Disaster Readiness

Trusted Experts In Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Resilience

COVID-19 in 2020/2021 has shown how unprepared many businesses and countries are for the unexpected. Businesses are dealing with significant financial losses, which has resulted in the need to lay off employees. Even formerly thriving businesses are struggling due to governmental-decried closures. Some businesses will close permanently, and the economy will be further affected by those closures. Experts will be debating what could have been done differently for years to come. What we do know right now is that businesses and organizations should take advantage of times of stability to plan for unexpected events in order to mitigate, respond and protect life, property, and other valuable assets

Jbara’s team offers extensive pre- and post-disaster support to private and public sector clients seeking to mitigate against disasters and build resilience and help businesses better prepare for the next pandemic. Jbara can help you accomplish your goals with a systemic approach focused on both compliance and the interconnections between different community programs to achieve a holistic vision. We help clients plan for the cascading impacts one system can have throughout the organization and design programs to help you mitigate against critical gaps and strengthen prevention, response, and recovery. 

Risk management is used primarily to describe the steps we can take to avoid loss or lessen the

impact of a potential risk.  It typically involves the identification and assessment of risk by a coordinated application of resources to mitigate, control, and monitor the risk. In assessing risk, you first need to assess what can happen. The “what” is a pandemic, but don’t fail to include in your assessment the fallout from a pandemic, such as loss of revenue, inability to retain employees, supply chain impacts, employment lawsuits, and much more. Once you’ve identified risks specific to your organization, you should determine the probability for occurrence. Keep in mind that pandemics are not new. If history is a good predictor of the future, more pandemics are likely, including a resurgence of COVID-19. We can no longer say that the probability is unlikely. As such, we need to examine the consequences of such a risk and begin the process of mitigating against those possible outcomes.

When you explore the risk assessment of your organization, there are basic questions we work with clients in considering:

  1. Identify risks: what can happen?
  2. Determine probability of loss: how likely is it to happen?
  3. Assess severity of outcome: what are the consequences if it does happen?
  4. Mitigate risk: what can be done to manage the consequences?
  5. Resilience preparedness: How prepared are we to manage and sustain in time of disaster?
Jbara's Wholistic Approach to Disaster Readiness

J Bara helps clients develop an accurate understanding of their capabilities and vulnerabilities. In emergency management, being unaware can be dangerous, and even life-threatening. An organization’s emergency management capabilities are the baseline for solid planning. J Bara’s extensive military and civilian experience in devising and conducting thorough capabilities assessments assists a jurisdiction, hospital, or business to identify current risks and project the impact in the event of disaster. We approach each project with the discipline and robustness of management consultants trained to gather and interpret qualitative and quantitative information. 

Every emergency, regardless of type or scale, demands resources:  human, financial, supplies, and equipment. All are needed to effectively manage the emergency.  J Bara takes a multi-step, human factors based approach that focuses on how people interact with tasks, with equipment/technologies, and with the environment, in order to understand and evaluate these interactions during disasters. The goals of human factors approach are to optimize human and system efficiency and effectiveness, safety, health, comfort, and quality of life. By identifying resource needs, assembling targeted capabilities, and addressing resource gaps, our team provides recommendations to strategically move forward and reduce risks to organizational viability. The final product is a comprehensive report detailing a 360-degree view with predicted needs, capabilities, shortfalls, and recommended next steps.

J Bara experts are members of national and international policy bodies helping to define and set recommendations and standards for all stakeholders to follow. Our consultants are adept at developing both hazard specific and multi-hazard plans for all phases of an emergency, from mitigation to response, and beyond into recovery and resilience. Engaging critical stakeholders with innovative solutions related to planning, technology, and social media allows our team to develop unique plans, specific guidance for activating these plans, and a strategy for the client’s path forward.

The optimal time to make effective, strategic decisions is usually not in the midst of a crisis, however crises demand executives be able to quickly take necessary actions, typically with incomplete or even conflicting information. To better prepare for these times, J Bara works with executives to develop tactical guidelines for their specific operations and organizations. We help C-suite leaders and appreciate that failure to prepare exposes the organization – and its leadership and governance – to civil and criminal penalties. There is even precedent limited force majeure defenses.  If it has ever happened previously, even a millennia ago, you must be prepared for it.

Training and exercising are foundational activities; they ensure emergency plans are workable, complete, and understood by those tasked with implementing them. It is essential to train and exercise the people and organizations to be called upon during an emergency. Skills need to be refreshed, refined, and learned; roles need to be clearly assigned and embraced. Exercising empowers people to make decisions and mistakes in a safe environment and to learn from the experience.  Moreover, disasters are often, almost by definition, different from what has been anticipated and practiced.  Robust training and challenging exercises develop acumen in responding to the unexpected – “organizational muscle memory.”

At the conclusion of planning and training efforts, J Bara provides strategic guidance for effective future planning and resource procurement. Often, identified next steps are prioritized in terms of need, and range from low/no-cost solutions to those requiring community or capital funding. Where possible, J Bara provides insight about how to continue to prepare for disasters, as well as how to leverage financial assistance to promote such preparedness.