Risk Response Planning
The approach to Risk Response Planning is to reduce the likelihood or impact
of the event by adopting risk response strategies, as for example:
- Transfer the risk - to another organization, individual, or entity.
- Avoid the risk - eliminate conditions for the risk to exist, or drop the task.
- Mitigate the risk - minimize the probability of a risk's occurrence or its
- Accept the risk - take no preemptive action to resolve it, except contingency
Each escape "department " was responsible for managing the risks associated
with its activities by employing risk management strategies. These were discussed
with Bushell in daily meetings.
For the first risk - escape plot discovery, the following strategies were employed:
- A major risk was the discovery of the trap doors, and by paying great attention
to their concealment this risk was mitigated. Weeks were spent in designing these
trap doors in such a way that they blended into the surroundings of the room,
see Figure 6.
Figure 6: Tunnel trap door concealed under the stove
- Ferrets were a continuous risk that the team had no option but to accept. However, the risk could be mitigated through a system of tracking, and an early warning system. Also Bushell kept a list of ferrets that were deemed dangerous to the project. In reality Bushell accepted the risk here as part of the project.
- Ferrets expected tunneling to be going on. As a contingency to mitigate the
risk of a tunnel being discovered multiple tunnels were built in parallel in an
effort to have a fallback in case one was found.
- By putting many resources into cover-up activities like diversion and sand
dispersal, risk was mitigated in concealing traces of the tunnel.
- Another mitigation strategy was reading enemy intent and then taking proactive
- Some "under the wire" escape jobs, accomplished by breaking through the wire,
were encouraged so as to leave the impression that escape attempts were still
being carried out. It would look strange if all escape attempts suddenly stopped
for a period. Whether the escape made it or not was inconsequential as the main
escape was protected. In effect the risk was being transferred elsewhere to the
For the second risk - dangers with tunnel engineering, the following strategies
- The tunnel department had a number of miners and mining engineers, experts
in their field, like Wally Floody, and their expertise helped mitigate the risk.
- To mitigate the risk of tunnel collapse, pains were taken to ensure that the
tunnels were level. Any movement in an uneven tunnel could catch the supports
or shoring and cause a collapse.
- A ventilation system was installed to bring air right up the tunnel face,
and mitigate the risk of suffocation. This was a complex requirement as the tunnel
was long (330 feet/100 m).