Are you prepared for…anything? – Part 3

by todaystrainingblog

Production Floor:

I use the term production floor to refer to the area where your work is performed. In a call center it will be the phone room/floor, hospitals and schools will be called… and offices… But no matter where the production of your company is performed there is one thing that must be done. All, and I do mean all, floor supervisors & managers, and possibly hourly employees if not needed in Facilities, need to be involved in putting it all back together again.

The most important task they need to tackle is to assess the damage to the machinery and raw materials they use on a daily basis. You don’t know how long your recovery will take, or what resources you’ll need, until you can make a complete assessment of the damage and needed, necessary, resources. The idea obviously being to get back to full production as soon as possible.

If that means they all have to be reassigned to clean-up then that is what has to be done. Everyone within the organization needs to be pushed in the direction of assisting the company to fully recover. And that means possibly suspending the union contract, if they will agree, so that anyone can help anywhere within the facility. For the sake of the company and employee jobs, let’s hope that it can be agreed to.



It is an absolute vital necessity to train employees in the DRP. And this will mean every single employee in the company at that location. From c-suite to hourly employees doing the production work. This is to ensure that everyone is knowledgeable in the plan so that they know their place in it and how to react, or not, to an incident.

The employees need to be trained in any way possible, and have it ingrained into them the plan. Until the plan itself becomes nothing but second nature to them. Being realistic it may mean nothing, because people act differently in a crisis, most times, than they do in training or simulation. That may be counterproductive but…

Types of Training

     The type of training you need to have is as varied as the type of companies that will need them. But there are 2 kinds that are quite effective in a disaster, and especially an active shooter scenario. table tops and full blown drills. These training examples have been the target of some confusion, so let me try to explain them.

I have been to training exercises with table tops that literally had more in common with a classroom than an exercise. I’ve had some that were nothing more but a classroom discussion group and nothing was planned just discussed to get information out so they can say it was done, liability dismissal.

I’ve also participated in exercises where it lasted for hours and was extremely intense. The facilitators threw monkey wrenches into the mix and did their best to ‘discombobulate’ the people in the room. It worked very well. Almost too well.

As for a full blown drill, I’m sure you can figure it out. It’s like the fire drills we had in school, or for those old enough to remember, nuclear strike drills. In this case you need to at least twice a year, have a walk thru drill. This is simply just an evacuation and walk thru of the actual plan.

To have a full blown exercise you will need to coordinate with every local agency you can to assist. From

Law enforcement, fire, medical, & any other agency that may respond to a disaster including chemical companies. These exercises should also go the full route with simulated injured and dead.

One of these I participated in had an explosion in one of the manufacturing plants. We had searchers, rescuers. Police, fire, ambulance, and off-duty medical personnel that showed up to help. It was a great drill and the plan was re-evaluated and made better. With extensive and meticulous review & planning.

If you will be scheduling a full blown exercise, then you don’t want to tell your employees when or where it will occur. Surprise is the best option in a training scenario because it allows you to grade the responses accordingly. And as I said just above, when it goes down reactions will vary differently than table top or testing scenarios.

Informing them that it will occur is okay, especially if you’re in a healthcare or educational setting. And in some cases you may actually want to inform them of the time so as not to scare anyone about the training exercise. Scaring them into believing its real is definitely not a good idea no matter how effective it may be.


The last part of this series will be forthcoming next week. Stay tuned.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear