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Situational Awareness Part 2- Comprehending the Data

Situational Awareness Part 2- Comprehending the Data

This video is part two of a series of videos on situational awareness developed from Alliance Solutions Group’s (ASG) course, Crisis Leadership and Decision Making. The course was developed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and has been delivered to thousands of public safety and private sector decision makers across the country. Part 1 of the series addressed level one of the situational awareness model – perception. Part 2, involves comprehension, or sense-making of data. The upcoming part 3 will be on projecting data into the future.

In order to make sense of data, leaders should:

  1. Define normal, or the lower bound of the dataset: this involves putting data into some context so you can determine if something is abnormal.
    1. What will be the standard of “normal” for opening the country back up?
    2. Consider that the situation has changed: social distancing, more handwashing, etc. so what was normal before COVID-19, won’t likely be the same post COVID-19.
  2. Define unacceptable, or the higher bound of the dataset: what situation (based on the data) would be defined as unacceptable?
    1. Increasing cases over the previous two weeks may cause reopening, or loosening of restrictions, to be unacceptable.
    2. This condition could be pre-defined in a plan to trigger actions or mitigation.
  3. Define the action levels: this is a pre-defined decision point where some action is taken based on a change in conditions.
    1. What metrics are being used to make decisions?
    2. Lagging indicators, e.g. number of deaths from COVID-19 are an indicator of how many cases we truly had 2 weeks ago?
    3. Leading indicators, e.g. the rate of change in the cumulative number of deaths or hospitalizations?

ASG is committed to providing solutions to prepare communities for a safer, more secure tomorrow. To help leaders navigate the current crisis safely and effectively, ASG is leveraging its library of innovative products and services such as courses that have been used to train thousands of first responders, military, medical workers, and industrial workplaces on infectious disease control and prevention. To learn more about how ASG could support you during this time, visit or call 757-223-7233.

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