Through the CIP program, MSU specialists travel to a community and lead two to four workshops over a period of 6 to 18 months, including:
1. Overview of the CIP program (It helps communities decide to participate and is optional.)
2. Orientation/planning workshop (Think of this as the partnership kickoff event.)
3. Status workshop (This ensures progress and leads a risk assessment and is optional.)
4. Tabletop exercise (Scenario-based, this interactive exercise requires public and private sectors to work together to address the situation. The tabletop exercise generates an after-action report that includes an improvement plan.)
Both sectors benefit from participating in the CIP facilitation program. Governmental agencies can improve their level of preparedness and response when they better understand private sector capabilities and needs. Businesses and non-profit entities are able to enhance their strategic planning, emergency planning, and business continuity plans once they are aware of the public sector’s priorities and capabilities. The direct benefits of enhanced planning are open communication and collaboration, which lead to smoother interaction during an event, which in turn enables a faster return to normalcy than would be realized without the partnership established “in peacetime.” Ultimately, the quality of life in the community increases through these partnerships because both sectors contribute to improving overall preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery capabilities.
Participation in a Critical Incident Protocol (CIP) Community Facilitation Program is an excellent way to improve preparedness for your organization and community, regardless of which side of the public-private fence you are on. There is no cost to participating communities. The program is funded by the Training & Exercise Integration Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through a grant to Michigan State University. More information on this program is available at www.cip.msu.edu.
Peter R. Laz, MBCP, is a senior consultant with Forsythe Solutions Group and has more than 20 years experience designing and implementing disaster recovery, business continuity, and incident management programs. He is a member of the DRJ Editorial Advisory Board, Board of Director of PPBI, and program director of the New York Capital Region Chapter ACP. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.