Planning for a big incident is difficult.
Much of the national planning has already been done and what’s playing out is an approach long agreed.
However, locally, that’s maybe not the case.
Most comms people in the UK may have experience of the big incident but not the incident that lasts for months.
Terror attack? We’ve got experience of that. Too much in some ways.
A big fire? Yup.
A medium-sized incident? In spades.
A 24-hour thing? Ten a penny.
Most teams will run to the sound of sirens when the incident first develops.
But once the adrenaline fades what then?
And what if you’re all burnt out and you’ve only just begun?
I’m struck by the advice of a former chief executive I worked with. In a big incident one of the first things he did was send a senior officer home. Why? To be fresh in a couple of days time when those at the coalface are worn out.
I’m struck by the Environment Agency in the UK who have dozens of people trained in using social media ready for when major flooding strikes. People who don’t have media relations roles can slip into the role.
I’m also struck at the lessons Greater Manchester Police took from their response from the arena bomb. Plan for the long term and ask for help early were two pointers.
Jim’s thread is here and it needs reading by public sector communicators. It’s packed with gems.
Picture credit: Documerica / Flickr