Beyond the car park
One type of testing that always gets done is the fire evacuation test – because there’s a legal requirement to do so. Which means that at least once or twice a year, you have the ideal opportunity to get some added value by testing your incident management plans too, with the added benefit of a touch of realism.
In most cases, the evacuation test consists of everyone milling around the car park for five minutes then going back to work as if nothing had happened. But instead of just letting everyone troop back into the building after the evacuation test is complete, why not just whisper in the ears of one or two members of your incident management team and get them to run through the initial stages of their plans. See how successful they are at contacting the other team members amongst the chaos and confusion. Check that they actually know what to do and where to go. Check that they know where their command centre is and that they can get there (maybe even prevent them from using their cars for a bit of fun!). See if they even know where their plans are!
So, make the most of your evacuation tests. In fact, why not get the incident management team into the habit of convening every time you do one?
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