Emergency Management Challenges & How to Overcome Them | CriticalArc (2022)

From terror attacks to severe weather events, reports consistently identify the same types of challenges that characterize all crisis situations, with similar errors occurring over and over again. Typically, these include fractured command and control structures, communication systems failures, delayed or inefficient deployment of resources.

Leadership Challenges

Most emergencies involve multiple response teams and agencies so it’s vital to know who is in charge, the chain of command, how the various responders should share intelligence and liaise at each stage in the event and what each group’s primary and secondary responsibilities are. Most command and control systems lack a complete live common operating view, as well as the ability to instantly share vital information across the security team as an incident unfolds. When leadership struggles to see what resources are available and has difficulty relaying vital intelligence with in-house security staff, first-aiders, volunteers and other responders, it compounds their ability to efficiently coordinate an effective and rapid response; thereby hindering the chances of a successful outcome.

(Video) PrepTalks: David Kaufman "Our Changing World: The Challenge for Emergency Managers

So how can leadership overcome these challenges? There is ground-breaking command and control software available which is redefining what is possible and overcoming many of the limitations traditionally associated with command and control. What if your emergency management and security solution enabled you to view the availability and location of every member of your safety and security team, openly communicate with them, coordinate their response, confirm actions have been taken, see the result of those actions, and issue new commands–all in real time, with a common operating picture.

The technology to support this is now available and facilitates timely sharing of intelligence with all or select staff. Plus, with the ability to see the critical incident unfold in real-time, you can react to new developments and make adjustments to how you’ve deployed resources for optimal coverage and response.

Further strengthening the value proposition, this new technology is mobile-based so leaders can monitor and coordinate response from anywhere with a tablet or mobile device, or in the traditional security operations center. The technology also enables recording every incident so you can play back the event to facilitate debriefing sessions and identify future opportunities to elevate your team’s performance.

Ineffective Communications

Ineffective communication is often the weak link tied to ineffective emergency management operations. In addition to communicating with those you’re responsible for protecting, it includes exchanges with all members of the response team, dialogue with staff, third party emergency services and agencies, security personnel, and others immediately or indirectly affected by the emergency incident, as well as liaison with the wider public via the media. The number of people you’re communicating with is complicated by the different functional roles you need to communicate with and the wide range of information these groups need to effectively respond, your geographic distance from the actual incident, uncertainty about who is in a given area and actually impacted by the incident, and the rapid pace with which an incident often unfolds.

(Video) In Focus | Administrative Challenges in Emergency Management

Many organizations now have emergency notification apps which are used to send broadcast messages across an organization. The functionality varies from one provider to another but there are some fairly important nuances worth discussing that help to address many of the challenges raised above.

Consistent with most aspects of emergency management, planning goes a long way to optimize your response. You should look for a tool that enables you to predefine various groups by role so that you can customize messaging for them. For example, creating a list of all of your fire wardens to facilitate evacuation notices is prudent so you can request they direct evacuees to particular muster points depending on the given incident. Likewise, you will want to be able to send different messages to staff or students that may have special needs such as those that are physically disabled i.e. to assure them a fire warden has been notified of their location to assist with evacuation.

Creating lists in advance sounds straightforward but when you begin to compile, manage and edit these lists, it can quickly turn into a full-time job. Look for a provider that supports an API to interface with HR directories so that lists can be maintained in one centralized place and are updated in real-time.

You should also look for an app that supports geo-targeted communications so that you can quickly ascertain who is in a given area and then send particular messaging to those in close proximity to the incident and advise others to stay in place and avoid the impacted area.

(Video) Discuss the Emergency Management Operations Solution

Also, you need an app that can support geographically dispersed areas so that you can message just as easily to those traveling abroad as you can to those just a few miles away. Related to geography, you want an intelligent app that knows where the end user is so that when they need to call for help, the number for emergency assistance is automatically programmed into the phone so they don’t need to stop and consider whether to dial 999 vs. 000 vs. 911 for help.

All of these advanced functions are readily available today and will help you and your team overcome many of the communication challenges traditionally associated with emergency management.

