Crisis Response Officer: A new community and private sector point of contact for responders
AD | 11.19.2006 | 12:23:13 | Views: 3731 | ID:
Recent disasters illustrate the important role of the private and community sector in supporting local public sector response and recovery efforts. National corporations charities after Katrina contributed expertise, services and assets that augmented, or in some cases surpassed, early public sector responder capability. Many public sector agencies at the federal or state level depend on the logistics and resource capabilities of these ommunity/private sector partners to deliver, manage and maintain critical communications, warehouse and materiel/personnel services during crisis. A new position of Crisis Response Officer in every local corporate and community organization facility would create an muliplier network at the community level that could help augment the public sector response during the first hours of crisis.
The efficiency and speed of delivery of key resources and personnel is determined by applying best practices developed through years of experience, resulting in very efficient and cost-sensitive capabilities adaptable to response and recovery efforts. The Crisis Response Officer would serve as the key contact point during crisis.
Response during the first 72 hours depends upon the degree of preparedness and first response capability of the immediate and surrounding communities. Robust preparation and synchronized response helps keep a humanitarian recovery from devolving into a law enforcement crisis. If a local jurisdiction lacks adequate materiel, personnel and effective administration professionals and volunteers, the chances of a quick community recovery are diminished.
Local business and community organizations must play an important role in community preparedness and response. In addition to the civic responsibility and good Samaritan contributions that underpin private sector contributions to preparedness and response, local commercial vitality after a crisis is determined in part by the same forces and consequences that affect community recovery after crisis.
In key ways, business continuity is tied to community continuity.
Every local business should appoint an employee to a new position in every facility called the crisis response officer (CRO), to act as liaison from the facility to the local public responder/law/medical sectors – and function as a partner to help plan and train their employees for community crisis.
Crisis Response Officer
The CRO serves three primary functions: 1) act as the key liaison between the corporation and the surrounding jurisdiction leadership for planning, response and continuity; 2) establish a direct link to responder sector leaders (see Essential Public Network) to facilitate training, preparedness and response planning; and 3) serve as the task officer to help employees and their families prepare, respond and recover from crisis.
In addition to the individual local role of the CRO, an national association of CROs (see Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association) can help develop practical public policy initiatives that overcome barriers to community sector participation with respect to liability, incentives and cost.
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