How to Manage a Virtual Incident
This Virtual Incident Management System (IMS) Guide is an addendum to the OSRL Incident Management Handbook (IMH Add). It is primarily aimed at Incident Management Team (IMT) members, Senior Managers and Responders who have a role that supports the IMT, during a period where there is a need to manage an incident ‘virtually’ from various locations rather than a dedicated Incident Command Post (ICP).
IMS, as a process, is proven and will not change in a virtual environment, but a team working remotely will need to rely on, and have confidence in, the process for it to be successful; the exchange of information both formally and informally needs to be managed meticulously with clear meeting schedules and agendas, this would be aided by everyone being fully aware of and familiar with their role.
This addendum does not supersede the original IMH but is designed to supplement by providing additional guidance, taking into consideration the additional needs of the response, the virtual ICP and differences in working modes. This addendum will also introduce another factor in emergency management – Managing Under Pressure – which may be greater, but LESS evident when working from a remote location. Visual clues of team members feeling stressed or pressured are much harder to spot over a team call than when there is physical interaction, this together with unfamiliar tools and IT infrastructure issues may hinder working practices.