Orders of succession are an important part of both day-to-day operations and an organization’s continuity of operations plan. Orders of succession provide for the orderly and pre-defined assumption of senior leadership positions in the event that senior leadership are unavailable, debilitated, or incapable of performing their duties, roles, and responsibilities. Strong and clear leadership is a fundamental pillar of success during a major emergency or disaster.
Orders of succession are especially important during emergency events, when portions of an organization’s personnel may be injured, incapacitated, dead, or simply stuck in a place without access to communication methods. By having a succession of people that is at least three people deep, your organization stands a better chance of continuing operations smoothly. If possible, having at least one of the individuals on the succession list be a person whose day-to-day job is at a different location than the main facility will also improve the smooth transition of leadership during an emergency.
The United States government has a clear line of succession were the president incapacitated, dead, resigned, or removed from office. Let’s take a little quiz to see if you know our government’s line of succession.
Place the following offices in order of succession to the President of the United States:
Secretary of Defense
Speaker of the House
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
President pro tempore of the Senate
Orders of succession are commonly found in governments and monarchies, but the principal is a solid concept for businesses, schools, and smaller organizations as well. Having a plan of who will be in charge and make decision in the event that current leadership is unable to do so is an important part of emergency preparedness.
Many schools across the country have adopted zero tolerance policies when it comes to weapons on campus, drugs on campus, knives on campus, fighting on campus, or bullying on campus.
Are these policies working? A recent article in the New York Times says “no”, these policies are not working.
Zero tolerance policies mean that students are either suspended or expelled for infractions. These policies tend to disproportionally affect black, Latino, and mentally disabled students. Furthermore, sending a student home from school does not necessarily imply that the student will go home or stay home – many students simply spend the school-free time on the streets, unsupervised, engaging in unlawful or destructive behavior. In fact, the New York Times article shows links between a rise in juvenile crime rate and suspension/expulsion rate. When suspension/expulsion rates are lowered, so are juvenile crime rates.
In terms of bullying, there is some evidence that a zero tolerance policy leads to a decrease in reporting of bullying incidents since reporting will most likely lead to a suspension. Suspension of a bully may remove the student from the situation, but it does not address the underlying issue of bullying.
There are strategies schools can take to address bullying that have proven to be more effective than a simple zero tolerance suspension policy. We’ve written a white paper on bullying where you can read about this in more depth.
At Invictus Consulting we are not opposed to zero tolerance policies in schools; we just want to make sure that school administrators have explored the options available to them.
In honor of Halloween, we’d like to talk about preparing for a zombie catastrophe.
Seriously, we think you should prepare for a zombie apocalypse.
What, exactly, would zombie apocalypse preparation look like?
getting updates via Twitter, Facebook, texts from the CDC and your local emergency services (e.g., sheriff’s office, fire and rescue)
having a “go bag” ready in your home / office
having a shelter-in-place plan for your family / business
having an evacuation plan for your family / business
having a supply of food, water, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, radios, important documents, medical supplies, pet supplies, extra cash, and copies of your keys at your home
Now, if you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, the points above should look familiar. We talk about this stuff all the time – you need to have a plan in place for emergencies; you need to have supplies in place in case of emergencies; you need to be aware of your surroundings and knowledgable about threats to mitigate the risks.
Preparing for a zombie apocalypse actually looks a lot like preparing for any serious emergency or threat. If you’re prepared for the zombie apocalypse, you’re pretty much prepared for any major emergency like a hurricane, tornado, active shooter, pandemic outbreak, nuclear blast, home fire, etc.
So please, prepare for the zombie apocalypse. You won’t regret it!