Dynamic and Widespread Incidents

Routine approaches to small-scale or less complex incidents do not scale for managing a major disruption. Yet evidence from the field repeatedly suggests that organizations that fail to implement systematic and well-rehearsed emergency procedures will struggle to manage a critical incident without detrimental implications for their continued business operations, stakeholder relationships, and long-term reputation which might otherwise have been avoided.

Large scale man-made or natural disasters are no stranger to corporate or university campuses. Most regions of the world face ongoing threats from weather-related storms, active assailants and even terrorism. It’s not a question of if an emergency critical incident will occur, but rather when and where it will strike.

(Video) Introduction to Emergency Management

Even those institutions that do take the time to prepare often do not adequately conduct drills and exercises to account for the dynamic nature of these events and how far-reaching and impactful they can be. For example, you may know what to do if a given building flooded but would you know what to do if in the course of a few hours, your entire corporate or university campus flooded, hundreds were stranded, power was lost, and you lacked the manpower to rescue the individuals? Disasters are renowned for their unpredictability, so you need an emergency management app that is quite flexible and scalable. Likewise, you need to be able to see how those you’re charged with protecting are reacting to the situation and monitor their progress to reaching safety.

For example, if there was a terror attack in Frankfurt, how could you identify which of your staff and/or students were in close proximity to the area, so you could advise them of the threat and direct them out of harm’s way? In this case, you need the ability to dynamically create a new geo-fenced safe zone that covers the impacted area so you can quickly take action.

Ideal Emergency Response Management Software

Again, while it may sound a bit far-fetched, all of this functionality exists today with distributed command and control solutions (DCC) which enable organizations to leverage the prevalence of smartphones with the latest cloud-based technology to support emergency operations. By combining a comprehensive system equipped with situational awareness for response teams with a smartphone app, a DCC can extend the reach of first responders with a transformative effect and more efficiently coordinate all efforts and direct responders more efficiently. In doing so companies can minimize personal risk and injury, limit damage, improve business continuity and better protect the organization’s overall brand.

The safety capabilities and improvements mentioned in this article can all be accomplished withSafeZone®, an emergency management app and security solution that has been adopted by dozens of prestigious corporations and universities across the globe. Learn more about Safezone and request a demo today.

(Video) Emergency Management Operations Solution


What are the challenges of emergency? ›

The major challenges faced in all disasters include pre-disaster early warning infrastructure; the supply of food and clean drinking water; health and sanitation; information and communication; power and energy for lighting and cooking; waste collection and disposal, including rapid disposal of dead bodies of humans ...

What are the challenges of disaster management? ›

The major challenges associated with disaster response planning are the failure in strictly applying the law, the lack of public and staff education about disaster risks, poor urban planning, unstable security situation, citizen intervention, endowment of equipment, tools and infrastructure and lack of financial ...

What are the 5 key steps to follow for every emergency? ›

Prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery are the five steps of Emergency Management.

What are the six basic steps for emergency management? ›

6 Steps To Follow in an Emergency for an Organized Response
  1. Step 1: Assess Your Risk.
  2. Step 2: Survey the Work Environment.
  3. Step 3: Identify Leaders and Administrators.
  4. Step 4: Choose an Emergency Notification System Vendor.
  5. Step 5: Design an “All-hazards” Plan.
  6. Step 6: Practice the Plan.
23 May 2022

How do you manage an emergency situation? ›

When an emergency occurs
  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Count to 10. Tell yourself you can handle the situation.
  3. Check for danger. Protect yourself and the injured person from fire, explosions, or other hazards.
  4. Try to look at the situation as a whole. What is the most serious problem and what do you need to do first?

What are the 4 main steps of dealing with emergency? ›

Current thinking defines four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

What is the most challenging part of emergency medicine? ›

1. Capacity. The greatest challenge is and has always been emergency department capacity.

What obstacles or challenges might Emergency Management personnel face in stressful situations? ›

Interpersonal conflicts, such as scapegoating and clique formation in the team; • Negative attitudes toward the workplace or colleagues; • High turnover of personnel; • Lack of individual initiative; and • Difficulty for the team in making decisions and gaining consensus.

What do you believe are the five 5 most important disaster challenges for public administrators and or business managers in the 21st century? ›

Global Challenges. There are many significant global challenges facing emergency managers at the opening of the 21st Century. Five of these are global climate change, increasing population and population density, increasing resource scarcities, rising income inequality, and increasing risk aversion.

