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Here Are The Best Metrics for Emergency Response Management (70+ Metrics)

Here Are The Best Metrics for Emergency Response Management (70+ Metrics)

Understanding emergency response metrics is critical to understanding your effectiveness. If you run a drill without tracking the right data, you may as well have not run the drill at all. But what exactly is “the right data”?

The answer depends on the drill you run, your industry, the type of crisis occurring, and numerous other factors. Analyzing your emergency management is complicated. There are qualitative and quantitative metrics that should characterize your analysis. The right metrics will heavily influence your emergency response system design, security, communications, and planning.

Here’s a look at some of the metrics you should consider to improve your chances of a successful emergency response. These metrics can be applied to both drills and real-life crisis response scenarios.


Preparedness metrics consider performance in terms of readiness to manage a crisis. Preparedness metrics account for things like planning, training, education, and team accountability. Here are some important preparedness metrics:


  • Number of emergency leadership committee members
  • Number of emergency committee appointees
  • Ratio of emergency committee appointees to total organizational departments
  • Number of emergency leadership committee meetings per year
  • Number of emergency preparedness initiatives
  • Number of stakeholders it takes to declare an emergency


  • Number of training modules established
  • Number of protocols around emergency declaration
  • Number of site-specific training procedures
  • % of staff that have completed all relevant training modules
  • Number of emergency procedure presentations to external stakeholders
  • % of personnel who rate training as having achieved learning objectives
  • % of personnel who rate a drill as helping their ability to implement emergency response plans/procedures/responsibilities


  • Types and diversity of hazards on-site
  • Types and diversity of hazards off-site
  • Type and complexity of drills and exercises (tabletop, full simulation, etc.)
  • Number of specialists and subject matter experts needed to respond
  • Budget in $ allocated for supplies
  • Feasibility of transportation and distribution plans


  • Number of sites included in emergency response plans
  • Density and distribution of personnel in business hours
  • Density and distribution of personnel in non-business hours
  • % of sites that conduct annual training drills
  • Number of shelters
  • Number of evacuation routes
  • Number of fire extinguishers
  • Number of on-site medical treatment areas
  • Feasibility of pre-positioning health supplies in strategic areas
  • Types of off-site risk
  • Distance, in feet or meters, to nearest housing


After plans are laid out, response metrics indicate how well those plans are put into action. Accurate response metrics will indicate the robustness and durability of an emergency management plan. Indicators of success portray the ability to protect personnel, assets, and return to normal operations as quickly as possible. The following are critical response metrics:

Technical Feasibility:

  • On a scale of 1-10, technical complexity of the emergency response
  • Number of members of technical team
  • Number of cybersecurity protocols
  • Regulatory compliance checks
  • Number of technical failsafes
  • Number of places organizational data is stored
  • Presence or absence of a networked crisis communication system

Management and Personnel:

  • Number of shutdown routines
  • Number of management personnel involved in shutdown routines
  • Roll call procedures
  • Number of human resources personnel trained on emergency response
  • Simplicity of task assignment system, on a scale of 1-10
  • Open issues tracked
  • Tasks assigned out to personnel
  • Tasks accepted by personnel


  • Clicks it takes to send out emergency alerts
  • Seconds it takes to send out emergency alerts
  • Total response time from initial emergency declaration to onset of recovery phase
  • Response time in minutes of first responders
  • Timing of incident escalation at each level, in seconds or minutes
  • Minutes it takes to evacuate entire premises
  • Average response time for task acceptance or task reassignment to other qualified personnel


  • Number of emergency response codes
  • Number of individual emergency alert systems
  • Number of devices that can be accommodated and streamlined an emergency alert system
  • Number of internal and external stakeholders in communication plan
  • Types of incident escalation scenarios


The recovery stage is all about returning to business-as-usual, but not without learning from the incident. These metrics measure how well the emergency response worked, and enable organizational learning to prevent future events. Recovery metrics assess the quality and the quantity of recommendations drawn from the crisis, as well as reputational impact. The best recovery metrics will build in room for future improvements and post-incident learning. These are crucial recovery metrics:


  • Toxicity measurements
  • Inventory of materials before and after a crisis
  • Casualties
  • Impact on resources
  • Number of days until reinstatement of normal business operations
  • Positive or negative mentions in social media and/or news outlets, indicating reputational impact
  • Cost of crisis at all stages of the emergency management lifecycle


  • Number of objectives accomplished
  • % of debriefed participants
  • Average task completion rate
  • Number of errors committed during the disaster response lifecycle
  • Number of systems in place for gathering and sharing knowledge and lessons learned

Future Planning

  • Number of revisions made to emergency response plans each year
  • Number of post-incident recommendations
  • Cost of post-incident recommendations
  • Likelihood of the same crisis happening again

Please note that the following articles and journals were cited to pull these metrics together:

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