Dynamic Crisis Response to COVID-19
The fast-paced nature of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with patchy staff availability and often conflicting Government advice makes detailed planning very difficult.
All organisations need to set up a response capability that is dynamic and sustainable over the long-term. Our key advice for any organisation planning their response to COVID-19 right now:
- Establish a Crisis Management team
- Convene a daily Crisis Management team meeting
- Monitor news feeds from trusted sources
- Adjust short-term response and medium-term assumptions regularly
- Communicate clearly and regularly with stakeholders
- Take decisive action, early
- Pace yourselves for the long-haul
- Adopt social distancing from team members at all times
- Log and record all decisions made
- Be human – everyone is suffering and scared
COVID-19 is threatening the survival of many businesses. We do not know how long the pandemic will last and what course it will take.
Building a dynamic response capability is essential to make the best of a bad situation and improve the chance of surviving the crisis. Don’t forget to implement social distancing whenever possible and review the impact of working for a long period of time with reduced staff levels.
Community Crisis Response
As a society, we cannot wait for the Government to tell us exactly what to do. They do not have the resources at National, County, Borough or Parish level to cover the full range of services that will be required by the vulnerable, self isolating and key workers.
This is why it is essential that community response groups are formed without delay. We have been directly involved with assisting the rapid formation of a group to support 80,000 residents across Surrey Heath www.surreyheath-prepared.uk
To date this group have recruited over 1,000 volunteers, coordinators and a steering group. They have also established a close working relationship with the Surrey Heath Borough Council incident management team, faith groups and local charities.
Setting up a large community response team is not easy, however, the entire team is learning how to respond dynamically, whilst living with ambiguity.
To help other local communities we will be sharing our learnings in Surrey Heath, which we hope will save you time with setting up your own Community Response group.