Preparation the key for Contact Energy

  • June 17, 2019
  • Crisis Management

Annual crisis exercises build confidence and always throw up new areas for improvement.

Sue Jeffries, Risk and Insurance Manager for Contact Energy, says they’ve been holding annual exercises with Kestrel since 2012 and even then, she would like to hold them more often!

“We have three crisis management teams (CMT) – our main CMT which is essentially our leadership team in Wellington, an alternate CMT and we also have a non-Wellington based CMT who can step in if Wellington should suffer a natural disaster.

“With a business like ours it’s important to do regular exercises. People forget, people change roles, new people come in, things change in the organisation, systems change and so on. Preparation is key and the more people who understand the process, and for whom its second nature, the better.”

Sue says Contact Energy works with Kestrel each year to come up with realistic crisis scenarios.

“We’ve done everything from natural disasters through to plant failure at a power station, to product shortage and what that entailed, and we’ve also done a couple of cyber related scenarios.

“Scenarios need to be plausible; it helps if it’s realistic for people. We were able to create a health and safety focused scenario when WorkSafe was implemented and we use current issues to keep things real.”

Sue says there is always something to learn no matter how many exercises they do.

“We always find room for improvement and that’s good so people don’t get complacent. In addition, the exercises give people more confidence to know how the process would work in a real crisis.”

Sue says the team at Kestrel are very responsive and great to work with.

“They can grab an issue during a training exercise and change direction if they think that needs to happen. They are very flexible in their approach, so you never know what you are going to get, which is good in these types of training exercises.”