According to FEMA, the basic emergency operations plan should provide a broad scope of responses for potential emergency and crisis situations. Additional emergency response annexes that focus on hazard, threat, or incident-specific response needs can be added to broaden a site-specific basic plan to encompass the full range of hazards associated with a facility. These annexes contain unique and regulatory response details that apply to a single hazard, such as a pandemic response or hurricane plan. Depending upon the emergency operation plan’s structure and content amount, hazard-specific information may be included as either separate functional annexes or stand-alone hazard-specific annexes.
Hazard or incident-specific annexes should include many of the same details of the basic operations plan including, but not limited to:
- Details of hazard-specific location(s)
- Evacuation routes
- Plot Plans
- Specific provisions and protocols for warning employees, the public and disseminating emergency information
- Personal protective equipment and detection devices
- Policies and processes for each specific hazard
- Roles and responsibilities
Just as in the basic emergency operations plan, a planning team may use supporting documents as needed to clarify the contents of the incident specific plan. These supporting documents can include hazard specific aerial and facility maps, charts, tables, checklists, resource inventories, and summaries of critical information. For example, the hurricane plan may be made clearer by attaching maps marked with evacuation routes or shelter in place areas. Evacuation routes may change depending on the location or scale of the hazard.
Hazard-specific operational information usually includes, but is not limited to:
- Assessment and control of the hazard information
- Identification of unique prevention and preparedness of critical infrastructure/key resources
- Protective actions
- Communications procedures and warning systems
- Implementation of protective actions
- Identification of short-term stabilization actions
- Implementation of recovery actions.
It is crucial to identify the critical functions necessary for a successful emergency response to a specific hazard in the planning development stage. This may include identifying alternate communications methods in the event of a hurricane or pinpointing essential personnel to implement a pandemic plan. Hazard-specific annexes should follow the same layout and organizational format as the main operational plan to ensure consistency.
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.