Planning a Workplace Violence Mock Disaster Scenario

At MHA, we plan, develop and implement many mock disaster exercise scenarios annually.  A current exercise that many clients are looking for is the Workplace Violence incident. This scenario has become a very real threat to many companies across the country.

Below is a sample of such a scenario:

  • Scenario Baseline – Provide a comprehensive 1 to 2 page overview of the event and what is known at that time to include date, time, location, weather (if applicable) and known facts of the situation at hand, etc.  In our scenario, we would tell the team that gunshots have been heard, employees evacuated on their own, injuries are known to have occurred, police were called and are onsite, etc.
  • First Update  (Response)– Your scenario should focus on immediate response to the scenario to include dealing with employee evacuation/safety, stabilizing the situation with emergency responders, missing and unaccounted for employees, and communicating with stakeholders.
  • Second Update 2 (Response) – Update the scenario to include that the workplace violence incident has ended, employees have been injured/killed and business/technology operations have been disrupted.  Focus on making your Crisis Team deal with stablizing the business, communicating status and preparing for recovery.  You should require a press release and employee update here.
  • Third Update  (Recovery) – This update should focus on providing your team with an employee update, damage assessment update, systems and technology update and technology update.   The team should now focus on identifying what needs to be recovered in what order, communicating status, using workarounds wherever possible, etc.
  • Fourth Update (Restoration) – Now that your team has identified what needs to be recovered, your scenario update should advise the team that they will be out of the office for “x” days/weeks requiring affected business units to work from alternate sites.  They must address how business will run at alternate sites.
  • Fifth Update (Return Home) – Create an update that states the business will return to its normal operating site.  The team should focus on returning relocated operations to the primary site.

Remember to take the maturity of your team in consideration when you design the exercise.  The higher the maturity of the team, the more complex the exercise and vice versa.

If your team is novice, provide them with the deliverables you are looking for them to achieve in each update.  If your team is advance, you can let the team determine the deliverables based on their knowledge of the business and tasks in their plan.

Read more on workplace violence exercises and other mock disaster scenarios:

Michael Herrera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHA. In his role, Michael provides global leadership to the entire set of industry practices and horizontal capabilities within MHA. Under his leadership, MHA has become a leading provider of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services to organizations on a global level. He is also the founder of BCMMETRICS, a leading cloud based tool designed to assess business continuity compliance and residual risk. Michael is a well-known and sought after speaker on Business Continuity issues at local and national contingency planner chapter meetings and conferences. Prior to founding MHA, he was a Regional VP for Bank of America, where he was responsible for Business Continuity across the southwest region.

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