The Planning “P” is a common emergency management image that illustrates the model incident management process for one operational period. The US Coast Guard states that the incident management planning process should be built on the following phases:
1. Identify and process the potential incidents and effects
2. Establish incident objectives
3. Develop the plan to counteract the effects
4. Prepare, disseminate, and exercise the plan
5. Execute, evaluate, and revise the plan
Decision-makers should utilize the Planning “P” as a guide for developing Incident Action Plans, tactical responses necessary to meet objectives, and planning essential meetings throughout the incident.
The primary components of the Planning “P” are as follows:
1. Initial Response, Objectives and Briefing: The leg of the “P” describes the initial response activation period for the Tier 1 Emergency Response Team (ERT), the Tier 2 Incident Management Team (IMT), and the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) or Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Initial response activities should include the following:
- Conduct initial assessment
- Develop Plan of Action
- Complete ICS-201 form: The ICS 201 provides the Incident command team with information about the situation and the resources allocated to the incident. This form serves as a permanent record of the initial response to the incident and can be used for transfer of command.
- Prepare for command briefing
- Identify Unified Command representatives
- Brief Command on initial response activities
- Agree on organization structure
- Clarify issues and concerns
- Identify Command post and support facilities
- Discuss planned operations and directions
- Identify incident escalation potential
- Identify Command Post and support facilities
- Order appropriate staffing
Tactical discussions should include alternative response strategies, potentially for each incident objective. On smaller incidents with minimal impact, the task of developing incident objectives and strategies may be the sole responsibility of the Incident Commander. On larger incidents, members of the Incident Management Team (IMT) and ECC, and other key company personnel may contribute to this process.
2. Assessment Meetings to define objectives for operational period
- Prior to meeting, Incident Command/Unified Command should develop and update the following:
- Response emphasis and priorities
- Response objectives
- Common operating policy, procedures, and guidelines
- Command and General Staff Meeting Briefing:
- Meet and brief Command and General Staff on command direction, objectives and priorities
- Assign work tasks
- Resolve problems
- Clarify staff roles and responsibilities
3. Planning meeting
- Update charts and maps, as necessary
- Draft ICS-215, Operational Planning Worksheet
- Identify operational requirements, strategies, and tactics for next operational period in order to meet priorities and objectives
- Get tactical approval from Incident Command on planned actions
- ERT, IMT, and company staff review updated planned actions
- Operations and Planning discuss and document strategies, tactics, and contingencies.
4. Incident Action Plan (IAP) Preparation and Approval Meeting: ICS forms and supporting documents should convey the Incident Commander’s intent and the Operations Section plan for the current operational period.
- Finalize information to be incorporated into the IAP. .
- Complete all documentation associated with the IAP
- Command approves IAP
- Distribute plan to Section Chiefs and other required personnel
5. Operations briefing
- Provide briefing to Operation Section personnel
- Ensure support and resources are in place for current and next operational period
- Execute plan and assess progress:
- Monitor on-going operations and adjust tactical processes as necessary
- Measure and ensure progress against stated objectives
- Debrief resources coming off shift
- Prepare to brief UC/Planning on accomplishments
At this point, a new operational period begins if the incident is not resolved. The cycle (the circular section of the “P”) continues with execution of an adjusted plan. Progress evaluations and adjustments should continue until the incident is terminated.
6. Response Termination
- Brief command on activities
- Establish demobilization priorities
- Identify surplus resources and probable resource release times (only the On-Scene Incident Commander should authorize the release or demobilization of response resources)
- Verify decontamination procedures and disposal plan, as necessary
- Plan for equipment repair and maintenance services, as necessary
- Identify Lessons Learned and apply to associated response plans.
For more information regarding Hurricane preparation, download the Corporate Hurricane Planning Checklist.