January 9, 2024 min read

Training for Turbulent Times: The Role of Education in Crisis Response




InnovationLearning & DevelopmentOnline Training

When unexpected crises, violence, and disasters occur, our communities are often left reeling, trying to make sense of what has happened and to find stability again. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a disaster as “an occurrence disrupting the normal conditions of existence and causing a level of suffering which exceeds the capacity of adjustment of the affected community.” In these moments and in the face of such a disruption of normal conditions, we can turn to training and education to help us better understand the circumstances, how we can recover, and the steps we can take to prevent or be better prepared for any future similar crises.

In short, when current events happen, people seek out knowledge and information to improve safety, mitigate risk, and gain peace of mind. Training has the power to strengthen resilience, ensuring that you and your people are informed and ready to navigate any number of possible crises.

Empowerment Through Informed Communities

No matter the situation, our mission at Vector Solutions means we are ready to provide the training necessary to expand minds and better protect our communities. Here are some of the different risk and training categories your organization should prioritize to build a safer future:

Workplace Violence

We’ve all seen the uptick of news stories detailing violent incidents that have taken place at work. Depending on your industry, the threat of such violence may vary greatly. Incidents can include harassment, verbal or written threats, physical assaults, and even homicide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports some truly sobering figures in this area, including that there were 392 workplace homicides in 2020. Moreover, there were also 37,060 nonfatal injuries in the workplace that were the result of an intentional injury by another person.

Although even thinking about such acts of violence is upsetting, appropriate training and education empowers our employees and team members to understand important warning signs to look for and what to do in the event of a violent attack. Vector’s course, Violence in the Workplace, is just one educational option that can help raise awareness of the consequences of workplace violence and give learners the tools they need to recognize warning signs so you and your coworkers can avoid these dangerous situations. Additionally, as part of our Vector Cares complimentary online courses, the course on active shooter response can prepare your employees for if the unthinkable ever happens.

Extreme Weather

Crises that arise as a result of extreme weather are often out of our control by definition, but the impact of such incidents can be greatly mitigated by preemptively deploying clear and effective training to our employees. Whether you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornados, flooding (90% of the natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding), extreme temperatures, wildfires, or earthquakes, intentional disaster preparedness means having the right equipment and supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice and ensuring that everyone on your team knows where to go and what to do to stay safe. These efforts can quite literally save lives.

Additionally, general education on the extreme weather events most likely to occur in your geographical area gives your employees the ability to transfer tips and skills learned into their everyday lives, so that they can be safe wherever they are if and when disaster strikes.

Hate Crimes

The U.S. Department of Justice defines a hate crime in this way: “At the federal level, a crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.” Such crimes are often violent and are often brought to national (or even international) attention due to the heinous nature of such targeted assaults. For instance, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery was committed while he was jogging around his neighborhood. This racially motivated hate crime at the hands of three white men was a chilling reminder of the pain caused by hate and ignorance.

Education to combat such ignorance and to help prevent future crimes should begin at an early age, as children are developing their sense of the world and how they perceive themselves and those around them. This means schools must develop a clear plan for how to prevent and respond to bias and hate incidents. This includes sharing courses like some of those in our Vector Cares catalog, on making campuses safer for LGBTQIA students, teaching kids how to be an upstander against bullying, and other types of diversity training. As business leaders, we must also reinforce these lessons in the workplace, creating policies that protect marginalized people and groups from harassment and much, much worse. Additionally, educating our employees on various topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion can go a long way in protecting our people.

Health Crises

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we learned all too well the sheer impact that such a health crisis could have on the global landscape and every facet of our lives, including how we conduct business. There is much to take away from this harrowing, international disaster so that we can be better prepared for any other potential health crisis events.

Going forward, an important aspect of your education and training should include a company continuity and recovery plan. This particularly includes how things can continue to move forward if your most valuable asset, your people, are unable to work due to illness. This may include things like ensuring your team has the opportunity to train and upskill in several critical areas so you are able to avoid major disruptions during a time of crisis. You can also offer general training to help prepare your workforce, with courses on topics like hygiene best practices and how to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses.

Cyber Attacks

In our increasingly digital world, the threat of cyber attacks against our businesses, financial institutions, and more is ever present. As we have often learned from national news stories about cyber attacks, the cracks in our defenses are more likely to be people-related than technological in nature. That’s why businesses have to be proactive in their training to bolster their cybersecurity. In fact, breach publications and industry sources estimate that up to 74% of breaches include a human element, where people are involved in the error, misuse, stolen credentials, or social engineering used in the breach.

Effective cybersecurity training, like Vector’s online training catalog dedicated to the topic, can help identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities in your procedures and systems, provide practical solutions to protect your organization, and help to keep your team knowledgeable and prepared when it comes to cybersecurity safety protocols. And the negative effects of ignoring cybersecurity risks can be nearly impossible to overcome. Studies even show that 60% of small businesses struggle to recover and have to close up shop within six months of a data breach or cyberattack. Training is the solution to keep such a fate from befalling your organization.

Utilize Education to Stay Prepared

Education and training are powerful tools to wield in times of crisis. And the most effective education is the kind that can prevent a disaster from occurring in the first place. By evaluating the damage and likelihood of various types of crises, your organization can begin to prioritize preventative education that will keep your people, clients, and business safer should the worst come to happen.

At Vector, effective and pertinent training and intelligent technology solutions are the hallmark of what we do and strive to achieve in our communities, to help give people the tools they need to make safer, smarter, and better decisions. Peruse our educational offerings and award-winning solutions tailored for your industry now.

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