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Book Review: Emergency Preparedness

​Butterworth-Heinemann;; 264 pages; $59.95. 


Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and with each subsequent threat, government and business organizations have increased their focus on emergency preparedness planning and programs. In Emergency Preparedness for Business Professionals: How to Mitigate and Respond to Attacks Against Your Organization, author Bradley Wayland examines common emergencies that could potentially face any organization at any time. 

Twelve chapters explore the breadth and depth of the topic appropriate for business professionals. The book contains figures, photographs, tables, and recommended emergency response checklists to clarify the information presented. One appendix offers a 10-page example of an emergency response plan. 

Wayland emphasizes various security disciplines—physical, information, and personnel—as means for mitigation against incidents, emergencies, and disasters. He touches superficially on many subjects along the disaster preparedness continuum; however, the prudent business professional will need more specific training and knowledge to be thoroughly prepared.  

The book devotes considerable space to emergency response exercises and the exercise planning process, including roles and responsibilities and the development of a Master Scenario Events List (MESL), which is a script for an exercise scenario. Both tabletop and full-scale exercises are discussed. The National Preparedness System and its relationship to the National Incident Management System are explained. Case studies offer lessons learned for active shooter, vehicle-borne bomb, natural disaster, and embezzlement scenarios. This work takes an all-hazards approach with countermeasure considerations. 

Beginning and mid-level security practitioners may find the book useful as a basic reference work. It could also be used for college level courses or continuing education training sessions targeting business personnel. The experienced security professional may find it an interesting read, but not quite as valuable.   


Reviewer: Paul D. Barnard, CPP, CISM (Certified Information Security Manager), SFPC (Security Fundamentals Professional Certification) is an adjunct professor in security management and emergency management programs. He has been a member of ASIS for more than 40 years. The opinion expressed is solely that of the reviewer, and does not imply a view of any organization.