expected to strengthen by Saturday….Landfall anticipated between Lake Charles LA and Victoria TX.. Predicted to develop into a Category 2 or higher storm before making land.. </li></ul>
    3. 3. What do “disaster-prepared (DP)” organizations look like? <ul><li>Realistic understanding nature of crisis events: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crises usually have identifiable early warning signs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crises typically do not happen in isolation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crises occur because of interaction between technology, people, and organizational systems </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. As a result, DP organizations have: <ul><li>Have a comprehensive crisis management plan that includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a diverse and permanent crisis management team to plan and conduct risk audits, keep top executives informed of and supportive of crisis preparedness needs, coordinate with community resources to ensure proper response, to prepare for “normal” and “abnormal” crisis events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>detailed crisis communication plan for employees, managers, community, retirees for internal and external resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a business continuity plan ( BCP ) that includes directives to regain operational capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>disaster training and drills that include internal and external stakeholders (top areas found in SHRM 2005 Disaster Survey): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CPR/first aid training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational specific disaster plans: result of risk audits and crisis planning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Helping keep other calm in a crisis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fire suppression </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HAZMAT </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Survey Respondents: Who & Why <ul><li>Sample respondents: Human resource and Training professionals (n=129) represented organizations in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Baton Rouge/New Orleans, LA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gulfport, Jackson, Hattiesburg, MS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Industries represented: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manufacturing (n=24), Banking (n=18), Professional Services (n=22), Education (n=10), Government (n=16), Healthcare (n=15), Other (n=22) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Results: Did Gulf Coast orgs have DP plan? <ul><li>Across ALL industries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>59%: Organizations with DPs (Pre-Katrina) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>67%: Organizations with DPs (Post-Katrina) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For Manufacturing organizations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>58%: Organizations with DPs (Pre-Katrina) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>67%: Organizations with DPs (Post-Katrina) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The %s (overall) were lower than the 2005 SHRM Study for Disaster Preparedness (n = 500) where 85% of HR professionals identified having a disaster plan in place; AMA (n=109) found 60% of organizations have crisis plan. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Results: What did DP plans include? *Percentages are for all organizations
    8. 8. Results: What did DP plans include? *Percentages are for Manufacturing organizations only
    9. 9. Implications: So What? <ul><li>Organizations need to increase preparedness planning for disasters and other crisis conditions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>% of organizations having preparedness plans were lower than expected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reasons? Do you share some of these same assumptions? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disaster preparedness plans should definitely include emergency communication, BCPs, crisis management team, and training: research + literature support!  </li></ul>
    10. 10. What Now? <ul><li>Use Facility Hurricane Preparedness Standards: Missing pieces? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis teams : to lead preparedness effort and oversee interpretation and implementation of standards– Human Resource/Development professionals should be a permanent member of team! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HR: How will employees be compensated? What are relevant union issues if facility is closed or layoffs occur? How will Employee Assistance Program (EAP) be used for employees and families? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HRD: assess needs and vulnerabilities (crisis audits, scenario planning), design/evaluate training, develop succession planning, develop “crisis prepared” organizational culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BCPs : should include workforce development issues in addition to plans to regain operational functions </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. What Now? (cont’d) <ul><li>Consult other sources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small Business Association (SBA): Disaster Preparedness: http://www.sba.gov/npm2006/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/business/index.shtm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hewitt & Associates: Crisis Communication Plan http://www.hewittassociates.com/Intl/NA/en-US/KnowledgeCenter/ArticlesReports/ArticleDetail.aspx?cid=1680 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diagnostic tools: Mitroff, I. & Pearson, C. (1993) Crisis Management: A Diagnostic Guide for Improving Your Organization’s Crisis Preparedness . Jossey-Bass: San Francisco </li></ul></ul>