Written by Senior Manager Joanne Costa.
The Australian Open was one of the most closely watched ‘will it–won’t it?’ events of the last 12 months. When considering the ongoing concurrent incidents the world was seeing, there were major concerns, and rightfully so.
It was one of the first major international sporting tournaments to be held in Australia since our borders were closed and the organisers had to respond to a series of high profile incidents and challenges before the first serve had even been taken.
Concurrent incidents are real and will happen
This year the focus for the Open was how to run a major event during a pandemic, but other concurrent incidents and risks were just as present as in previous years.
The organisers still needed to be able to respond to ongoing safety and security issues, extreme weather events, facility and infrastructure outages or even cyber-related risks that arose.
But this year, the Open had the added pressure of responding to these concurrent incidents while maintaining the controls and arrangements in place for COVID-19.
Despite this seeming like an impossible challenge to many onlookers, organisers of events like the Australian Open are primed, ready and very experienced at responding to concurrent incidents.
They do this through rigorous awareness, planning, training and testing to ensure that they can respond to any incident, or multiple incidents, in a quick, consistent and controlled manner.
While not all organisations have the same risk profile as the Australian Open, it is still paramount to be ready and prepared to respond to two or more incidents occurring simultaneously.
This is now more relevant than ever as we manage the ongoing impacts and challenges of COVID-19 through 2021.
For you, this could be a power outage affecting your staff who are working from home, or a lockdown and bushfire occurring at the same time as we saw earlier this year in WA.
The last year has proven that we cannot fall back on the “oh, that’ll never happen” mindset because unfortunately it can, and for some, it will.
So what are the key questions to be challenging ourselves with?
Key questions and considerations:
- Do you have a clear understanding of your current risk profile and the types of incidents most likely to impact your location, industry, organisation or event?
- Have they changed over the last 12 months?
- Are you proactively monitoring your risks and vulnerabilities?
- Who is keeping watch on weather conditions?
- Who is on the lookout for irregular online activity?
- How quickly will you find out if something does occur?
- If you do need to respond to another incident, who will lead the response?
- If you have a team currently activated for COVID-19, does it have the capacity to manage a second incident, or will you need to stand up a separate team or additional team members?
- How resilient is your capacity to manage and resolve concurrent incidents and do you test and validate your resilience through regular exercising?
At RiskLogic we work with our clients to help answer these questions by applying our proven planning, training, and exercising approach to enhance and validate your resilience. It is a system used by hundreds of our clients of all sizes and is well-tested for the current threat environment.
It is important not to just think about how you would respond but to proactively review your plans, update your risk profiles, train your response teams, and give a credible scenario a dry run. Identify and address gaps now, not once you are faced with the impacts of a second or even third concurrent incident.
I encourage you to challenge yourselves. Are you ready? And can you prove it?