Federal Agency

Case Study

In 2015 a federal agency needed to improve the emergency response capabilities at its DC headquarters. With nearly 6,000 employees, a daycare center, cafeteria, credit union branch, the office of a cabinet secretary, and a data center, effectively responding to emergencies posed significant challenges. Each team within the building – security, engineering, emergency management, facility management – knew their specific roles, but a lack of coordination led to confusion and delays. The agency turned to AK to help unite the various teams and streamline response procedures. Working with representatives from all the sub-teams within the facility, AK’s senior consultants mapped out a single comprehensive emergency response procedures spanning the entire facility. To keep hundreds of responding floor wardens and staff on the same page during an unfolding event, AK produced a staff Emergency Response Guide. These large-format tabbed flip books translate complex response plans into a series of easy-to- follow flow charts. Team roles are clearly defined, and each group can see what the others are doing, which reduces confusion and overlap. A few months after the response guides were distributed, the facility experienced a fire during the workday. The Department’s head of emergency preparedness was quick to cite the guides as the primary reason for a vastly more effective response.