Crisis Action Plan: San Francisco International Airport

Crisis Action Plan: San Francisco International Airport




The mission of the company is to offer logistic services both national and international levels as well as packaging items for transport. Through technology,  Emergency department monitors the overall operations of the company and properties to identify any threat and supply the staff and the management with information relating to any risk as well as mitigation methods.


The propose of this crisis action plan is to give a detailed structure of responsibilities and duties of the organization personnel in case of an emergency. The plan is made to help prevent or minimize injuries to all staffs and properties of the organization as well as any person or property related to the clients of the organization present at the time of a crisis.

The outline procedures and processes will guide the emergency response team (ERT) of the organization in association with Airport emergency repose team, the local law enforcement team and emergency departments to organize personnel, equipment, and any other recourse, which will help in minimizing the impacts of the disaster.

This plan also provides strategies for the mitigation of threats to the staff and appropriate emergency response teams. The overall purpose of the program is to ensure that there is continuity in ensuring the safety of the company and the crews in any situation.


The plan will be activated in case of a natural or human-made crisis, which threatens the lives of the organization staff, and client present at that moment. Also, it will be used when there is a threat to damage the properties of the organization. Only in those crisis considered dangerous will the plan be useful. It can extend to unique incidences to the organization, which require special attention although they do not involve injury or property damage.  The actions and measures, which the plan outlines in pre-crisis mitigation as well as a contingency plan, are frameworks, which the responsible people will use to adjust to any disaster.


The policy of the organization is to notify the staffs and other clients in time about any circumstance or activity that poses a threat to individual safety or the safety of the whole organization.   Also, the organization aims at starting processes which support the status of the community both physically and mentally immediately a disaster occurs. Each staff and client has the responsibility of giving information related to any threat or crisis occurring within the organization premises. The emergency response manager is supposed to respond to all information supplied to the office through the emergency call numbers listed in this outline.


This plan focuses on providing a structure for mitigating all possible crises, which may affect the operations of the organization. The results of mitigation are the stability of the staff and clients both physically and mentally and the continuity of normal operations and activities.


One of the assumptions made in the pan is that all staff has gone through training on how an action plan works. The emergency and crisis response team exposes the outline and trains the staffs regularly on how to use it and behave in case of a crisis. Another assumption is that all the staff will be in their respective areas of work in case of disaster. The outline also assumes that there is a secure place to assemble in case of a crisis and transport means for evacuating people.


Organization Structure for Implementation

Company structure comprises of the general manager, manager in charge of national logistics, a manager in charge of international logistics, packaging department supervisor, security office, Emergency and Crisis Manager, IT director, supervisor of transport department. Appendix 1 provides details of the chain of command.

The general manager, having received information and advice from the emergency and crisis manager (ECM) will launch the plan in case of a crisis and select a central point of command. Also, the general manager will coordinate all activities that the team will carry out to ensure the mitigation of the disaster and restoration as soon as possible. Those people listed in the pan will make up an emergency response team (ERT) and are the only ones expected at the control center. They include;

  • General Manager –coordinator of the ERT
  • Emergency and Crisis Manager- director of communications during the crisis
  • Manager in charge of national logistics- supervisor of the external ERT like FBI
  • Supervisor of transport department-coordinator of evacuation and Transport
  • Security office- in charge of security of the organization’s properties during the crisis
  • Packaging department supervisor- supporting staff for back up
  • Manager in charge of national logistics- supporting team for back up

Supervisors at different departments will handle minor disaster from their departments. Communication on manger disasters will be directed to the emergency and crisis manager to assess the need for an ERT and after that communicate to the general manager for further directions.









Critical Organizational Functions

Direct Production and Processes



The secondary products of the company in crisis management are security office summary on security alerts and daily operations in the organization and globally. Also, there is a report on weather and climate changes from the local meteorological departments at the local, national and global level. The reports are essential in helping the emergency and crisis department together with the management make informed decisions on current threats and issues.  The information on national security, for example, will inform on the increased or reduced cases of an active shooter and therefore increase or decrease security outside the premises.