What is disaster management What are the challenges faced by the disaster management of India? ›

The National Policy on Disaster Management prepared by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India and approved by the Cabinet in 2009 was formulated with the vision to build a safe and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster oriented and technology driven ...

What are the solutions of natural disasters? ›

Nature-based solutions, such as conserving forests, wetlands and coral reefs, can help communities prepare for, cope with, and recover from disasters, including slow-onset events such as drought. They can also reduce the secondary impacts from non-climate-related disasters such as landslides following an earthquake.

What are the 7 emergency management steps? ›

Be Prepared: The 7 Components of an Emergency Plan
  • Planning – Work through many emergency scenarios. ...
  • Training – ...
  • Drills – ...
  • Education – ...
  • Technology – ...
  • Coordination – ...
  • Communication –

What is the first thing you do in case of emergency? ›

First Things to Do in Any Emergency

Decide whether it is safer to evacuate or shelter-in-place. Once safely evacuated or sheltered-in-place, call for help using 911 and clearly explain what you know about the situation. Provide first aid for any injured people. Move any people who are injured away from further danger.

What is an emergency management plan? ›

An emergency plan is a written set of instructions that outlines what workers and others at the workplace should do in an emergency. Emergency plans should be easy to understand and tailored to the specific workplace where they apply.

What are the key elements of an emergency management plan? ›

Four Core Elements of Emergency Preparedness
  • Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning (Include but not limited to): Hazards likely in geographic area. Care-related emergencies. ...
  • Communication Plan. Complies with Federal and State laws. ...
  • Policies and Procedures. Complies with Federal and State laws.
  • Training and Testing.
1 Dec 2021

What are 5 examples of emergency situations? ›

Types of Emergencies
  • Blizzards.
  • Chemical spills.
  • Dam failure.
  • Droughts.
  • Earthquake.
  • Extreme heat waves.
  • Fire.
  • Floods.

What makes an effective emergency plan? ›

Plans should show the layout of access roads, parking areas, buildings on the property, building entrances, the locations of emergency equipment and the locations of controls for building utility and protection systems. Instructions for operating all systems and equipment should be accessible to emergency responders.

What are the 3 C's when dealing with an emergency? ›

Training your brain before you find yourself in a high-pressure situation may help you save a life or potentially help someone in pain. There are three basic C's to remember—check, call, and care. When it comes to first aid, there are three P's to remember—preserve life, prevent deterioration, and promote recovery.

How would you handle an emergency situation interview question? ›

Interview Answer

Depending on the situation, I will have to be kind and caring of people's fears but also assertive as it could be important for the guests to follow the rules. Overall, I would try my best to stay calm and collected while putting the guests safety first.

What are the 4 roles within the emergency team? ›

  • Taking appropriate personal protective measures.
  • Notifying Supervisory Personnel and/or Incident Commander of the incident.
  • Advising personnel in the area of any potential threat and/or initiate evacuation procedures.
  • Eliminate potential ignition sources.
9 Dec 2020

What are 5 important pieces to an emergency action plan? ›

Key components of an Emergency Action Plan
  • Evacuation procedures, escape routes and floor plans.
  • Reporting and alerting authorities.
  • Alerting staff and visitors of an emergency.
  • Accounting for people after implementing an EAP.
  • Notifying parents, guardians or next of kin.
  • Identifying a media contact person.
  • Training new staff.

How can the emergency department be improved? ›

Some of the workflow areas to focus on include the following:
  1. Improved triage workflow.
  2. Provide earlier access to provider using a triage advanced practitioner.
  3. Redesign discharge process to reduce non-value-added time.
  4. Implement readiness huddles.
  5. Improve response to surges in patient volume.
  6. Revise staffing patterns.
11 Jan 2019

Why emergency department is important? ›

EDs serve as the first point of contact, and people of nearly every age are given particular medical care based on their injury or illness. ED is the most crucial and intensive department within a hospital as many times, the question of life and death hangs on a thin line.

