situational awareness

During an incident it is imperative that the CMT (Crisis Management Team) has good overall Situational Awareness throughout the whole event.


This will allow leaders to better understand the situation enabling them to make well informed and accurate decisions. Here are some questions that should be asked on a regular basis throughout the response to a crisis:

1. What has changed?

Distinguish between what is known, unclear and presumed about the changes that have taken place.

2. What is happening?

Identify variations in the character of events, their extent and their tempo or severity.

3. What is changing?

It can be helpful to look at the inverse of events and consider what might be expected but has not (yet) been observed.

4. So what?

This is the critical question. A diversity of perspectives and viewpoints will add value.

5. What might happen?

Look forward and visualize potential scenarios, using axes of time (short, medium and long term) and severity (best case to worst case).

This technique is taken from the Crisis Management Guidance and Good Practice standard BS 11200:2014

Rob Burton

Rob Burton

Rob is a Principal at PreparedEx where he manages a team of crisis preparedness professionals and has over 20 years of experience preparing for and responding to crises. Part of his leadership role includes assisting PreparedEx clients in designing, implementing and evaluating crisis, emergency, security and business continuity management programs. During his career Rob has worked for the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, as a crisis management consultant in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he negotiated with the UN and Pashtun tribal warlords and he served with the United Kingdom Special Forces where he operated internationally under hazardous covert and confidential conditions. Rob was also part of a disciplined and prestigious unit The Grenadier Guards where he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Palaces in London. Rob was a highly trained and experienced infantryman serving in Desert Storm and commanded covert operational teams and was a sniper. Rob has keynoted disaster recovery conferences and participated in live debates on FOX News regarding complex security requirements and terrorism. Rob has a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.