In the first of our Industry Insights Series, we sat down with Kel Udeala an Industry Analyst for independent analyst firm, Verdantix, and author of the recently published Strategic Focus: Critical Event Management for Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) And Risk Management report, to discuss how Critical Event Management (CEM) solutions play a vital role in managing black swan events and ensuring business continuity.
As an author of a report on critical event management solutions, you’re certainly no stranger to the players, solutions, and use cases. For the benefit of those readers that aren’t, could you explain what CEM solutions are and give some examples of the use cases?
Udeala: CEM solutions are technology-based solutions for managing disruptive events with extreme consequences. Firms apply CEM solutions to various use-cases, including disaster response management, supply chain disruptions, hazardous substance release, and pandemic response management, to name a few.
In your report you talk about how CEM solutions help organizations manage and respond effectively to unforeseen events, ensuring resilience and saving lives. Could you give an example of a real-time event to illustrate this?
Udeala: As an example, the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, which took place in August 2020, inflicted an estimated US$15 billion worth of property damage, rendering about 300,000 people homeless. Relief efforts stretched emergency response services, requiring 75 ambulances and 375 medics immediately after the explosion. CEM solutions facilitated relief efforts via IT network infrastructure, connecting individuals, firms, and emergency services, helping to direct medics and firefighters, disseminating information, and confirming the safety of individuals who respond to the alerts.
The world is currently undergoing the largest simultaneous global vaccine drive in history, where speed and precision are of the essence to beating the COVID-19 pandemic. Can you explain how CEM solutions are playing a vital role in this mammoth undertaking to globally distribute the vaccines?
Udeala: For pandemic response management, CEM solutions can facilitate vaccine distribution, locate vaccination centers, send alerts on phased distribution, implement rumor control, alerts on updates and changes to locations and schedules, and provide map images with information, all with a multi-lingual format, and as an example, Everbridge’s solution has all these features and more. Such CEM solutions empower firms and government organizations with insights to improve supply chain efficiencies, thus facilitating vaccine distribution.
You mentioned earlier that CEM solutions played a central part in connecting key people, organizations, and emergency services during the Beirut disaster. What are some other critical events whereby firms can use CEM solutions to help them mitigate risk and accelerate resolution?
Udeala: CEM solutions have significant utility for crisis management. Firms use the solution to respond to and manage events such as active shooter scenarios, terror attacks, natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and fires, and also in response to cybersecurity breaches.