We at PPBI are all about partnerships, right? That’s true; and, the No. 1 question we receive when in the booth at the DRJ conferences is, “How do I make those partnerships work for me when I go home?”
Almost to the word, the response in the booth will offer what has worked for each of us. Let’s take a look at a couple, and I think you will agree the networking and relationship building may make a big difference for you.
We’ll first focus an internal partnership a lot of us have depended upon for the best info, some real time “intel.” Facilities folks are the people who maintain the integrity of your environmental infrastructure.
Have you met them? I’m not just talking about the managers and supervisors. Have you met any of the mechanics, the trades, the guys who pull the cables, supply the power, the HVAC? These are the guys who will be called to fix your problems and they also know where to find them. With a little networking, a cup of coffee or shared lunch; with a quick tour of their world, they may let you know about issues before it turns ugly. You have begun a dialogue that may help when the sump pumps can’t keep up with the ground water!
How about security, are you tied in with the physical security of your location(s)? Is there a radio system or mobile-to-mobile telephones to keep you in the loop? These same communications are often shared with those in facilities in campus environments, possibly a scanner could help with that local info, and be programmed to pick up your local emergency management communications. It can’t hurt.
That’s a couple of key internal partners. How about external? We just mentioned the local emergency or crisis manager. Who do you call to partner with them? We have found that in nearly every locality, someone is responsible for this type of planning. At the local level in my area, the county manages the local emergency planning committee.
I attended a meeting last week at the local TSA office as a business participant. I can’t name them all, but the meeting included representatives from the sheriff’s office, 911 center, poison control, National Guard, state and park police, United Way, universities, state DOT, rural metro, Red Cross, NY State Emergency Management Office, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), RACIES/ARIES (the amateur radio groups), hospitals, fire, police and on and on to more than 60 attendees.
This program had plenty of heads nodding in understanding as the local DOT emergency manager offered his statistics, manpower and how the snow storms affect their response times to other emergencies. The names, numbers and e-mail addresses, a business card here or there, all of those contacts are sources of information.
WOW! I was in the front row sitting between the CAP and Neighborhood Watch. Everyone had an opportunity to share an agency report. This bi-monthly meeting maintains a tight agenda and keeps things rolling. With all I just mentioned, there was time for a quick break and the whole meeting lasted less than two hours. I try to make each of these meetings if I am in town. It’s well worth it.
We understand that many of you have already built many of these partnerships and of course there is always the maintenance of these relationships; great efforts, all. For those who are beginning this process, you’ve asked this question, now take advantage and get out there to partner.
Deidrich E. Towne Jr., CBCP, is a senior technical consultant for Forsythe Solutions Group. He has more than 35 years experience in information technology.
"Appeared in DRJ's Spring 2009 Issue"