Emergencies happen suddenly. They flare up, instantly posing a threat to life, critical infrastructure, and the environment at large. And once they get going, they don’t stay static. Emergencies are highly fluid events by definition.
Photo by Shawn McCowan /U.S. Air Force CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Those distinguishing traits make emergencies so difficult to prepare for. But there are clear, if less familiar, steps responder agencies can take to make their efforts more efficient and effective.
Roles-based resource management: an unexpected place to start
Roles and structures don’t always get a lot of play in emergency planning. But they should, especially in the resource management context. Roles-based resource management is all about bringing the right command and control mechanisms to bear in emergency, with the goal of developing a real-time view of available resources, better allocating people, as well as improving common practices. Here’s how you do it.
Responder teams have to start managing personnel (and their tasks) on an ongoing basis within their incident structures. Otherwise, people end up wandering around the emergency site, simply because they don’t understand tasks or objectives.
What often stymies organizations from taking that roles-based approach to resource management is the fact that it’s dependent on the knowledge of managers. This is a challenge for all organizations, irrespective of maturity:
- In organizations that are just getting started. Managers have to interpret what a given role is and what it entails.
- In slightly more mature organizations. Managers have to examine and explain the complexity of a given role. During an ongoing disaster, managers have to assign resources in and out of the emergency site.
- In large, mature organizations. Managers have to see to it that roles and structures have been successfully replicated in their chapter.
The resource assignments feature in Noggin OCA, our all-hazards, incident management platform, helps all organizations, irrespective of maturity level, solve these roles-based resource management challenges. Noggin OCA provides a unified way to manage the selection, assignment, dispatch, and rostering of people and assets.
In Noggin OCA, managers can define roles for each resource they need as well as requirements for those roles. What’s more, Noggin OCA also lets managers find and rank candidates, communicate with and confirm those candidates, as well as create and manage rosters.
Structures are at the very heart of this resource assignment capability. Managers just have to specify what information they would like to capture against each role and resource. This capability enables managers to do the following:
- Describe the roles and resources that make up their teams.
- Define the people, assets, capabilities and attributes that they require, arranged in a hierarchy that scales from a couple of roles through to a full organizational structure.
And that’s not all. With Noggin OCA managers can also pre-define templates for resource structures, all of which leads to increased flexibility in the midst of a chaotic event. To learn more about Noggin OCA, check out our full features guide.
Follow us on Twitter @TeamNoggin stay tuned for part 4 next week!