printech, October, 2003
Emergency Response Planning Checklist

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From: Gary Jones ( )
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 09:13:49

FYI- From Security Products eNews Gary Checklist: Emergency planning, response and recovery for companies The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides a step-by-step guide to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes, including manufacturers, corporate offices, retailers or utilities.

Four steps in the planning process

1. Establish a planning team. There must be an individual or group in charge of developing the emergency management plan. The following is guidance for making the appointment.
o Form the team. The size of the planning team will depend on the facility's operations, requirements and resources. Determine who can be an active member and who can serve in an advisory capacity. In most cases, one or two people will be doing the bulk of the work. At the very least, you should obtain input from all functional areas such as upper management, labor, human resources, safety, health and environmental affairs, legal, and finance and purchasing.
o Establish authority. Demonstrate management's commitment and promote an atmosphere of cooperation by "authorizing" the planning group to take the steps necessary to develop a plan. The group should be led by the chief executive or the plant manager.
o Issue a mission statement. Have the chief executive or plant manager issue a mission statement to demonstrate the company's commitment to emergency management. The statement should define the purpose of the plan and indicate that it will involve the entire organization, and define the authority and structure of the planning group.
o Establish a schedule and budget. Establish a work schedule and planning deadlines. Timelines can be modified as priorities become more clearly defined. Develop an initial budget for such things as research, printing, seminars, consulting services and other expenses that may be necessary during the development process.

2. Analyze capabilities and hazards. This step entails gathering information about current capabilities and about possible hazards and emergencies, and then conducting a vulnerability analysis to determine the facility's capabilities for handling emergencies.
o Where do you stand right now? Review internal plans and policies. Look for documents such as evacuation plans, safety and health programs, hazardous materials plans, security procedures, employee manuals and plant closing policies.
o Meet with outside groups. Meet with government agencies, community organizations and utilities. Ask about potential emergencies and about plans and available resources for responding to them. Sources of information include community emergency management offices, local police and fire departments, planning commissions and neighboring businesses.
o Identify codes and regulations. Identify applicable federal, state and local regulations such as occupational safety and health regulations, environmental regulations, fire codes, transportation regulations and corporate policies.
o Identify critical products, services and operations. You'll need this information to assess the impact of potential emergencies and to determine the need for backup systems. Areas to review include company products and services and the facilities and equipment needed to produce them; and products and services provided by suppliers, especially sole source vendors.
o Identify internal resources and capabilities. Resources and capabilities that could be needed in an emergency include personnel, equipment, facilities, organizational capabilities and backup systems.
o Identify external resources. There are many external resources that could be needed in an emergency. In some cases, formal agreements may be necessary to define the facility's relationship with resources such as hospitals, local and state police, contractors and hazmat organizations.
o Do an insurance review. Meet with insurance carriers to review all policies.
o Conduct a vulnerability analysis. The next step is to assess the vulnerability of your facility -- the probability and potential impact of each emergency.
o List potential emergencies. In the first column of the chart, list all emergencies that could affect your facility, including those identified by your local emergency management office. Consider both emergencies that could occur within your facility and emergencies that could occur in your community. Estimate the probability of each emergency's occurrence, and analyze the potential human and business impact.
o Assess internal and external resources. Next assess your resources and ability to respond. Assign a score to your Internal Resources and External Resources.

3. Develop the plan. Your plan should include the following basic components: an executive summary, emergency management elements (communications, life safety, property protection, etc.), emergency response procedures and support documents such as resource lists.

4. Implement the plan. Implementation means more than simply exercising the plan during an emergency. It means acting on recommendations made during the vulnerability analysis, integrating the plan into company operations, training employees and evaluating the plan. Look for opportunities to build awareness; to educate and train personnel; to test procedures; to involve all levels of management, all departments and the community in the planning process; and to make emergency management part of what personnel do on a day-to-day basis.

For the complete checklist, visit

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