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Effective Emergency Management and the Mitigation Process

Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2011

There is a direct correlation between effective emergency management and the quality of the response plan and level of training/familiarity of the plans. Consequently, the planning process should be a continuous cycle of mitigating risk, revising emergency response plans, and routine emergency training and exercises. The plans become more effective when emergency planners apply the lessons learned from drills and real emergencies to improve the plan.

Emergency management is the organized process by which industrial facilities, corporations, schools and communities:

  • Mitigate risk
  • Prepare for hazards that cannot be fully mitigated
  • Respond to emergencies
  • Recover from emergencies and restore facility and operations to its pre-emergency condition.
A key element in developing response plans is to address situations that may contribute to or cause escalation into an emergency situation. The planning process should identify these situations and include steps to minimize the impact or mitigate an emergency. Specific mitigation actions are site specific and need to be tailored to each facility. The following hazards should be evaluated for applicability during the planning process. This may include, but are not limited to:
  • Ignition sources that could result in fires and explosion
  • Kidnapping
  • Medical emergencies
  • Nuclear incidents
  • Illnesses/injuries
  • Riots/Protests
  • Terrorism
  • Trespassing/armed intruder(s)/hostage situation
  • Hazardous materials (Poisoning by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption, or injection)
  • Chemical threats
  • Electrocution shock sources
  • Flooding and other severe weather
  • Rail lines that transport hazardous materials

Emergency planners should work with local agencies, fire and police departments, stakeholders, neighboring outside businesses, hospitals, and community organizations to ensure that their  emergency response response plans are coordinated with local emergency plans.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.

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Tags: Radiation, Crisis Mapping, Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Training and Exercises, Emergency Management Program, Emergency Action Plan