10 Ways to Improve your Coordination with External Agencies – tip 2 designate the right people

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 # 2 Assign appropriate internal staff to coordinate with each agency

It is important to establish relationships with as many of the agencies in your inventory as possible.  Assign to each key agency an internal liaison and monitor their relationship. The liaison should have relevant expertise and connections. The Business Continuity coordinator may often act as this internal liaison for a number of groups.

Hold joint meetings with key agencies to discuss and establish expectations for internal and external emergency response and recovery procedures. Gain a firm understanding of their communication protocol and reporting processes. Determine which agency would be in charge at the scene, when control would be handed back to your team and how it should be done. Resolve any conflicting issues.

In your response plan, assign a liaison to work with the local officials on site at the time of an incident. Ensure they understand the role and the type of information they could be sharing. Introduce them to the officials that they would likely be dealing with.

(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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