Secondary products for the organization include reports from the secretary and the security office on the nature of the incoming clients and visitors. Also, each department is supposed to give a weekly summary of perceived internal dangers like fire outbreak, bursting of pipes or electric appliances. The IT department will provide a monthly report on the changing nature of security technology like new improved CCTV cameras, more secure safes and doors, fire extinguishers among others. Also to include in their report together with the emergency and crisis department is the latest design structure and organization of work in a manner that will reduce the effects of disasters. The Emergency Department will use the reports to assess applicability in the organization and advice the general manager accordingly.

Support – Logistics, and Personnel

Crisis management and forecasting of threats requires smooth communication and flow of information within departments and staffs throughout whether day or night, working or off days. The company, therefore, should have a secure network of communication. Part of the network includes a strong, consistent internet, telephone network, mobile phone network as well as visual networks, which comprises of CCTV cameras and webcams. The communication center and networks are the backbones of the management process. Failure to have good communication flowing in one direction will lead to failure in crisis management. The communication network does include not only physical gadgets and software but also a good relationship between all departments.  The weak connection will paralyze the team’s effort to reach essential areas and decisions because of failure to transmit information to the next level. Departments should have a smooth working relationship all the time and observe the structure of communication.

Staff Protection

The security of the organization, which ensures the safety of the staff, includes the security officers at the gate and around the compound. They will ensure that no hostile or armed persons access the premise to harm any team.  There are also CCTV cameras, which monitors the movement of the staff in their offices to ensure that nothing hurts them while working. Access to the various doors is by use of cards, which ensures that there is an unauthorized person does not access the staffs. There is also a bell alert system installed in the mobile phones of every staff and the walls of the offices to communicate in case of emergency.


Threat Forecast


All possible threats to the company are in categories of natural disasters, humanmade, production and technical as well as public relations. However, the most likely threats are humanmade because of the nature of different goods, which the organization handles. Some of the products are expensive, some are prohibited and others a corrupted. With that idea in mind, the company is likely to experience threats such as active shooting in an attempt to steal or hide evidence from some of the goods. Also, the trend in technology is posing a threat to any technological appliances. The organization highly depends on telecommunication to connect with the clients at national and international levels. Technical and human-made threats such as hacking are therefore likely to occur. Natural disasters are not so likely to affect the organization because the area does not flood or experience heavy wind. Also, there is no history of earthquakes or eruptions. All of the category threats have the potential to interrupt the mission of the company to offer logistic services at all levels.

Natural disasters

  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Epidemics
  • Tsunamis
  • Tornadoes

Humanmade events

  • Active shooter/ bomb
  • Demonstration and riots
  • Fire
  • Medical emergencies
  • Cyber attack

Technical and production events

  • Temporary and extended loss of power
  • Temporary and extended communication interruptions
  • Service and building maintenance

Public Relations

  • Exposure of an organization’s sensitive information
  • Improper behavior and conduct of any staff
  • False accusations from the public or government






Pre-Crisis Mitigation Actions


The mitigation plan for the company operates in a bottom-up the structure with increasing levels of command rising with the strength of the threat. There are levels for each crisis numbered 1, 2, and 3 with increasing magnitude. This lever category helps the organization to approach the crisis with minimum impact on the mission and daily operations. The approach helps to ensure that small crisis do not lead to a stop in all activities while a single department can handle.  The emergency and crisis manager is in charge of determining the level after receiving communication and therefore give a guideline on how to handle the situation.

Level 1 – the crisis at this level only requires a communication to the emergency manager and the department to handle it with the provision of the necessary equipment. The event effect on operations ranges between two to twelve hours to mitigate. Examples of events under the level include the fall of a wall that does not affect people or loss of electric power.

Level 2- the level carries events, which take average time between 12 to 24 hours. The type of event will determine the kind of team that the emergency manager will form. Power loss for more than twelve hours or a fire that extends for more than the same time are examples of threats at the level

Level 3- threats at this level require commands from the general manager and the formation of an ERT. They affect the company’s operations largely, and they last for more than 24 hours. They include natural disasters and an active shooter.

