Town of Seabrook Island was officially incorporated in May of 1987 and is a diverse, residential community populated by both full-time residents and a vacationer population that fluctuates year-round. Located in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, the Town of Seabrook Island faces various threats and vulnerabilities that must be addressed to ensure the safety of its residents and the continuity of Town services during a crisis. Because the community is 90% privately owned, there are various controlling entities (Property Owners Association, Club Management, as well as the Diocese of South Carolina’s Retreat, St. Christopher’s Camp & Conference Center) that must be integrated into the Town’s disaster planning. And, the turnover of elected officials requires special consideration to ensure knowledge of the action steps in the town’s disaster preparedness plan is transferred quickly to newly elected Town Council members. Consequently, effective continuity planning requires incorporating Seabrook’s staff, island entities and even outside contractors. Being able to continue serving its residents, especially in the event of a crisis situation, is essential for the Town of Seabrook Island.
Meeting the Need: Addressing Threats to Public Safety and Town Operations
The Town had neither the personnel nor the expertise to develop a comprehensive emergency plan that ensures both public safety and continuity of Town services during an emergency or disaster. Therefore, Town Administrator Randy Pierce sought recommendations from other municipalities in order to find the appropriate resource. Enter Atlantic Business Continuity Services (Atlantic). As a Lowcountry business, Atlantic combines local insight with professional credentials, ensuring the best risk assessment and preparedness planning possible.
Solution: a Comprehensive Emergency Plan that Serves Residents, the Town and its Employees
Atlantic’s Scott Cave guided the Town Council and Administrator through a process identifying all risks that could disrupt the Town’s operations. Atlantic also reviewed many organizational issues to position the Town for effective decision-making during a crisis, including, but not limited to:
- Develop line of succession for Mayor beyond Mayor Pro Tem.
- Review and update Emergency Town Codes for emergency authority and decision-making.
- Identify alternate working locations for Town operations if Town Hall is not available.
- Develop RFPs for emergency response contractors to assist Town if other resources are not available.
Through proper evaluation and contingency planning, Seabrook Island’s Town Council and Administrator became better prepared to deal with emergencies without disrupting service to their residents. “It gives us the confidence to know that we can handle crisis situations as they appear,” said Pierce.
As a Certified Business Continuity Professional, Cave’s expertise ensured the examination process, as well as the resulting action steps and plan development, was all-encompassing and applicable to each of the Town’s specific threats. Having such a thorough and customized emergency plan equips the Town with the tools to address any situation that may threaten public safety and/or disrupt Town services.
To learn how Atlantic can develop an emergency management plan for you, schedule a free, in-person consultation today.