Enjoy our newsletter stories about our chapter event

December 2015 Newsletter
It's a Pandemic!  
11/17/15 Highlights

The First State Delaware Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP) held an event on the topic "It's a Pandemic!."  Witt O'Brien's Robert Ricker was the guest speaker as part of the ACP chapter meeting on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 from 9:00am to 2:30pm at the Paul J Sweeney Public Safety Building in Wilmington Delaware. 

During the event, participants held discussions with groups from a variety of public and private sector businesses to share best practices and learn what other recovery specialists are doing in response to the increasing threat of wide spread disease.  The event featured a series of multiple scenario prompts to encourage participant involvement.  It was a full day exercise with a catered lunch courtesy of the First State ACP Chapter.
Lori Gorman, ACP Chapter President, delivered the ACP presentation in the Paul J. Sweeney Public Safety Building in Wilmington Delaware.
ACP Treasurer Jason Lyons, presented a $25 Gift Certificate to
Alex Krajewski from the Division of Motor Vehicles.
ACP Presenter Lori Gorman, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to
Robert Ricker (From left to right: Lori Gorman, and Robert Ricker)


Scenario "Hot Wash"

General Exercise Findings, Good Practices, and Challenges

  • Ensuring telework availability before and during an event.
    • Consider increasing telework capacity if it is anticipated to be needed
  • Encourage virtual meetings using Skype
  • Evaluate which critical functions might be able to slow down or enter a stagnant period.
  • Review cleaning policies and procedures
  • Identify one team to send out messages to ensure consistency
  • Having a “trigger” that would acknowledge a surge of questions by employees
  • Stocking up on supplies that could eventually be in short supply.
  • Review back up strategies for a reduction in staffing and modify if needed
  • Review emergency purchasing policies
  • Encourage telecommuting and social distancing
  • Increase outreach to employees to prevent disease spread.
  • Encourage personal and family preparedness
  • A major challenge noted is balancing message
  • Consider the use of the social media to help spread messages
  • Talk to utilities to ensure basic power
  • Review or implement criteria for activation (percentages of absenteeism)
  • Evaluate essential functions against current staffing and expected staffing
  • Consider the use of temporary staffing agencies
  • Consider the impact of HR, labor and other prohibiting factors (unions, pay grades, etc)
  • Increase depth of Orders of Succession
  • Review statutory requirements
  • Prepare for rumor control and controlling the message.  Pre-scripted messages can be useful.
  • Plan to use a “Planning Section” to address the next operational period (what is to come)
  • Consider that essential third party services may also be impacts (i.e. trash collection, utilities)
  • Establish a system for tracking criteria (i.e. number of staff out, increase and decreasing).  Identify someone that can be responsible to monitor.
  • Consider the needs that your organization may have for counseling.  Identify alternate sources (chaplains, clergy, counselors)
  • Incorporate facilities management and cleaning management into planning and response activities.
  • Identify additional steps that may be needed or needed more frequently (trash removal, air filter replacement)
  • Identify how to sanitize the facility before a full return to work
  • Determine how HR should be involved in response and return to work situation.
  • Provide a process to capture after actions and lessons learned.

Public Sector/Government Exercise Findings, Good Practices, and Challenges

  • The County has a cache of prophylaxis and a Point of Distribution Plan that would be used to strategically distribute medication to employees and the public should it be needed.
  • The Courts have distributed “pan kits” that contain some basic hygiene related items that would be expected to be used in a pandemic (i.e. mask, sanitizer)
  • Department of Health would increase surveillance and begin holding regular conference calls
  • DelHealthNetwork has the capability to push out messaging
  • Team leads (ESF) would establish lines of communication
  • County would send out a “Hot Now” alert.  The Director of EMS would be involved/
  • Contacting suppliers to verify stock
  • Distributing PPE to first responders
  • Begin to supply hand sanitizer in public spaces more prominently
  • Utilize emergency notification systems to share messages (DEN, iPAWS)
  • Reiterate the information from the Department of Health
  • Some areas cannot work at home, such as courts
  • Public Health would be holding daily (or more frequent) conference calls
  • The state medical operations center would be activated
  • Courts would designate an employee to handle media coordination
  • The county is exploring the concept of a Business Operations Center that would connect the public and private sector in a disaster.

Private Sector

  • Some businesses have been able to agree to be a “closed” point of distribution for prophylaxis.
  • Review the playbook and the escalation triggers
  • Have established Crisis Management Team
  • Take the opportunity to remind employees of the companies closed POD status.
  • Initiate the plan and roll the plan down as the escalation triggers are met.
  • Monitor the spread of illness through the local employees.
  • Would utilize third party monitoring and intelligence system to monitor various locations as well as local news and on site reports.

ACP First State Chapter Resources

Lori Gorman

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