Emergencies manifest in many ways: weather-related disasters, social turmoil, health crises, significant financial declines, and many more. The issue is: how well-prepared is your company to handle any of these? Mainly, how prepared are your managers to react to unknown threats? Similar to the anticipation of the occurrence of any significant event, preparing is essential. Planning a well-thought-out emergency reaction plan understood by the top management is critical for executing successfully when it is crucial.
Alongside the above methods, communicating is essential in any emergency response plan. In Brookdale, during the COVID-19 epidemic, we increased the frequency of our communications and focused on the quality of our communication between residents, families, and our colleagues. Locally the communities routinely and frequently updated residents, their families, and industry partners. Communicating expectations and protocols was significant when we were developing our solid procedures for controlling infections and introducing COVID-19 vaccines to our community members and residents. Communication is an essential part of your strategy, regardless of the situation. Think about the three following methods for responding to emergencies that your leaders can use:
1. Your company could be an innovator in your field regarding emergency response.
It’s true! You can assist your business in becoming a leader and build credibility within your industry by taking action by creating a central location to get the most current information and resources in the event of emergencies or crises. Brookdale accomplished this due to significant regional and corporate support for management. Brookdale has experience in processes, procedures, and specialization due to our size. The resources we have, such as portable generators, solid relationships with vendors that cover a variety of possible disasters, as well as a cross-functional group of regional and corporate officials who can swiftly decide to assist the teams that directly serve residents, make Brookdale an expert in disaster response. Local leaders have also had an important role in tailoring the answer to meet the requirements of the residents, making the most of the local resources, and then implementing the most effective response following the particular situation.
2. Follow experts’ guidelines and constantly evaluate what you can do.
The following guidelines and experts from the government are always the priority in emergency response. It’s equally important to spot the opportunities early and be ready to react swiftly based on the demands of your specific sector. In the case of Brookdale and the elder living facility, the government guidelines following COVID-19 were more than just a suggestion and a guideline. But were crucial for the health of our staff and residents. Thanks to our leadership team’s knowledge, we were prepared long before official guidelines were published.
Our leadership team is committed to responding to emergencies, and took immediate steps to protect our neighbors and residents and strengthen our current infection control protocols. We brought together our team of leaders and resources to tackle the issue for our communities. It’s not always sufficient to follow only the guidelines of a professional, and sometimes, you’ll need additional steps to accomplish the action recommended or there could be other aspects to consider for your specific circumstances.
3. Form a team of emergency personnel to provide a prompt emergency response.
One thing is for every person within an organization to be aware of and aware of what to do in an emergency, But what happens when the crisis does occur? To ensure that your company is operating in the face of an emergency, you might require a command center which acts as a war room and the hub to access emergency assistance. The team must work with local team leaders to formulate and execute a successful plan to meet the particular location and circumstance requirements.
Think about the following case. On February 26th, 2020, The CDC verified the initial COVID-19 case within the United States suspected of local transmission. The patient was not a traveler to an area of known epidemic and was unaware they had come in connection with any COVID-19 patient. This was a significant change because it meant that COVID-19 wasn’t an issue in some distant country; it was an issue in America. The United States and transmission was within our communities. At this point, we realized that we required dedicated, cross-functional leadership to deal with this growing health issue, and thus we set up the Emergency Command Center (ECC).
The existence of an experienced emergency response team in place allowed the field and corporate teams to protect our citizens better and continue connecting and enriching the lives of our residents. The creation of the ECC was also a way for our management team to ensure that we remained committed to the values, mission, and foundations that helped keep us in good standing.
We also realized that the struggle against a pandemic is unique, so we identified other consultants from outside to help. To support protect our residents and associates, we created new platforms to analyze, make decisions, and implement our existing channels for information, regulatory guidance, and communications.
We felt obligated to impart the lessons learned during our response to COVID-19. We are thankful to have managed to get through the epidemic as effectively as we could. A need for in place emergency response procedures, policies, and structures can’t be stressed enough, particularly amid extraordinary global events.