Manmade Threats


Active shooter, Angry Employee or other public person or Bomb

This category of events is graded level three with the ability to lose life or properties. The following are mitigation actions, which makes the events unlikely to occur;

CCTV systems inside, outside the company building, and the gate

Enough security personnel at night and during the day

Electric fence around the premise

Password systems for doors, locks and other technological appliances

Standby telephone for all departments and working areas

Policy for responsibility and accountability

This action plan recommends a regular drill for active shooter and bomb attack. Also, the company to have secrete simulated alerts to assess the preparedness of members.


Fire ranges between levels two and three depending on its magnitude. The following preparedness reduces the probability of occurring;

  • Fire extinguishers huge and portable and tight contact with the local council fire department
  • Fire alarms
  • CCTV cameras to monitor activities around the premise

The plan recommends the company to have regular drills on fire and training on how to use the fire extinguishers. Also, there should be a routine check on alarms and extinguishers are functioning.

 Medical Emergencies

The crisis can be a level two or three, which can involve injury on staff or client within the premise.  The plan outlines the following preparedness strategies;

  • Evacuation procedure and assembly points
  • First aid kit
  • Security in all working areas with such risks
  • Fire extinguishers, helmets, and other protective gears
  • Emergency transport means

The plan recommends regular training on how to handle such emergencies

Cyber attacks

A cyber attack can range between level one and three depending on magnitude. The crisis is very likely and can affect much of the company operations. The most targeted gargets are computers software, which connects the company with the clients who send and those who receive the cargo or other goods. Other attacks can follow an attack on the communication network because the attackers know that there will be no proper coordination of the disaster management team. Other competitors or malicious persons can initiate the attack. The following are strategies, which the company has put in place to prevent such attacks;

A skilled and on standby IT team which helps to update software security with the trend in the market regularly

  • Back up to company information and access to Cloud data sharing
  • Change of password used by employees once they leave the company
  • Maintenance of the internet server and update with current software

The plan recommends regular employees training on cybersecurity issues.  Also, the staff should be trained in ways to respond to pop messages on the internet which carry viruses.

Natural crisis

Storms, Floods, Hurricanes

The events have high magnitude and therefore assigned level three. Storms and floods are a crisis with low probability because of the location of the organization. However, the fact that they are natural makes them remain threats to the company. The crisis can attack the transport means, which carries cargo for clients or the premises themselves. Also, it can attack the airport which serves as the backbone of the operations. The mitigation strategies include;

  • Standby telephones for every department to alert staffs in case of a flood
  • Backup generators for use when the storm or flood attacks the power lines
  • Backups for company information on the computers


Tornadoes are events, which last for a very short duration of time but have a massive threat to life. They can be very heavy rainfall accompanied by wind and hailstones. Their magnitudes on the company are located between level two and three. They can attack power supply, buildings and even cause injuries on people.  The mitigation strategies include,

  • Backup generators
  • Cloud access and back up for company data
  • Regular roll call for staff members in case of such events
  • Standby telephones in all departments


The company is operating in an airport where there so many people from different countries who might be carriers of some diseases especially the airborne. Also, handling different types of cargoes make the probability for epidemics high. Epidemics have a very impact on the organization operations and therefore assigned level three.  The mitigation strategies include,

  • Protective gears like gas masks while handling cargoes
  • Standby telephones to communicate in case of an emergency
  • Emergency transport means

The plan recommends regular simulated alerts and training on how to handle epidemics cases within the premises.



Tsunami crisis is not likely for the company because the location is far from the ocean. However, nature controls the threat and therefore the company needs to prepare. Where it occurs, the impact on the company would be very high and consequently assigned level three. The mitigation strategies include.’

