How to Write an Emergency Plan

How to Write an Emergency Plan

by David E. Alexander


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The world is becoming more hazardous as natural and social processes combine to create complex situations of increased vulnerability and risk. There is increasing recognition that this trend is creating exigencies that must be dealt with. The common approach is to delegate the task of preparing an emergency plan to someone. Often that person is expected to get on with job but rarely is the means and instruction of how to write such a plan provided to them. There are a host of instances in which the letter of the law, not the spirit, is honoured by providing a token plan of little validity.

David Alexander provides, in this book, the assistance needed to write an emergency plan. It is a practical ‘how to’ manual and guide aimed at managers in business, civil protection officers, civil security officials, civil defence commanders, neighbourhood leaders and disaster managers who have been tasked with writing, reviewing or preparing emergency plans for all kinds of emergency, disaster or catastrophe. He takes the reader through the process of writing an emergency plan, step by step, starting with the rationale and context, before moving on through the stages of writing and activating a basic, generic emergency plan and concludes with information on specific kinds of plan, for example, for hospitals and cultural heritage sites.

This practical guide also provides a core for postgraduate training in emergency management and has been written in such a way that it is not tied to the legal constraints of any particular jurisdiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780460130
Publisher: Dunedin Academic Press
Publication date: 06/02/2016
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

David Alexander is Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London. He is also Visiting Professor at the Universities of Bournemouth and Northumbria (UK), Affiliated Professor at the University of Lund (Sweden) and Research Fellow at the Global Risk Forum GRF Davos (Switzerland). Professor Alexander is Vice-President of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

1 Introduction 1

Scope and objectives of this book 1

Why write an emergency plan? 3

Emergency planning and civil protection systems 7

2 What are emergencies? 14

Emergencies, disasters and crises 14

Civil contingencies and resilience 15

The relationship between planning and management 20

3 What is an emergency plan? 23

Definition 23

Planning and preparedness 25

Plans, procedures, protocols and improvisation 27

Who should write an emergency plan? 30

Ownership of the plan 33

4 The emergency planning process 35

The context of the plan 35

Actions required 38

Elements of the plan 40

5 First step: background research 42

Assembling the elements 42

Geography, demography and socio-economic factors 50

Audit of emergency resources 52

6 Second step: scenario building 54

Why use scenarios? 54

'Lessons learned' and the risk register 55

Scenario methodology 57

A scenario of what? How accurate does it need to be? 65

How to construct planning scenarios 66

7 Third Step: from scenarios to actions 68

Connecting the scenarios to the resource audit 68

Specifying actions 71

Emergency response: the building blocks 72

Planning for interoperability 85

Planning to communicate in an emergency 87

Communicating via social media 92

Record-keeping and accounting 94

8 A note on the structure of the plan 97

Chapter 1 Preliminary material and introduction 98

Chapter 2 Introduction to local hazards 98

Chapter 3 Vulnerability and risk analysis (with impact scenarios) 99

Chapter 4 Legislative environment and legal framework of the plan 99

Chapter 5 Introduction to local resources and command system 99

Chapter 6 Emergency management specifications 100

Chapter 7 Revision, updating and testing of the plan 103

Summary 104

9 Fourth step: using the plan 107

Making sure participants know and understand the plan 107

Testing the plan with simulated emergencies 108

The revision cycle 116

Evaluating the plan in order to improve it 117

The real emergency 120

10 Planning to maintain the continuity of normal activities 124

Business continuity planning and management 124

Relationship between emergency planning and BCM 132

11 Specialized emergency planning 134

Health and emergency medical systems 134

Pandemic response planning 145

Veterinary emergency planning 150

Critical infrastructure 151

Heatwaves and cold snaps 155

Snowfalls, snow accumulations and ice storms 158

Planning for nuclear emergencies 160

Counter-terrorism 164

Industrial and commercial facilities 176

Tourism and cultural heritage 183

Mass gatherings 190

People with disabilities 196

Educational facilities 199

Neighbourhood, parish and family emergency plans 207

Disaster waste management planning 213

Recovery and reconstruction planning 215

Human mobility: refugees, migrants and asylum seekers 224

Some notes on planning the co-ordination of humanitarian aid 226

12 Conclusion: the future of emergency planning 229

The sceptical emergency planner 229

Sustainability of emergency planning 235

Emergency planning and international frameworks 237

Associations 241

Afterword 241

Appendix 1 Glossary of working definitions by key terms 243

Appendix 2 Bibliography of selected references 256

Index 261

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