Types of teams in crises

What ‘types of teams in crises’ are needed? When the organizations and building managers prepare their BCPs, they should think carefully about what tasks they give to whom to master the crisis and cope with the situation. The teams needed can be formed according to their responsibilities that you can define, assign and bundle. Using the teams we list here, each organization can be inspired to complete its BCP. You are free to shop around in the assignment to define your own teams. Nothing is sacred in this. But when some teams already exist, keep them within the types of teams in crises.In this post, I offer my own opinion, not that of any organization.
Author: Manu Steens

The most classic split

In this classic split, the ‘top’ of the types of teams in crises is taken by the ‘CMT’ :

Crisis Management team

The Crisis Management team (CMT) provides the overarching coordination of an organization’s response to a crisis, in an effective and timely manner, with the goal of preventing or minimizing damage to service, reputation, and ability to function.

  • Coordinating a crisis
  • Testing the plans
  • Making funds available at time of crisis
  • See also in the alternative set later in the document.

Crisis communication team

The Crisis communication team (CCT) operates in tandem with Crisis Management, it handles its internal and external communications. The CCT plans communications by and with senior management, the Emergency Management Team (EMT), the Disaster Recovery Team (DRT) and the BCM Teams (BCTs) (see below) and their families in advance. This way they are aware of the course of events in the crisis.

  • Preparation of a Crisis Communication Plan (CCP).
  • Implementing the CCP
  • Providing a spokesperson
  • Testing of the CCP along with testing of the BCP and the clout of the CMT.
  • See also in the alternative set later in the document.

Emergency Management team

The Emergency Management team (EMT) provides the set of efforts made to ensure preparedness for when an event causes damage to property, processes, people. One defines emergency preparedness as: the capability that enables an organization or community to respond to an emergency in a coordinated, timely and effective manner. This in order to prevent loss of life and minimize damage to health, processes and patrimony. To this end, it considers a range of threats in an initial assessment, which may be real, and the nature of the damage that may result.

  • Preparation of evacuation plan
  • Preparation of a disaster planning script for a building
  • Advising the CMT in terms of the health and safety of the
    • Staff
    • Property
    • Surroundings.
  • Testing one’s own plans

Contingency planning team

The Contingency planning team (CPT) is the team for developing advanced arrangements and procedures that enable the organization to respond to an adverse event.

  • Preparation of a Business Risk Analysis
  • Preparation of a Business impact analysis
  • Preparation of scenarios and strategic decision proposals to management
  • Establish the CMT and CCT, with roles and responsibilities, front-office procedures (escalation procedure) and back-office procedures (who does what in what phase of the crisis)

This team works very closely with the BCM Team

BCM team

The BCM team (BCT) expands these actions to include preparations for what to do after an event has actually occurred. Therefore, a good BCP will outline how teams evaluate the damage suffered. (They then act as damage assessment teams.)

  • Preparation of necessary Business Continuity Plans
  • Damage assessment
  • Proposal of remedial measures, non-ICT, to the CMT
  • They also determine the priority of allocations of recovery funds.

Disaster Recovery team

The Disaster Recovery team (DRT) covers the technical aspect of BCM. The collection of resources and activities to restore or reinstall IT services at an alternate location following a disruption of IT services. (Including components such as the infrastructure, telecommunications, systems, applications and data.)

  • Building a backup server room (DR site).
  • Restoring ICT-related services, whether by moving to the DR site or not.
  • Return from DR site operation to normal operation after a new “first” Server Room is installed
  • Proposal of remedial measures, ICT bound, to the CMT.

An alternative set

The intention here is to open eyes so that each organization defines the types of teams in crises as best suited to themselves.

The Crisis Management Team (CMT)

  • Activating the Contingency Plan or BCP.
  • First notification of the team leaders of the various teams.
  • Analyze preliminary damage reports to determine if an incident is an emergency and declare a crisis.
  • Determine the applicable emergency plans and strategies, including determining which teams should go into action in this situation.
  • Determine what communications strategy the organization will use. Include the actions that the Crisis Communications Team and the Administrative Support Team will need to employ. This respectively for external and internal communications.
  • If necessary, call off the crisis, and initiate related procedures.