  • Power back up since they may affect the power lines
  • Regular roll call on staff in case it occurs to ascertain that nobody is affected
  • The policy of accountability to make people raise an alert in case of a suspected Tsunami and also help each other during the attack


Technical and Production Events

Temporal and Extended Loss of communication

The crisis can have an impact of levels between one and three depending on the duration of loss. Mitigation strategies in place include

  • Standby mobile communication
  • IT specialist
  • Back up office station with equipped communication networks

Loss of power

Power loss can be temporal or extended although both do not have a high impact on the organization operations because of the mitigation measures. They have an impact level between one and two. The mitigation strategies include

  • Backup generators
  • Electric technicians
  • IT specialist

Wall or building Collapse

The collapse of a building or a wall may interfere with the normal operation the organizations whereby there will be no workspace. The impact is not very high therefore has an impact level of one. Mitigation strategies include,

  • Back up building or empty hall
  • Laptops, which are portable to work from other locations

Public Relations crisis

Exposure of Organization Sensitive Information, Improper Staff Conduct, False Accusations form Public or Government

All the events under public relations are high level between two and three because their impact on the organization is high. Negative information to the public can affect the clients and therefore, stop most of the operations. Some of the behaviors from staff, which may lead to negative publicity, including giving false reports, unprofessionalism like in dressing, and sexual misconduct among others. The Emergency department together with the security office monitor such behaviors every moment to mitigate them before they turn into crisis because of the impact they would have on the organization. Mitigation strategies include;

  • Supervision of all reports going out of the company by the respective department managers
  • Security inspection of dress code and general behavior for everyone within the premises
  • Monitoring from the department manager on timeliness for duties assigned
  • Severance of the public and government opinion about the company performance through the IT department

The plan recommends a regular meeting to emphasize on any slightly observed behavior. Also, the general manager should meet the department heads to discuss issues relating to quality performance to implement in each department.



Planning Scenarios


Active Shooter

Contingency plan

(0-15minutes approximate time for an active shooter and neutralization)

Once any staff encounters any unfamiliar armed person within the premise should at the spot contact the emergency and crisis department manager through 223-679-096. In case the individual starts to become hostile, make an additional call to the Police emergency department team located at the airport through 910.  The emergency department manager will share the information with other relevant authority starting with the general manager for electing a command post and implementation of the crisis plan.


Shooter outside the premise

  • Staff to switch off the lights, close doors, and windows
  • Move to a common safer part of the room and get on the floor far from electricity or any other item that may cause a fire
  • No one should move outside at that time to confirm what is happening until the officials give a clear alert from the emergency department only
  • No one should respond to any other unknown call or voice during the time of action
  • The shooter may provide signals with the aim of getting access to where people are
  • Activate the alert bell through the phone or any switch that is near

The shooter in the building

  • In case there is a place people can hide, and they think it is safe then they should and remain there until it is clear
  • Where possible to move outside in a safe manner, the staff should do so and assemble at the designated place for further evacuation
  • While at the room hiding or facing the shooter, try to contact the emergency department through the contacts on the appendix or the police emergency teams within the airport
  • Activate the bell alert through your phone or manual switches on the walls


The shooter in the office

Here, there is no specific strategy and staffs are encouraged to use their common sense to handle the situation depending on its nature. However, here are some guidelines on what one can do.

  • Turn to any barrier, which is around like chairs, tables, door
  • When there is nowhere to hide, make a negotiation with the shooter and were not possible, try to fight or stop them
  • Make a bell alert and where possible, contact the emergency department or the emergency police at the airport
  • Note that trying to use force against the attacker is the last thing to do


The Bell alert application on each staff mobile phone will be the primary mode of communication in cases of such incidence, and each person should refer to it for further directions. Immediate notifications are necessary from any person

  • In case of a confirmed active shooter, the emergency department will dispatch the information to all staff members through the bell alert application
  • More information about the location and action to take will come through the same application
  • Try to follow the instruction received as much as possible from the alert
  • All doors should be activated to open in case there is a possibility of getting out to a safer place
  • Staff in the office or building where the shooter is should hide in a safer room because it may be impossible to evacuate them. They will receive instructions through the bell alert on the specific location of the shooter to make decisions on how to move
  • In the confirmation of armed shooter with bad intention, the bell alert will reach to the emergency teams at the airport including the FBI, Sheriff, San Mateo County police
  • The general manager will open a command center where the Law enforcement team and the emergency response team will give directions from








