commercial emergency planningThe Business Emergency Plan (The Plan) is a formal document that describes how your organization plans to respond in an emergency. It provides the authority chain, regulatory or governing laws, and organizational policies that, as a minimum, must be adhered to and when, if ever, these can be deviated from. The Plan also describes how your emergency preparedness program will be maintained and tested to ensure it is operational and up to date. This includes personnel qualification and periodic training. The Plan should be discussed with the local Emergency Management Agency to ensure coordination. In addition, providing an orientation on The Plan and a site tour to offsite emergency responders will facilitate their response to future emergencies.

However, in a declared emergency, The Plan will more than likely stay on the shelf and personnel will refer to the "Emergency Plan Response Procedures" that more succinctly lay out, in checklist fashion, the steps that need to be immediately taken. The following is a sampling of the sections that The Plan might include.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Executive Summary

One or two pages summarizing the concept of operations that the organization to implement in an emergency. This should include an overview of command and control, personnel safety, communications, emergency organization, and emergency facilities.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Introduction

Discuss the purpose and basis of the plan. Include an overview of the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment performed without divulging proprietary or safeguarded information. Discuss the team concept in developing the plan. A general description of the nature of the business, site layout, geography, capabilities and resources available to site personnel should be addressed.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Emergency Recognition and Declaration

Discuss the process that your organization will use in declaring the emergency including the authority provided to back shift personnel. As an example, your organization could decide to use an "event-based" or "symptom-based" list of indicators that when reached or exceeded warrant a formal declaration of emergency. Keep in mind that indicators can be false due to equipment failure or operator error. Include what your organization will require to verify the accuracy of indicators. This process needs to balance accuracy and timeliness against dangers to life and property. These indicators or "emergency action levels" should be coordinated with regulatory requirements (OSHA, DEP, PUC) and organizational policies to ensure completeness and timeliness. For example, spills of certain hazardous chemicals have specific reporting requirements to government agencies.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Personnel Safety

This section describes the protective actions for your employees and visitors in the event of an emergency declaration. These actions could include facility lockdown, facility shutdown, sheltering, evacuation, reporting to designated assembly areas using prescribed routes, and personnel accountability. Messages announced over the public address system should be considered to warn site personnel of the emergency and actions to take.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Emergency Organization

Included in this section is the organizational structure for managing the emergency. The Incident Command System (ICS) is clearly becoming the standard for responding to any type of emergency. Most if not all federal, state and local emergency responders will be adopting ICS within the next year. ICS provides for a coordinated response with a clear chain of command that can easily integrate with government responders seamlessly. With ICS, the Incident Commander is the person assuming command and control of the emergency and has the authority to declare and closeout an emergency, establish incident action plans to mitigate the consequences of the emergency and ensure the health and safety of personnel.

Reporting directly to the Incident Commander will be positions that vary based on the nature of the business. Typically, these positions will include a Safety Coordinator that is responsible for personnel safety, first aid, fire/spill response, accountability, evacuation, and personnel assembly. Another position might be Operations Coordinator to oversee the safe operation or shutdown of the facility and a Maintenance Coordinator to ensure repairs and replacement of needed equipment. Finally, an Administrative Coordinator to ensure record keeping, procedural requirements, purchasing, and human resource related issues are addressed.

At a remote location, an Emergency Support Organization should be established to assist the Incident Commander in support of the response process. Their role is to relieve the Incident Commander from the burden of external interface such as the media, government agency interface, procurement of resources, contracted services and administrative/personnel issues. They will also be responsible for ensuring the continuity of the critical business operations to minimize business downtime. This will allow the Incident Commander to more closely focus on managing the incident.

Sample Emergency Response Organization:

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Emergency Facilities/ Emergency Equipment

Based on the needs of the organization and space limitation, facilities should be dedicated for emergency response personnel to work in. The Incident Command Post will typically be established at the location of the emergency scene. An Emergency Operations Center should be established for the Emergency Support Organization to be located. An Assembly Area, under roof, for personnel to assemble, be accounted for and await further instructions. These facilities should include dedicated equipment, procedures, diagrams, and communications capabilities to allow personnel to effectively function. Consideration should be given to the need for backup facilities should the primary facility be rendered unavailable.

Emergency kits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and spill control kits should be strategically placed throughout the facility with basic and specialized equipment (based on the nature of your business) needed for response. The equipment stored should be consistent with the outcome of the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Crisis Communications/Media Relations

Employees should be instructed to not provide information to the media, but rather refer them to the designated company spokesperson. The media spokesperson should be a person trained to deal with the media and yet knowledgeable enough to understand the operations of the business and either respond to those questions directly or refer to a technical specialist. This person can make or break the business based on their credibility and how they present themselves.

A media packet that provides basic information and video footage on the company should be available as a press kit. Announce in advance upcoming media briefings and coordinate media releases with offsite emergency response agencies. Refrain from speculation and avoid hypothetical questions. Just stick to what is confirmed.

Ensure access to employee records and next of kin contact information. Establish a means to communicate with employees and their families to provide them with emergency updates. Consideration should be given to a shadow website that is password protected for employees and families to access.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Maintenance of the Emergency Preparedness Program

This section should address the responsibilities and frequencies associated with the review, update, and approval of The Plan, Emergency Response Procedures, emergency facilities, inventory of emergency kits and testing of communications equipment. In addition, this should include the coordination of updates with other organizational elements as well as government agencies. Review and update any Letters of Agreements that your organization is relying on for services or equipment during an emergency.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Training of Personnel

Each emergency response position should have specific selection criteria to include skill sets, educational background, and emergency response training requirements to fully qualify to serve in that capacity. The refresher training requirements should also be delineated. This training should be tracked by someone to ensure the full complement of qualified personnel are available.

New hires that are expected to serve as an emergency responder should be indoctrinated and trained upon being hired for the position. A mechanism needs to be in place to ensure that personnel are made aware of any meaningful changes to the emergency preparedness program.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Drills / Exercises

The Plan should commit to conducting a certain number of drills and exercises to ensure personnel are proficient in their emergency response roles and that equipment is operationally ready. Including offsite emergency responders in these drills and exercises is very beneficial in familiarizing them with your facility and building relationships with your personnel. One person should be responsible for tracking action items resulting from these drills and exercises to ensure proper disposition.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Actual Emergency Events

Following the closeout of an emergency event, one person should be responsible for coordinating the critique of the event, documenting, and tracking action items to ensure proper closure.

A good practice is to perform a root cause analysis of each emergency or near miss to determine a pattern of equipment failure or operator error that may need to be addressed. Changes to the Emergency Response Plan, Emergency Response Procedure or Training program may be necessary as a result of the lessons learned from the event.

Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Printable Version

Fire

fireAfter a fire, we secure structures and prevent further loss. Our experts will evaluate the damage and formulate a plan for reconstruction, working closely with your insurance carrier throughout the process.

Read more...

Hail

hail damageIn Indiana, the last few years has resulted in significant amounts of hail damage. Homeowners need to be proactive in checking for hail damage. Our staff can provide help to repair property that has suffered hail damage.

Read more...

Wind

windDamage caused by windstorms or tornadoes can run the gamut. On homes that can be repaired, it is extremely important that measures be taken immediately to minimize additional damage.

Read more...

Go to top