Four Elements to Incorporate into Your Incident Response Plan

People can no longer consider threats to safety and life as rare and remote possibilities. There are increased attacks at public avenues, workplace violence, and shootings at schools. However, security departments at retail locations, hospitals, and schools are taking steps to improve their incident response plans. As you update and review the incident response plan, consider and incorporate these four elements into your program.


It is crucial to consider all possible scenarios and threats that are beyond what is deemed to be normal. You can refer to PagerDuty to learn to create standards that will help the incident response team address the situations. Your procedures should be crystal-clear and relevant to your facilities and the surrounding. You can also schedule for updates and review to ensure the plan keep pace with environmental changes. Your procedure should also include provisions for dealing with visitors that won’t be part of the incident response team.


The next step after developing operating procedures and standards is to train and drill everyone in the team. For example, a school incident response team should ensure administration management, staff, students, and teachers are trained. It should cover all range of scenarios and alert levels. Moreover, ensure that those that handle visitors understand their roles.


Communication will be needed in many parts of a response plan. In fact, the dialogue begins when the team detects and reports an incident. Discussion continues through the response stage when alerting respondents and letting them know their responsibilities. It also extends through to the resolution after evacuation is complete and messages are sent to the press and community. Timely sharing of information is essential for everyone involved in a life-threatening crisis. As such, it’s crucial to plan for timely communication throughout the entire incident response plan.

Situational Awareness

An incident response team may require a chunk of time to move from the entry point to the location of an incident. In fact, this process may seem longer especially if respondents aren’t aware of where they are going. An efficient response plan should capture and collect real-time data and update respondents accordingly. The best way to enable respondents to assess, monitor, and respond to an event quickly is to make them aware of the status of every location.


It’s critical to review all parts of the incident response plan for timing. Remember that less time equals better outcome during a crisis. As such, you need to review the plan to speed up every step involved without compromising the quality of response. You need to consider the time taken for detecting and reporting an incident, updating respondents, taking actions. You also need to factor in the time taken to decide on a viable course of action. Evacuation time need to be reduced as much as possible during a life-threatening crisis.

Combining these four elements with well-trained staff and a physical protection system will enable an organization to respond to an incident faster and efficiently. It will also help the incident response team work towards a secure and safe resolution. You could also contact your local law enforcement if a crisis gets out of your control.