Unfortunately, 2018 brought no shortage of devastating events to the US and other countries all over the world. In the US alone, unprecedented natural disasters affected numerous lives and created billions of dollars in property damage. In addition, active shooter incidents, cybersecurity breaches, and other devastating events dominated the news cycle for much of the year.

While there were too many events to list in this post, a quick snapshot of the 2018 disasters in the US included:

  • Parkland, FL School Shooting – In February, a gunman opened fire at a high school in FL, killing 17 students and staff members, and injuring 17 others.
  • Maryland Flash Flooding – In May, when more than 8 inches of rain fell in just a few hours, residents and tourists in Ellicott City, MD scrambled to flee streets that turned into raging rivers.
  • Hurricane Florence – In September, Florence made landfall as a major Category 4 hurricane, dumping record amounts of rain in NC and SC with wind speeds reaching 140mph, killing at least 53 people and causing over $17.9 billion in damage.
  • Hurricane Michael – In early October, Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle at just below Category 5 hurricane intensity. With winds reaching 155mph, the storm caused over $15 billion in damage and killed 60 people.
  • California Wildfires – In November, unprecedented wildfires swept through the Golden State, from the Woolsey Fire in Southern CA to the Camp Fire in Northern CA – becoming the deadliest in California history.
  • Cybersecurity Breaches – According to Forbes, some of the largest cybersecurity attacks in 2018 occurred at well-known US brands, such as, Facebook, Marriott, Quora, and Ticketmaster.

While we are unsure of what 2019 has in store, it is crucial for organizations to learn how to best prepare their workforce to respond to all disaster types. 

Preparis’ All-Hazards Approach is a great way to protect your organization and workforce from critical and disruptive incidents. The All-Hazards Approach focuses on the type of loss rather than a specific threat. This is the best approach because almost all incidents result in at least one of four losses a company may experience:

  1. Loss of facility
  2. Loss or failure of Information Technology (IT)
  3. Reduced workforce
  4. Reputational event

Not only is this approach much simpler than planning for every possible threat, but it ensures that all your bases are covered should an incident occur and that you’re doing more than just meeting minimum OSHA requirements.

The start of the new year is a great time to improve emergency response at your organization.  Some actions you should take immediately include:

  • Updating your Emergency Action & Business Continuity Plans – Plans that are collecting dust on a shelf won’t help much during an emergency. Preparis allows you to create groups, assemble teams, and set tasks to manage all items necessary to assure your plans are compliant and up-to-date.
  • Training your workforce on emergency protocols and procedures – Preparis recommends conducting emergency training every six months. Preparis also offers a full library of online training courses for more than 30 different threats.
  • Implementing a trusted method for emergency communication – It is crucial to communicate with your team members and staff during an emergency. Preparis offers bi-directional mass emergency notification to make sure your workforce is safe when critical incidents happen.

For more information on how Preparis can help with your company’s emergency preparedness and response initiatives for 2019, click here.