The one page emergency plan

The one page emergency plan

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What if I told you that you can have a more successful recovery from an emergency or disaster if you have a one page emergency plan? Don’t think it is possible?

We have been looking a lot at complexity lately.  It’s everywhere and it is making life difficult in more ways than you can imagine.  I tend to believe that it is is the future of risk.  It is what is going to bring down organizations because they can’t get out of their own way or get bogged down in analysis paralysis.

In the podcast “Order of Man 005: A Finanaical Plan in One Page with Carl Richards” Carl explains the that complexity is overwhelming us.  Just look up any aliment you may have and you can find more than 500 opinions on the matter.  He goes on to state that most of us are not stupid, but that we are busy, so we don’t want to take the time to figure out the option or answer.  And that doesn’t mean we can’t, just that we are too busy to do so.  That complexity is what drives most people to drop their 2 inch financial plan near their door and never look at it again.  Sound familiar?

Big plans don’t get read

It should sound familiar especially if you audit, inspect or review plans for your organization.  How many times have you delivered a beautiful emergency plan or other risk management document to all of your sites, come back a year later only to find that no one has read the darn thing.  More than once I assume.

So, how do we combat that complexity?  Easy, make it simple with big goals that communicate the core actions.  Now, simple doesn’t mean easy, just simple.  And it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to have the 2 inch document as back up to get through the complex issue.  But as Carl explains you need the picture to be on the front of the box.  He says try to put a model car together without the picture on the front of the box.  That picture shows you that you are going in the right direction, that you are building it to look like what it is supposed to look like.

You still need the whole document

So, you need the whole document, but you also need to strip away the complexity for the non-expert.  The person that isn’t a risk manager and doesn’t deal with emergencies on a daily basis – they need a one page plan.

What does the one page emergency plan look like?

  • Save the kids
  • Treat the injured
  • Resume business as usual

Those three goals tell you everything that you need to know to get through an emergency.  And if you just so happen to loose your full blown emergency plan, the simple one pager will probably be remembered by most of your staff.  And most staff can make good decisions that will contribute to those goals and execute the emergency plan.

I encourage you to create the one page emergency plan and put it on the outside of every emergency plan you carete

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