From the moment as incident is discovered, the response planning process of information gathering, initial assessment, response coordination, and managing documentation begins. Short-term responses, small in scope and/or duration, can often be coordinated using only ICS 201 briefings. However, longer-term, more complex responses, will likely require use of the entire planning cycle, many of the ICS Forms, and multiple operational periods.
The response planning cycle is a standard response tool used by both the public and private sectors. By providing a structured approach to assess necessary response actions for incidents involving extended time frames and complicated strategies or tactics, Incident Commanders can develop updated objectives and strategies for each operational period.
An Incident Action Plan (IAP), which identifies objectives, priorities, and strategies for each operational period are likely necessary when coordinating these extended responses. The Incident Commander should conduct briefings and information-gathering meetings during the response planning cycles to guide response efforts for the next operational period.
The standard response planning cycle is as follows:
The Response Process
- Initial Response Actions
- Initial Notifications
- Emergency Response Organization
- Incident Planning/Documentation; Meeting Cycle includes:
- Operational briefings
Additional guidance during the response process, including applicable procedures, pertinent content, and required documentation, should be should be gathered from a site specific, emergency response plan, and other sources, as appropriate.
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.