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4 Steps to Managing a Critical Event

By Northland Controls, May 04, 2021

The world is a volatile place, made even more so by the unpredictable nature of what can happen at any given moment.

However, it is not about what is happening but rather how you respond to it that matters. When faced with a potential threat to your business, your employees, and your operations, the steps that you take to respond to these events will directly shape the outcome. By understanding the four steps to managing a critical event (assess, locate, act, and analyze) you can be more prepared and effective in the face of uncertainty.

The first step when responding to a critical event is to assess the situation. For example, an earthquake in India may not impact employees safety but it may impact your supply chain. By understanding the context and severity of the event and how it can impact different facets of your business, you can better determine the best course of action. Based on the type of threat, having pre-determined standard operating procedures and action plans in place can help streamline this process.

Once the situation has been assessed and a course of action determined, the next step is to identify and locate stakeholders and assets affected by the event. When considering how many people will be impacted, look at factors related to both the geographical and operational reach of the event. For example, if severe weather is expected to hit, it is important to identify people living or working in the evacuation area, buildings in its path, delivery routes that could be affected, and even distribution partners that might need to halt operations as a result. Key stakeholders that should be identified include responders and resolvers, those located in an impact location, and others that should be informed such as government officials or your executive team.

3. ACT
Using the information collected in the past two steps, the most critical step when responding to a critical event is to initiate and manage incident communications to quickly mitigate the impact of a threat. A swift and measured response can be the difference between a devastating blow and avoiding disaster such as loss of life, physical harm, and damage to physical assets. If using a third-party critical event management platform, taking advantage of features like mass notification can streamline this process to engage key stakeholders quicker and with more urgency than with traditional communication efforts. Additionally, having response plans and escalation paths at the ready makes for faster and more effective resolution.

Taking the time to conduct an analysis on the series of actions taken in response to a critical event will help companies better understand patterns, improve future outcomes, and better prepare for their next threat. Through an analysis, you can recognize gaps in knowledge, such as the current location of your employees, tweak ineffective processes, and identify other areas of improvement to avoid repeating history. By doing so, you will better serve and protect your employees, assets, and key stakeholders.

A critical event management platform can complement your efforts in assessing, locating, acting, and analyzing a response to a potential threat to your core business functions anywhere in the world. Northland’s Critical Event Management as a Service (CEMaaS), powered by leading CEM platform Everbridge, is designed to deliver powerful threat intelligence, mass notification, location tracking, and response capabilities without a heavy investment in personnel to manage the data and response. This turn-key solution can help better communicate with key stakeholders, automate parts of your response, and bolster corporate resiliency for a safer, more secure approach to critical event management.

Learn more about CEMaaS by emailing