CPM West

Stimulating format, spontaneity, and importance of planning and testing were major benefits of session

Attendees at CPM West, a contingency planning conference, are individuals responsible for business continuity, emergency management, and security programs for a variety of businesses. The Disaster Experience session, presented by Virginia-based Attainium Corp, gave attendees the opportunity to participate in an interactive disaster response training program that was both challenging and entertaining.

“There were a lot of interesting and intriguing things in the training,” said Meg Taranta, NE-SE emergency management, and business continuity coordinator for CNA, the 7th largest US commercial insurer and the 14th largest US property & casualty insurer. “Having been through similar sessions, I found it fun to see spontaneity injected into the process. Our table had people from different disciplines with different levels of experience, but we all worked together and communicated. We really enjoyed it.

“I would like to inject this same spontaneity into practice with our experienced emergency management teams,” Taranta said. “They tend to get frustrated with a ‘this again’ scenario.”

“I expected this would be a good session,” said Shannon R. Webb, IT director for Packer Engineering. “It had role-playing and the opportunity to learn by your mistakes and others’ experiences. It seemed very realistic.

"During the session, it became clear that front-end planning – before the disaster – was critical and that you should factor every one’s experience into your planning regardless of their title," Webb said. “It was a good session; it was laid out well and communicated well.”

“This was the best time I had at any seminar I attended this year,” said Taranta. “It was a value-add experience… you can walk away having learned something, which is my expectation of any session.”

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