Issue 35 – February 2012
To minimise the impact of disasters, terrorist attacks, and other major incidents, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published a new Standard, Societal security – Emergency management – Requirements for incident response, ISO 22320:2011. The Standard will help save lives, mitigate harm and damage, and ensure continuity of basic services such as health, rescue services, water and food supplies, and electricity and fuel delivery.
ISO 22320 outlines global best practice to establish command and control of organisational structures and procedures, decision support, traceability, and information management. The Standard helps ensure timely, relevant, and accurate operational information by specifying processes, systems of work, data capture, and management.
Professor Ernst-Peter Döbbeling, Convener of the working group that developed the Standard, explains, 'Any response following an incident might include the participation of both public and private organisations working at international, regional, or national levels. Harmonised international guidance is needed to coordinate efforts and ensure effective action. ISO 22320 is a valuable tool that all types of organisations can use to improve their capabilities in handling incident response in any crisis.'
Interoperability and communication among involved organisations is essential for successful incident response. ISO 22320 establishes a foundation for coordination and cooperation to ensure that all parties are on the same page during a disaster, minimise the risk of misunderstanding, and ensure more effective use of combined resources.