The threats have been building; Houston is barely in recovery/cleanup mode, IRMA is threatening the Florida and the East Coast, the West is on fire, and Kim Jung Un is threatening. All the long term threats remain; earthquake, pandemic, cyber and many others.
Having a solid method of monitoring these and other threats is critical to your organization, and can give you precious time to prepare and mitigate your risks, and better information if response and recovery is inevitable. This capability has to be a 24×7 capability, and integrate into your other capabilities; incident response, mass notification, crisis communication. Information sharing with other regional organizations for geographically oriented threats, or industry sector for vertical threats is also an important element that can enhance your risk posture.
New York’s University INTERCEP has created the Metropolitan Resilience Network in response to several after action items arising from Superstorm Sandy. Over 400 organizations can utilize regional dashboards that are populated with government based, breaking news, social media, and other information sources. Disasters do not understand jurisdictional boundaries, and the power of a network is well established.
Another key element of situational awareness is how you can augment your resources in an emergency, or have an alternate command center location if yours is out of business due to a disaster. Trying to create a miracle on one of your worst days is really hard, but identifying capabilities and partners in advance is well advised.
Many new capabilities are emerging in the communications, Software as a Service, sensors, robots, and enhanced mobile applications areas related to risk and response. Many of these capabilities are far more flexible, scalable, affordable and easy to use than prior generations of technology. When capabilities are cloud based and able to be distributed between a company and its trusted partners, even more flexibility and redundancy can accrue.
Along with everything else, the pace of change is increasing, and continually monitoring threats and emerging capabilities will help your organization prepare for situations that can evolve rapidly and have large impacts on an organization’s ability to function.