Teams and Authorities


Administrative Team: Emergency Response Team (ERT)

The team will be responsible for giving further direction to the law enforcement authority through the coordination of the general manager. The general manager in consultation with the team will determine the need for law enforcers

Coordinator of the team-Managing director

Chairperson of the team –Emergency and crisis department manager

Supportive members –other listed ERT members

Operations Team: Command  (Law enforcement SFPD-AB)

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD-AB) will be the overall leader of the operation being the leading law enforcement agency at the airport where the organization is located. Since the department is required to respond immediately to any such incidences in the airport, it will be expected to respond to the incidence of the company with a location in the airport.  The SFPD-AB in conjunction with other law enforcers like the FBI and the organization ERT will create an incident command post and select an incident commander.


The Police will be in charge of communications, and the primary mode of communication will be police radio calls. Once the police take over the scene, mobile phone bell alerts will not be active again to ensure that the shooter does not take advantage to paralyze the police effort.


Logistics Team: San Mateo County Sheriff

The San Mateo County Sheriff detectives together with the SFPD-AB will preserve the crime area for investigations and correct witness information. They will also ensure that the injured are taken to the care center they collect their reports about the incidence.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Will take the full responsibility to investigate the matter once the crisis is over

Other teams which may be needed in case the crisis exceeds beyond the time limit and the police command includes the SWAT and the SFPD explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD).



Recovery and Restoration

Emotional and psychological Recovery



  • The management will make follow up for any persons with physical injuries until they recover either in the hospital, home or at work.
  • The organization will link with the human resource services dealing with psychology matters to come and address the staff. Those with more profound psychological effects from the evens will meet the psychologist on regular
  • After the mitigation of the event, the emergency and crisis department will collect information about the incidence and prepare a report with lessons learned.
  • The managing director to hold a meeting to discuss the issues on the report as staff makes remarks and recommendation

Physical and Facility Restoration

  • There will be repairs for the broken walls, windows doors, and shelves
  • Reinforcement of security on the recommended areas will be done

Reputation and Goodwill Restoration

  • The communication department will make a communication to all clients on the stable condition of the organization to make follow up of their accounts
  • The management to make follow up of the cargoes which were sent some few minutes or hours before the incidence to confirm their location and inform the relevant clients.




Appendix A: Team Contact Information


Manager, Department of emergency and crisis 023-678-345

General Manager    987-094-456

Organization security in charge   097-345-785

SFPD- 911

FBI   – 266

Appendix B: Emergency Procedures


  • Any information about an active shorter or any other crisis to be given to the Emergency and Crisis department manager
  • The emergency department manager to inform the general manager about the incidence
  • General manager to converge the ERT and launch the plan
  • The general manager will take the position of the coordinator to hook the team with law enforcement agencies
  • The law enforcement agency to take the command from the general manager


Appendix C: Team Assignments & Taskings


  • Emergency Response Team- Determination of the weight of the crisis to inform the law enforcers to find a way of solving it internally
  • Management Team –provision of the necessary resources to overcome the crisis
  • Law enforcement Team- carry out mitigation and evacuation role
  • Crisis Recovery and Restoration Team- Help members to recover from injuries and restoration of the normal structure of the organization
  • Transport team- offer evacuation services away from the premises

Appendix D: Plan Maintenance

The plan will take effect with the approval of the general manager or the Manager in charge of emergency and crisis in case the manager is absent or not in a position to authorize its activation

Activation and use of the plan will only be required when the crisis requires external services like the county emergency and fire department, the law enforcement department or the public relation services


Appendix E: Approvals


This crisis management plan will become effective in the approval of the General manager, Emergency and crisis department manager and the security officer in charge.  There plan expires after every one year where the team will review it inline with the incidences which occur during the year. Also where need there is observed gap, the emergency department will request for review.

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