Improving emergency preparedness and ensuring compliance with federal regulations: An Information Mapping® success story

imThe survival rate for organizations that experience large-scale industrial accidents or similar major incidents is very low: 80% of them close their doors within 18 months after the incident. Those that survive often find themselves facing legal action and significant fines. They may also be subject to paying the costs for government takeover of incident management.

Incident Command System (ICS) Training is required by federal law

Companies in the energy and chemical industries and others whose activities involve working with hazardous materials or process safety management are required by law to complete the federal government’s Incident Command System (ICS) training. ICS is a standardized approach intended to ensure coordination of the efforts of all organizations involved in emergency management of an incident. The training is government-specific, and trainees from the private sector often have difficulty retaining much of the course material. Some can pass the certification test at the end of the course only after the instructor has given them the answers. Many trainees report that they’re unsure of their ability to effectively manage an incident.

Texas-based PerformSafe helps organizations to understand and implement ICS


Judy Benavides: “The government’s training is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA provides the training for free, and the content is great, but it’s really aimed at government personnel? When private companies send their emergency response people through that training, they often leave confused and unable to understand what they’d really need to do in a major incident. We offer companies that really care about managing incidents a better alternative: training that helps their people to truly understand how to work with the ICS.”

The Information Mapping method makes ICS training more effective

“When we developed this training, the Information Mapping method was essential to our work,” Judy continued. “For example, a big issue was untangling the processes from the procedures. It’s really important to separate those two information types, because if you don’t, people become confused and make mistakes, especially in emergency situations. We also wanted to present the information using a hierarchical approach, and make sure that trainees got the big picture before we gave them the details. The Method is perfect for this.”

Customers who “know ICS better than the government does”

PerformSafe’s revision of the ICS course has been resoundingly successful. Incident response team members leave the re-designed course with such a complete understanding of ICS that government first responders tell them that they know ICS better than the government does. They easily pass the certification test on their own, and they are confident in their ability to implement best practices for managing any incident.

PerformSafe credits Information Mapping as a major factor in their success


These outstanding results don’t surprise Judy and her team, all of whom are enthusiastic about the Information Mapping method.They believe that it’s one of the most important reasons for PerformSafe’s success.

“The Method is a major factor in the quality of our training,” Judy told us. “It’s no exaggeration to say that Information Mapping is helping to protect our environment, the public, and our customers’ employees and assets.”

Download this article