Experts of Emergency Response Planning

It was the morning of 28th March 2017. Debbie, a category four cyclone was about to wreak havoc in Queensland, Australia. Dark clouds and gush of gale-wind through the empty streets of the coastal town of Bowen in Queensland were the heralds of Debbie. Fearing the landfall of Debbie, Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Premier of Queensland had already requested Bowen’s citizens to evacuate the town. The cyclone finally hit Bowen affecting the town’s power and water supplies, and as a result, the family practice at Queens Beach Medical Center had no option but to close its doors. Alicia Fletcher, a practice manager of Queens Beach Medical Centre in Bowen, recalled the event and the reliance of the community on their local family medical practice. Luckily, the practice had an emergency response and business continuity plan in place and despite power outage lasting for a week, the facility was able to get up and running and able to serve their local community faster than anticipated. According to Fletcher, behind Queens Beach Medical Centre’ endurance against natural disaster lies an effective emergency response plan that she had laid down with the help of the ResilienceTec platform. The plan enabled the practice to build their plan with expert guidance in emergency response planning.

“ResilienceTec takes companies through a stepwise process of considering every component that could lead to shutting off their business during a crisis,” comments John Anthony Williams, director of ResilienceTec. Reportedly, around 86 percent of healthcare facilities and businesses in the Australasia region struggle to keep their operations running after any significant natural disaster due to lack of forward planning. To remedy this situation, ResilienceTec has built an easy-to-use cloud-based ERPT (Emergency Response Planning Tool)—which was first launched in 2011 in New Zealand general practices and then in 2013 in partnership with Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)—to provide business continuity best practice through risk evaluation and emergency and pandemic response planning. In the latest version of the platform, ResilienceTec combines expertise from a multitude of industry thought leaders to help SMEs prepare for unplanned business interruptions.

Once a prospective client onboard themselves directly on resiliencetec. com, they can schedule a video call to seek assistance for the entire set up process and all other necessary modules, including in-depth cybersecurity components. It takes somewhere between three and four hours for users to complete the initial planning using the intuitive platform. The ERPT’s user-friendly interface guides users through the process and asks all the right questions so that the organisation is prepared for an unplanned event. According to Williams, “It means clients’ businesses will be nimble in the face of unplanned events, allowing them to survive, succeed, and thrive in the wake of a cyberattack, telecommunications failure, power loss, theft, natural disasters, and even viral outbreaks, regardless of an organization’s industry, or geography.”

The success and proven expertise of ResilienceTec have made the cloudbased ERPT popular among cyber and general insurer, and insurance brokers. These companies further recommend their customers to use ResilienceTec’s ERPT to lay down their own emergency response plan before underwriting an insurance policy. It also enables insurance providers to build relationships directly with the policyholders and differentiate their offering from other insurers and insurance brokers, and it helps mitigate the insurance providers risk, as they know if an organisation has used ResilienceTec, they have thought and prepared for any unplanned event possibilities.

In coming months, Williams highlights that his company will work toward improving the understanding and importance of emergency response and business continuity planning, including the impact of cybersecurity and cyber breaches on organizations. Recent changes in privacy legislation in Australia and pending in New Zealand will mean organizations will need to report data breaches, and this can be very important for the organization’s reputation and support of their customer base. It is becoming more crucial for organizations to think about all risks to them functioning as an organization and put a plan in place to help them recover as quickly as possible after an unplanned event.

John Anthony Williams