Stop wasting time by creating mountains of elaborate planning, do it right, or just don’t do it at all.
Far too many disaster management plans are drawn up daily just for the sake of having one, because it is somehow “required”. Even more are drawn up costing thousands and are never implemented. The reason for this is they could not interface, or connect with structures and systems existing.
What is a Disaster Management Plan?
First off, what is a disaster? Here is a short definition; A disaster is classified as being either natural or man-made. That has impact on a developed population’s infrastructure, housing, farms, or livelihood that destroys most of it, and caused extensive loss of human life, or drastically changes the landscape, environment, or economy of a region…
Now we can ask, what is a disaster management plan then? In simple terms; a disaster management plan encompasses more than just disaster readiness and planning aspects, it is very specific. Both in terms of being;
· Industry specific,
· Event specific,
· Country specific and even
· Language specific
· Format specific…
It has characteristics of the environment it dictates to. It connects via an identified or perceived threat or risk that it will, could or should address, if it transpires, alternatively, its preventative and mitigating.
Whenever contemplating preparing for “disasters”; in any form, be it small or large, then the way to deal with planning is to look at the composition of emergency and disaster management entities, and services existing in your area, and having a look at their planning first. Then only decide whether your contemplated plan will fit, or even add value. Any plan needs to fit in with both any local government, provincial, and even national governments plans, as well as their organs/ departments of state, in order to add value, or to even matter, and moreover make sense – it needs to close a gap, not open one. Other NGO’s and industry stakeholders, and watch dogs are also custodians, like the Civil Aviation Authority etc… Continue reading →
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This article is aimed at those who want to arrange a huge event, and need some more than just the basic info on how to and what to do… This article will serve as a practical guide, for those who will concern themselves more with the security, emergency and disaster management aspects of any event.
I have found that by only following a textbook formula one can’t ensure continued safety, and readiness, at any type of event and for a simple reason: in any dynamic situation, performance is fundamentally relative, and becomes absolute at the point where we have no competition. Then, we dance to our own tune, and at our own pace. What am I getting at? With events you have one of every discipline, and each stick to its own. No two entities compete directly, and therefore they don’t have to perform at their peak. In fact, lasting performance of exceptional quality is largely a mental picture, a perception; a statistical anomaly. The simple fact is that no formula can guarantee continued sustainable performance, at least not in a competitive business environment where everything has a life cycle.
So, when you hire a security company, by referral, and they come highly recommended, don’t rest on your laurels either, and just assume they will perform same or better that what was expected. Things change fast; key people resign, owners sell companies, or they just get cheaper labour, or less qualified, especially when their popularity grow, and they become over stretched by the demand. This applies to all your potential service providers, especially in the events industry, those that you will be dealing with during any event need some credit. Credentials are a must then, and referrals say something more, specifically the latest, they say in this industry you are only as good as your very last performance…and it stays true.
The belief that strategic choices only made in the boardroom will directly affect the quality of a business concept, especially at grassroots level, and then the world if it is properly implemented. Where its success equates directly to the results of great planning, especially project or either strategic, is totally flawed. Any plan is only as good as the first few minutes it was written in, and then immediately implemented.
As more and more time lapse, between the conception and implementation time frames, then naturally, the more time you put between planning and execution, the more the variables change, and keep changing. Thus, planning never the less remains an indispensible part of any great endeavor, and an ongoing effort, either way it remains indispensable. The results of planning will only be reflecting the degree of precision and good decision making, and then only how effective it was executed under conditions of ambiguity that tends to change the shape of things in the heat of battle, at the instance where we go over to action, and execution, it is only then that we really see the true factors that impact on our plan, those things just outside our control, only when we hit the ground running, do we feel what we are running on, the grass, or stones for the first time. Change and influences ( both internal as well as external) will always, certainly, be the factors we cannot gauge with perfect certainty, if one thing changes, then everything normally follows on, and then it tends to change the overall plans perspective.
Strategic event management; is described as organised chaos in motion; choice is inevitably an exercise in decision making under conditions of uncertainty, of which the objective is not to find workable solutions only, and to guaranteed success, but rather to improve the odds of making it all the way without serious incidents, accidents, emergencies, and disasters, through a thoughtful consideration of factors and influences that could mitigate them, or render then nun and void. Strategic event management and planning, should never just be focused on gain, and rewards, the big compensation. Where event management companies focus only on reward, and rewarding executives for being lucky, and getting an event done, and pulling it off, without having had a fraction of what the law, requires, and otherwise stipulated, then as we all know somehow luck tends to run out at the most crucial point. The people die… Then only do we see the true value and necessity for security, emergency and disaster management and mitigation strategies. We need something different added to our strategic focus, especially where people in large numbers are concerned. Then we need a structure, some STANDARD OPPERATING PROCEDURES, for all to see, and follow during EVENTS.
