Augmenting and Improving Crisis Response Planning & Intervention with PrePlanLive – An Enhanced Situational Awareness Platform 

 April 6, 2018

By  Craig LaPine

Clausewitz wrote about it as “The Fog Of War”. SunTzu wrote about it as “not knowing yourself or the enemy”. It is a lack of certainty. It comes from a lack of information about what is actually at hand. Without information, accurate decisions are very difficult to make. What happens is you get a bunch of educated guesses and then a tentative decision based on those guesses.

– Gabriel Suarez, The Suarez Blog, SuarezInternational.com, August 30, 2016

   Current methodologies in place to prepare for, mitigate, and respond to public safety incidents center on initial and recurring Due Diligence/Security Assessments of buildings, campuses, and other locations that draw large gatherings (e.g., houses of worship, sporting venues, etc.). These assessments are the foundation for:

  1. Preparedness
  2. Communication
  3. Incident Plan(s) (i.e., actions to take during an incident)
  4. Training and Exercises
  5. Post-Incident Recovery

Enhanced Situational Awareness (in the form of PrePlanLive) enhances, and in many cases, drives – and serves as a foundational pillar for – preparedness, communications, incident plan development, and emergency scenario training and exercises.

Planning & Preparedness (and their challenges)

A major component of any emergency response program or plan is preparedness. Legacy tools used to create incident response plans largely fail to account for the dynamic nature of today’s threat, nor do these tools provide the level of detail law enforcement/first responders (LE/FR) require to quickly and efficiently respond to any given crisis scenario. The challenges faced by both strategic planners and tactical responders include, but are not limited to:

  • Facility Size & Population
  • Existing Security Practices
  • Child Care Centers
  • Public Exposures (visitor centers, multi-tenant facilities, etc.)
  • Campus Environments
  • Ingress & Egress Routes
  • Mixed-use Spaces

Addressing these challenges requires coordination between facility managers, security personnel, emergency management personnel, and employees – as well as Federal, state, and local law enforcement. PrePlanLive seamlessly bridges the unique information needs of each emergency response component, providing common and detailed facility information across the response components.

For information to be actionable, it must be accessible

   Many threats which may materialize in or near educational facilities/campuses and other sites where individuals congregate are difficult, if not impossible, to simulate using just one’s imagination, some paper, and a pencil. Planning and preparation for public safety incidents are the cornerstones for rapid response to crisis scenes, enabling civilian personnel on-site to understand how to remain safe during an incident, as well as providing LE/FR with the information necessary to affect rapid crisis response and threat mitigation.

Traditional public safety and incident preparedness tools do not allow for the effective creation, analysis, assessment, and sharing of security and response concepts that can help administrators provide a safe and secure environment – and dramatically reduce response times in the event of a public safety incident. In emergency response situations, uncertainty leads to hesitation – hesitation increases response time, adding seconds to overall response timelines where each second can literally have life or death implications. To reduce uncertainty, provide accurate and actionable “ground truth,” and ultimately reduce call-out to actions-on-crisis-site timelines, PrePlanLive fulfills critical information requirements for strategic planners and tactical responders alike.

PrePlanLive, and its next-generation 3D interior mapping, streamlines existing local plans, preparation, and training on potential public safety incidents into a dynamic, interactive web application that executives, administrators, employees, and LE/FR can use as a reference to enhance prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts related to public safety incidents.

“How can this be?” one might ask.

    The visualization of a virtual replica of a building offers a safe environment in which many threat situations can be more thoroughly assessed; placing threats in the virtual environment allows users to better grasp the potential consequences of, for example, a fire blocking the evacuation route, a gunman with a hostage, or a group of violent protestors on campus.

Furthermore, interior 3D mapping within PrePlanLive provides LE/FR access to a robust tool with a secure, intuitive User Interface (U/I) that enables LE/FR to accurately visualize incident sites while keeping them grounded in reality. The Enhanced Situational Awareness provided by PrePlanLive and its interior 3D mapping allows LE/FR to manipulate and view the incident site and its environment, enabling them to capture the environment from multiple angles and discuss possible threats, which can be interactively inserted into the virtual environment.

The above illustrates the core of PrePlanLive – a web application developed by, and for, first responders. Built on the information requirements found in NFPA 1620, and supporting the key guidelines of yet-to-be-released NFPA 3000, PrePlanLive provides schools, churches, and businesses with a planning and preparedness tool that is directly connected to LE/FR.

PrePlanLive consolidates critical information about a facility – from alarm panel locations, to utility shutoffs, to emergency action plans – and makes them accessible to any authorized user. The “establishment” (e.g., business, school, or church) can broadcast mass notification messages to their authorized users, placing emergency action plans in the palms of their hands within moments. These mass notifications are simultaneously delivered to servicing LE/FR personnel, along with the detailed 3D models of the facility. LE/FR access to PrePlanLive provides unmatched Enhanced Situational Awareness, ensuring planning and response to public safety incidents is informed and deliberate – with uncertainty and the “fog of war” minimized to the greatest extent possible.

There is no perfect solution to any crisis – but schools, churches, and businesses must ensure they are prepared for the worst-case scenario. At PrePlanLive, we aim to minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes. Our goal – pure and simple – is safety and security. Are you ready to join us in securing our communities?


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Craig LaPine
Craig LaPine