The first lesson our team learned was to ask what federal or county resources were available rather than trying to identify them ourselves. If we had connected earlier with the FBI advocates, the first few days could have been spent understanding what resources they had available. This would have provided a streamlined resource for the victims and families instead of piecemeal plan of services from various agencies and providers.
The second lesson learned was be ready for a large influx of calls and emails from community partners asking how they can help. I was not prepared to receive the amount of incoming communication from the community partners. Looking back, I wish I would have connected with our community relations and patient experience teams sooner so we could have streamlined these calls to a single area.
The final lesson learned was that we needed to develop a disaster plan specifically for our department. If we’d had one, it could have helped us streamline communications, identify who would be doing what and eliminate duplication of work. During disaster situations, each minute is critical and there are not enough resources to waste time.