2020 was ridiculous! 1/10: would not recommend.

We made it through, though. Emergency Managers and those tasked with emergency management and continuity all over the world made it happen for companies, government operations, schools, universities, non-profits, and a host of other services. Not to mention emergency services and healthcare!

COVID wasn’t the only party crasher, either. Wildfires, civil unrest, hurricanes, natural disasters, and our normal run-of-the-mill daily emergencies invited themselves in also. It was a year for us to flex our muscles and pause our normal theoretically/hypothetical thinking. Planning projects? Back burner. Training and exercises? No time. EOC drill? The EOC has been activated for a year.

There’s a distinct chance that many of us never got around to our annual plan reviews or training and exercise goals in 2020. We were busy, but we learned a lot! If it’s not already on your calendar, add an annual plan review. Here are a few points that I’m keeping in mind, maybe they can help you, too:

Read existing plans

  • Be skeptical and ruthless about sections that no longer make sense.

Incorporate lessons learned

  • 2020 was a harsh teacher, heed the lessons by reflecting on your experiences, reviewing after action reports, and internalizing improvement plans.

Involve the team

  • Make sure key stakeholders have their input; people are unlikely to fall in line if they don’t have a horse in the race.

  • Everyone is Zoom-ed out. Consider using a survey or other method to solicit asynchronous feedback before holding a workshop.

  • Specialization matters! Remember to consider everyone’s expertise and biases.

Share the plans

  • Plans don’t manage emergencies, people do! A plan on a shelf, untouched by human hands, will not be followed no matter how good it is.

Don’t forget the Training and Exercise Plan

  • Very few people read your plans unless they have a reason. Give them that reason through planned seminars, workshops, tabletops, and drills.

Here’s to a healthy, safe, prosperous 2021! Stay the course, but don’t forget to play some long ball.

If you want some help, we’re always ready to be your partner in emergency preparedness.

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