What are the functions of emergency services in hospital? ›

Emergency Department is the first point of contact for any critically ill patient, needing immediate medical attention. Modern Emergency Departments are managed by qualified Emergency Physicians and nurses, trained specifically for providing emergent care to save a life or limb.

What could contribute to failure of emergency arrangement? ›

Lack of detailed response procedures to hazardous material spills, and other potential emergency scenarios. Lack of site-specific fire pre-plans. Safety and/or response training deficiencies. Inefficient documentation of training records.

How can the emergency department be improved? ›

Some of the workflow areas to focus on include the following:
  1. Improved triage workflow.
  2. Provide earlier access to provider using a triage advanced practitioner.
  3. Redesign discharge process to reduce non-value-added time.
  4. Implement readiness huddles.
  5. Improve response to surges in patient volume.
  6. Revise staffing patterns.
11 Jan 2019

What are the functions of emergency services in hospital? ›

Emergency Department is the first point of contact for any critically ill patient, needing immediate medical attention. Modern Emergency Departments are managed by qualified Emergency Physicians and nurses, trained specifically for providing emergent care to save a life or limb.

What are the major health concerns in a natural disaster? ›

The majority of health consequences for major weather-related disasters are injuries associated with evacuation and clean-up, carbon monoxide poisoning (related to the indoor use of gasoline-powered generators), hypothermia, electrocution, wound infections, respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, hypothermia, and ...

What is the important things to remember in case of emergency? ›

The most important thing to remember in an emergency is to STAY CALM and call 911. Make sure you know where you are and speak slowly and clearly. The dispatcher who answers your call will speak to you calmly. Don't be alarmed, as the dispatcher is specially trained to remain calm.

What is the first thing to do in assessing an emergency situation? ›

Emergency advice
  • Check for Danger.
  • Check for a Response.
  • Open Airway.
  • Check Breathing.
  • Check Circulation.
  • Treat the steps as needed.

What is the most common reason that lead to emergency responses failures? ›

One of the common reasons response plans aren't effective is because they are outdated. It can be a challenge to keep up with the constant administrative tasks of most response plans.

What is KPI in emergency department? ›

Emergency department KPIs put are measures used to evaluate emergency department performance. KPIs are developed to benchmark all public hospital emergency departments and to measure the “success” (or otherwise) of emergency department performance.

What is the objective of emergency care? ›

The primary objectives of the emergency services are to minimize early mortality and complications, although longer-term morbidity, quality of life and late mortality may also be influenced by early actions.

What are the 6 emergency services? ›

The other list of emergency numbers:
  • Disaster Management Services-108.
  • Women Helpline-1091.
  • Women Helpline - Domestic Abuse-181.
  • Air Ambulance-9540161344.
  • Aids Helpline-1097.
  • Anti Poison New Delhi -1066 or 011-1066.
  • Disaster Management N.D.M.A 011-26701728-1078.
  • EARTHQUAKE / FLOOD / DISASTER N.D.R.F: 011-24363260.
26 Feb 2019

What are the types of emergency care? ›

Types of emergency care include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), injections and intravenous fluids, measures to stop excessive bleeding, and vital sign monitoring. A person with a burst appendix requires emergency surgery to prevent sepsis.

What's the difference between ER and ED? ›

An emergency department (ED), also known as an accident and emergency department (A&E), emergency room (ER), emergency ward (EW) or casualty department, is a medical treatment facility specializing in emergency medicine, the acute care of patients who present without prior appointment; either by their own means or by ...

What causes a hazard? ›

The hazards are mainly caused by human environmental factors. The environmental hazard system is made up of five groups: global change, environmental pollution, desertification, vegetation degradation, and environmental diseases. The hazards are due to integrated natural and human factors.

What is disaster management cycle? ›

The disaster management cycle is a series of steps that organizations and individuals use to prepare, contain and mitigate unexpected events. These can include natural disasters, unexpected damage to property or events that otherwise endanger the lives of others.

What are the 6 effects of disaster? ›

Many of the effects of disasters are common for natural disasters as well as for man-made disasters.
  • Food insecurity.
  • Emotional aftershocks.
  • Health Risks.
  • Displacement of large groups of people.
  • Financial distress.
  • Insecurity about the future after each disaster.
25 Jan 2021


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