time zone and is familiar with the business and culture of the
impacted office. The corporate IAT team should be engaged
in every incident so they are aware of the potential business
impacts and can provide corporate direction and assistance as
As the flu event continues to unfold and accelerate in spread
and severity, a number of ancillary events begin to occur includ-
n News media picks up the event as a top story
n People start to react and fear creeps in with the news stories
n Places start to close such as schools and maybe public transportation
n Local government agencies start to initiate actions often impacting
n Other localities and countries encounter the virus
n International agencies (e.g., WHO) are monitoring the situation and
As the event continues to unfold both at ground zero (Mexico)
and around the globe, the local IAT team is looking at the situation at ground zero and has already taken steps to protect employees, such as, limiting visitors, stopping travel, sanitizing office
workspace, addressing procedures for sick employees, and sending out employee communications. As the local IAT made these
decisions they were in regular contact with the IC’s from the
regional headquarters for consultation and direction on the company policy.
Depending on the severity of the situation the IAT teams from
the regional and corporate headquarter offices will decide if more
of the CIRT/LIRT teams need to be activated to manage the situation. The regional headquarters IAT /LIRT team starts to look
at the situation in their office and the other regional offices they
support. The corporate headquarters IAT/CIRT should be actively
involved in refining the policies, guidelines and communications
for the corporation.
The corporate IAT/CIRT provides a company oversight role
and is responsible for overseeing the company’s response to the
situation at the corporate headquarters and also for guiding the
other offices in the organization.
As the event continues to unfold and starts to impact every
region and country around the world, the organization must be
able to effective work with the all headquarters and offices within
the enterprise. Following the structure below, each regional office
has an IAT team which is taking care of the local employees and
business operations while getting assistance and direction for the
regional and corporate headquarters respectively. The regional
headquarters LIRT team is taking care of the headquarters
employees and business operations to manage the situation while
communicating with the corporate headquarters. The corporate
CIRT team is watching the entire event while at the same time
taking care employees and business operations at the corporate
Why Migrate to the ICS Methodology
A company needs to establish emergency response teams
across the enterprise to respond and manage the incident. These
teams will continue to monitor the pandemic situation and will
make decisions based on changing impacts to employees and the
business environment. The full extent and impact of a pandemic
event is impossible to predict so it is difficult to pro-actively
adjust business schedules and service levels. However, a company with a solid ICS structure will be well positioned to monitor
the event to make the necessary business adjustments required to
support employees and customers.
The ICS structure provides a company with a proven
methodology to effectively manage emergency situations.
It provides a solid approach to managing events within an
enterprise while providing the structure, teams and procedures necessary to build emergency management plans. You
will find the ICS methodology is very marketable within an
organization. As you layout the structure and approach for
managing emergency events, your executive management
will realize the business value and logic behind implementing
such a proven practice.
Lastly, by implementing ICS, a business will demonstrate
its desire to partner with the first responder community to more
effectively respond to and mange emergency events that effect
the business and the community. This working relationship can
go a long way to improve other needs such as training, communications, recovery access, and reputation.
Tim Bonno has been a business continuity and emergency management
practitioner for over 18 years. Much of his experience was devoted to a
large global telecommunications company where he was employed for
more than 30 years. During that time he responded to numerous events
including Midwestern floods, the Oklahoma City bombing, and Hurricane
Andrew. Bonno has received extensive and advanced training from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) as well as the Center For Domestic Preparedness (CDP).
Bonno is a contract instructor for a Midwestern state’s emergency management agency.
In this position, he instructs classes on subjects including leadership, decision-making,
effective communications, CERT (including Teen CERT, Deaf CERT, and CERT Train the
Trainer), and hazardous weather and flooding. He is a co-founder of the Gateway Citizen
Corps Coalition (GCCC) and serves as its current president. Bonno has worked with
communities across the country in establishing or strengthening their citizen preparedness
Randall J. Till, CBCP, has more that 20 years experience as a BC planner
and has learned to navigate the hardships and roadblocks associated with
implementing BC strategies and practices within an organization.