10 Ways to Improve your Coordination with External Agencies – tip 1 create an inventory

Internally, all your plans are written and exercised, your people are trained and aware of their roles and your messages are prepared.  Maybe after your first exercise, you will appreciate that your organization can not respond or recover on its own. The following 10 tips will facilitate your coordination with external agencies.

Tip # 1 Create an inventory of all pertinent external agencies

Determine who your local and regional public authorities are. Create a database of these groups and contact information for all key individuals at these organizations. Document their potential impact on your plans.

Brainstorm with the business continuity planning team and draw up a list of all other external groups that your organization might have a relationship with during an emergency.

The following list should get your inventory started:

  • Volunteer or non-profit organizations – United Way, Red Cross, Salvation Army, St. John Ambulance, Radio Amateurs of      Canada (Amateur radio operators may maintain distance communications, and support local safety and relief efforts during or after disasters), Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team (OVERT) Inc.
  • Transportation –  local transit, taxi and bus companies
  • Health – public health agencies, poison control, hospitals and ambulance, local doctors and      clinics
  • Regulators – all specific to your industry
  • Insurance – brokers, insurance company, local adjuster
  • Police – local police, RCMP,  Provincial police, 911 center
  • Firefighters – local fire station and the fire chief
  • Local military –  local base
  • Coast guard
  • Governments – municipal, provincial and federal government representatives
  • Provincial Government agencies
  • Federal Government agencies
    • Centre for Emergency Preparedness and  Response – central coordinating point for public health security issues
    • CANUTEC – Canadian  Transport Emergency Center (Transport Canada) –  assists emergency response personnel in handling emergencies related to the transportation of dangerous goods
    • Counter-Terrorism  Coordination and Health Information Networks (Public Health Agency of Canada) – coordinates with stakeholders,  provides early warning surveillance and is an information resource on       health-related aspects of CBRN
    • Emergency Telecommunications (Industry Canada) – the lead role for emergency telecommunications in Canada.
    • Energy  Infrastructure Protection Division (Natural Resources Canada) formulates policies and provides advice to the       Minister on Canada’s critical energy infrastructure protection and emergency preparedness.
    • Environmental Emergencies Program (Environment Canada) – responsible for the prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from environmental emergencies.
    • Forest Fire in Canada – Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada) – involved in forest safety in Canada.
    • National Search and Rescue Secretariat – a liaison for search and rescue agencies and all partners involved in Canadian search and rescue
    • Natural Hazards and  Emergency Response Program (Natural Resources  Canada) reduces losses from natural hazards and enhances disaster response preparedness

Determine the role of each of these agencies during an event.  Outline what support they should be able to provide. Obtain at least one individual contact name, phone number and e-mail address for each of these agencies.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice Ten –  Coordination with External Agencies DRII Professional Practices June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

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