The intent of an Incident Management Plan is to aid management, supervisors, employees and contract personnel in the event of an incident, and map out their assigned roles and responsibilities. The plan, which should be based on the Incident Command System (ICS), should define, plan for, document, and provide guidance to those responding to incidents.
Clear and concise communication is pivotal during an emergency. Incident Management Plans should describe:
- Lines of communication internal to the company
- Lines of communication with external parties
- The importance of two-way communication with all parties
Incident responses may be categorized by levels or tiers, to define severity and level of corporate involvement required. Typically, minor incidents (Tier 1) are handled at the facility level, more serious incidents (Tier 2) would likely require response from Division-level personnel, and catastrophic events (Tier 3) would likely require corporate level involvement. In each scenario, the need for clear guidance and definitions with contractors, consultants, suppliers, and equipment providers is crucial. Each Tier may have unique plans, stakeholders, and lines of communications.
Organizations should identify and evaluate potential risks for each unique operation. If a likely potential emergency exists, a plan should be developed to address that type of incident.
While multi-level corporate communication is crucial, the needs of the On Scene Commander and the operational response team are a priority. Division and Corporate personnel should focus on supporting the on-scene response by providing needed resources, expertise, and communication with external stakeholders, while allowing those on-scene as much flexibility as possible in handling the incident.
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.