Volume 14 (2020-21)

Each volume of Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning consists of four 100-page issues both in print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 14 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page. The articles and case studies confirmed for Volume 14 are listed below: 

Volume 14 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Lyndon Bird, Editor
  • Epidemics and pandemics as high consequence events: Expanding leadership challenges and responsibilities in business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
    Christopher J. Biddle, Founder, TDS Reaction Training Concepts

    High-consequence events are not new to the daily operations and functions of security and business continuity leaders. However, the incidence of epidemics and pandemics over the past decade has changed the way organisations must be able to respond. For example, as seen with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the forced closure of business functions and the move to remote operations creates additional challenges for leadership. This paper discusses how leadership must be prepared to react quickly and efficiently in response to the recommendations from government and recognised health organisations, while also being proactive in recognising and understanding the epidemic/pandemic, its symptoms, and the physical and emotional effects on personnel. Leadership must also understand the importance of staying connected, and be proactive when the workplace changes its physical setting. This paper will also address the issues and implications related to the return to pre-event operations, as well as preparations for the next high-consequence event.
    Keywords: pandemic, leadership, response, high-consequence events, remote operations, return to normal, employee welfare

  • Epidemics and pandemics: Effects on societal and organisational resilience
    Michael Blyth, Chief Operating Officer and Simon Mallett, Head of Risk Consulting and Operations, Risk and Strategic Management Corporation

    The implications of a serious disease outbreak extend well beyond the disease itself. The levels of sickness and mortality, while important, can be quickly overshadowed by cascading risk implications that affect the global economy, threaten societal confidence, weaken the rule of law, present a risk to food security, and can lead to inter- and intra-state conflict. When multiple countries are concurrently impacted, the provision of life-saving and time-sensitive aid and humanitarian assistance can also be affected, leading to isolation and a domino effect of collapsing societies. When nations start from a low baseline level of resilience, then the speed of government and infrastructure failure may be swift. Resilience across every facet of government, community and business is critical if the disruptive effects of the disease and the more far-reaching effects of the fear the unseen enemy creates are to be controlled. This article describes the interconnected risks and impacts found within a pandemic crisis and how COVID-19 can impact every facet of society and business — providing the backdrop against which risk practitioners can contextualise how their respective organisations can plan for, respond to, manage, and ultimately recover from a pandemic crisis.
    Keywords: pandemic, epidemic, crisis, resilience, disruption, disaster, COVID-19, risk, threat, outbreak

  • Practising with the public: Special events training exercises for the 21st century
    Ian Becking, Director of Operations and Lindsey Kirby-McGregor, Program Advisor, Calian Emergency Management

    Using the example of a large exercise programme developed by the government of Canada in preparation for several large special events in 2010, this article provides an argument as well as recommended practical strategies for incorporating a realistic simulated public response to an emergency event, to be utilised by both government organisations and the private sector.
    Keywords: social media communication, emergency management training, public information officer training, emergency management exercises

  • Transitioning from incident to crisis management to continuity of operations
    Robert S. Cook, Independent international consultant, CDEX International and Raelene Anderson, Manager of enterprise business resilience, Delta Dental

    This paper explores the phases of emergency management following an incident through to continuity of operations. It summarises many of the obvious but often missed problems while responding to and recovering from an incident. The authors discuss what they feel is the key step in managing any incident or crisis — setting up the response quickly and correctly from the very beginning. They give insight about how to bring the right people into the room, how to communicate effectively throughout the incident and, most importantly, when to pull in the business continuity personnel so they can begin assessing the situation to ensure a smooth transition between phases and teams.
    Keywords: emergency response, crisis management, continuity of operations, all-hazards

  • Rising oceans, flooded towns: How Georgia coastline communities are readying to recover despite a changing climate
    Jennifer Kline, Coastal Hazards Specialist, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, April Geruso, Director of Resilience and Emily Preziotti, Hagerty Consulting

    Climate change is posing a significant threat to the coastal counties of Georgia. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Hagerty Consulting have recognised this threat and are facilitating a nine-year project aimed at developing a disaster recovery and redevelopment plan for the state’s coastal communities, and providing state-wide technical assistance. This paper provides an overview of this planning initiative and summarises the many insights into the pre-disaster recovery and resilience planning process gained from this project.
    Keywords: planning, disaster recovery, disaster redevelopment, resilience, local recovery, sea level rise, climate change

  • As the field of emergency management evolves, is it time to enhance its training methods?
    Christina Crue, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting and Kathy Francis, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management and Public Safety

    Each year, millions of individuals participate in emergency management training courses. Training opportunities are plentiful and offered by a variety of governmental, public and private providers, in a variety of locations and teaching environments, using a multitude of different topics, styles and methodologies. Training opportunities are vast and often designed to support a broad audience of learners, including those seeking to attain new skills as well as those seeking to retrain or change career. Yet, despite the abundant opportunities for training, including education, instruction, exercises and drills (including training on how to train), in the period following the activation of the emergency operations centre, when the time has come to implement the tools and actions taught, there remain problems. With all this training available, what exactly are workers learning and what are they forgetting? This paper will look at the need for an evolution in traditional emergency management training methods, such as what is working, what is not working, and how methods could evolve to enhance training engagement, increase knowledge retention, and improve worker performance.
    Keywords: emergency management, retention, performance, modern learner, microlearning, emergency response training

  • What University of Alaska Anchorage learned from a M7.1 earthquake
    Ron Swartz, Emergency Manager, University of Alaska Anchorage

    Teaching university students and employees how to react during a damaging earthquake can save lives and prevent injuries. Most earthquakes are over in less than a minute, but the real work of emergency managers begins once everyone climbs out from under their safe place and checks for damage to bodies, buildings and infrastructure. Business recovery and academic continuity can take years. Supplementing uniformed responders with trained employee volunteers can make a huge difference toward recovering quickly. Universities are generally not charged with the role of providing public safety in the same way that government is, so they must train and exercise regularly to get faculty, staff, administrators and even some students to transition quickly during crisis to new responsibilities within an incident command system (ICS) command post or emergency operations centre. During an area-wide emergency like an earthquake, a university campus must be able to run a significant part of its response and recovery efforts on its own, as governments and other institutions around them around will be doing the same — and competing for similar resources. This paper will discuss the advantages and outcomes of providing emergency response training to civilian employees and students, empowering them to become first responders, recovery workers and incident managers to supplement the few professionals paid to fulfil those roles on a fulltime basis.
    Keywords: damaging earthquake, citizen responder, situational awareness, continuity

  • Decision-making during VUCA crises: Insights from the 2017 Northern California firestorm
    Cliff Thomas, Risk consultant and adjunct professor, Colorado State University and the University of Denver

    Decision-making is a central aspect of crisis management, yet research and literature directed at the topic are scarce. Consequently, practitioners have access to very few new decision-making insights. To help fill this knowledge gap, a study of leader decision-making during the 2017 Northern California firestorm was undertaken. The outcomes of the study suggest that crisis decision-making may be less process-driven and consequence-focused than has been previously thought. Rather, a myriad of human elements appear to have significantly influenced crisis decision-making. Three influences discussed in this paper involve the fluidity and variability of decision factors, leader and team trust, and leader wellbeing. Finally, the paper discusses the practical implications of the study’s outcomes.
    Keywords: crisis leadership, crisis management, decision-making, human element, trust, VUCA