Many countries have legislation in place, however more still doesn’t, that cover events from cradle to grave. Still, even with legislative compliance in place, you can never be sure that every event will comply 100%, and the first place they cut corners is on safety, security, and disaster mitigation. It is still just a bare minimum standard of security. The very uniqueness and nature of events makes it very unpredictable, even at the best of times. The problem with this is, we deal with people, and aspects like liquor use, drugs, guns, crime, political issues, could be the catalyst for something better and bigger to follow. The other aspects are unseen; adverse weather, exposed electricity, structural failures, fire, arson, gas explosions, lightning, flood water, sinkholes, etc…
Therefore, we need to opt for self organisation and true professionalism…when planning and designing major events…
Firstly we need to familiarise ourselves with the industry and their acronyms. Continue reading →
The “Predator” within us, has to be awakened, as he has the true spirit of choice and action. Unlike sheep following the flock, sheep are soft, vulnerable, susceptible and gullible. They live and work in a world of denial and perception. Predators are individuals, seeking truth, they realise the importance of moral, spiritual and ethical living. The think and live outside the realm of “normality”. By enhancing our Predatory instincts, they can serve us well still, in our modern day roles, as specialist tacticians, leaders, managers and master strategist; we inherited this skill from our ancestors. We were ultimately engineered to adapt and exploit our habitat to our advantage. We were born to hunt, to dominate, to ascertain knowledge, to lead and affect change and to survive any complexity that change presents, even at varying degrees, throughout our life cycle. In strategic terms, a chosen learned mental enhanced state of existence. The predatory instincts within us, drives us still today, to prey, the only changed aspect is a higher sense of prey, knowledge. To ultimately satisfy our modern day “predatorial” need for order and balance in the pack status of society. The only thing that has to change is our mental sight or insight. The pursuit is more moral and ethical standards – paradigms- of living, for everyone, especially our children. The Predator drive and frame of mind radiates vigilance. This field of predatory expertise is called Epistemology today and it is better explained as: the study of knowledge and its acquisition. All human’s to a greater or lesser extent has perused this through the ages, the hunt and pursuit of knowledge, the growth of wisdom and understanding, the wanting to know. The earnest desire, to live a life of purpose and balance in all its facets is a spiritual one. We all want to survive and succeed, no matter how great the odds and still remain faithful to our virtues.
OODA; Observation, Orientation, Decision, Act…
Tools for Predators (Part 2):
Primitive “Predatorial” traits are what we experience during the fight, flight, and surrender response with engagements of will, with others more aggressive than us. Strategy is aggressive; it’s invasive, intrusive, in your face. Or just plainly when we become the aggressor, when we want things done our way. The first aspect that surfaces in this behaviour is where we see that people seek justification. They want to justify why they are aggressive, assertive, and pushy. We want to be able to justify to ourselves and others the reason and cause of our aggressive behaviour; this includes behaviour and acts; such as domination, manipulation, belittling, character assassination, bargaining, threatening, persuasion, and whatever the situation is that pushed our buttons to act.
This is the behaviour that equates to predator behaviour; what’s more is this, when we study predators we see very little aggression…to the point where they kill each other. It’s all about domination; having a rank, and position in the tribe, and demanding and exercising that right.
The tool predators use most to get what they want is simple, yet highly effective and both efficient.
The first tool is the; OODA loop; the OODA loop is an acronym used by fighter pilots to spot other fighters during dog fights, close quarter combat, with other planes.
We firstly need to observe; this implies having to scan, to investigate, and to perform some research of the environment. The aim is to gather essential information. That can be processed. Once we get a picture of the environment, then me can Orientate.
Orientation; implies finding reverences – things we can relate to, a point of reverence, a starting point, direction, bearing, meaning, concepts, getting a sense of being, height, temperature, up down etc… it’s all “situationally appropriate”.
Decision; here we need to make decisions; as to have we got enough information yet, do we need to observe some more, and orientate some more before we make decisions.
Act; is the last step, once we have acted we restart the loop, w can skip steps, and move back and forth… its open emended.
The tools predators use need to be aligned, the same, and need to work…
This is law…Natural Law…we just don’t seem to get the basics of strategy right; We want to over complicate things, because our strategic knowledge has been a cut and paste exercise, we take what we like and mix it up. No two strategies today in the business world will work with the same strategic pattern. Each to his own. In War this will equate, to infantry, artillery, and navy commanders all put together to command the NASA space program. Rather simplify. Lead with achromous, patterns people can study and refine, and with time perfect. Then mange them with wisdom, experience and with flair…
Unity of effort is a principle of War. If we do not act, think, and plan along the same lines, we will become segmented…predators seldom hunt alone.