The Administrative Support Team

The Administrative Support Team is responsible for:

  • Setting up the command center and ensuring that the needs of the CMT are met.
  • Ensure key administrative support tasks are assigned. (Such as email, messengers, mail handling, reception, coffee, etc.)
  • Coordinate internal notification regarding the crisis, from technical and user personnel. This includes initial and preliminary notifications as well as status updates.
  • Provide forms and supplies necessary for crisis handling. The various teams and departments or the organization will have specific necessities.
  • Provide a note-taker to the CMT and possibly the CCT

The Damage Assessment Team

The Damage Assessment Team must:

  • Perform a (preliminary) damage assessment on the following items:
    • The structures (buildings, rooms, offices, furniture)
    • Environmental treatment instruments and devices (air conditioning, refrigeration units, power supplies)
    • Instruments and devices for environmental protection and security devices (access control, fire detectors, alarm systems)
    • Computer hardware and software, data communication facilities, …
  • Estimate usability and recovery time of critical resources.
  • Report the results of the assessment and make recommendations to the CMT. This they do for the evaluation and selection of the most appropriate emergency and recovery plan(s).

The Recovery Coordination Team

The Recovery Coordination Team does:

  • Coordinating activities and communication between technical areas and user domains.
  • Coordinate the activities of recovery teams and monitor planning, backup, recovery, reconstruction and support activities.
  • Conflict resolution during the crisis. Also of issues that the other teams cannot resolve.
  • Assist the CMT with the details of the plan, or in formulating alternative actions as needed.
  • Regular status of recovery progress.
  • Receive, integrate and update logs from the various teams.

The Crisis Communications Team

The Crisis Communications Team

  • Assists the CMT in finalizing the chosen communication strategy
  • Initials public/stakeholder/market/vendor communication
  • Provides key notices to contacts (media, suppliers, competition, emergency services,…)
  • Activates the internal call trees, WhatsApp groups or the like
  • Establishes a process regarding internal status notifications

The Human Resources Support Team

The Human Resources Support Team must:

  • Handle all employee-related matters on a regular basis
  • Providing personnel during recovery activities
  • Provide/recruit temporary staff as the leaders of the various teams request
  • Activating provisions of family members of affected employees.
  • Handle personnel-related problems as they arise
  • Coordinate insurance and legal representatives

The Site Recovery Team

The Site Recovery Team must:

  • Perform a comprehensive and comprehensive assessment of damage to structures, surrounding materials and equipment and supplies resulting from the disaster.
  • Coordination of rescue activities thereon.
  • Provided a comprehensive damage report to the CMT to support long-term recovery strategies.
  • Provided new buildings and necessary facilities at the request of the CMT.
  • Coordination of environmental devices, security systems, alarm systems, furniture, etc.
  • Insure the security of the damaged buildings and alternative workplaces.
  • Working with the technical recovery teams to ensure that appropriate environmental equipment and power systems are installed.

The Transportation Support Team

The Transportation Support Team must:

  • Coordinate transportation for all staff, including activating arrangements with cab companies, bus companies, etc.
  • Coordinate supplies of devices, materials, instruments, computer tapes, backup materials, and communicate appropriate instructions to vendors.
  • Coordinate meals for staff.
  • Record transportation needs of the CMT and all team leaders.

The System Recovery Team

The System Recovery Team

  • Assists in the recovery and maintenance of operating system software , application and application software, and databases at alternate sites.
  • Provides and monitor user work capabilities in the restored site or the new sites.
  • Coordinates rescue efforts of computer hardware.
  • Coordinates the procurement, delivery, installation and testing of the new/restored systems.

The End User Technical Support Team

The End User Technical Support Team does:

  • Assisting call center startup, and answering voicemail
  • Assist in recovery and maintenance of network operating system software, application software and databases in the new/restored location.
  • Installing and monitoring networks
  • Coordinate rescue efforts for telephony, PCs and data communications equipment.
  • Coordinate the procurement, delivery, installation, testing and transfer of the telephones, PCs and data communications equipment at the alternate/restored sites.

Final Thought

As mentioned above, when some teams already exist, keep them within the types of teams in crises.

Manu Steens

Manu works at the Flemish Government in risk management and Business Continuity Management. On this website, he shares his own opinions regarding these and related fields.

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