No two crisis situations or responses are identical. As a result, Emergency Managers and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Managers responsible for developing and managing comprehensive, compliant, and functional response plans should create a broad scope of planned responses for potential emergency and crisis situations. In many circumstances, response efforts to various incidents may be similar. However, supplemental response procedures for specific hazards or threats can be added to the overall emergency management program to address these scenarios.
Focused supplemental response procedures or plans, for specific events such as pandemic flu and hurricanes can encompass a full range of hazards and potential threats and unique response details that apply to that single hazard. Depending upon response plan structure and volume of content, hazard-specific information may be included within an all-hazards response plan, or created as a stand-alone plan.
Hazard or incident-specific plans should include the same level of detail as the basic response plan, including, but not limited to:
- Specific location(s)
- Contact information for internal and external responders
- 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 response
- Identification of additional potential hazards
- Response team roles and responsibilities
- Recovery and restoration processes
Just as in the primary response plan, a planning team may use supporting documents as necessary to clarify the contents of the incident specific plan. These supporting documents can include hazard specific aerial photographs, facility maps, checklists, resource inventories, and summaries of critical information. Supplemental response plans may include, but are not limited to:
- Assessment and control of the hazard information
- Identification of unique prevention and preparedness of critical infrastructure/key resources
- Initial protective actions
- Communications procedures and warning systems
- Implementation of protective actions
- Identification of short-term stabilization actions
- Implementation of recovery actions
Below are examples of potential supplemental response plans. Theses plans should be aligned with site-specific company facilities and personnel details.
- Hurricane Plans: Identifies response procedures and specific pre and post hurricane responsibilities according to landfall prediction timeline. May require providing evacuation route maps or shelter in place areas. Evacuation routes and scope of evacuation may change depending on the location of the facility, potential threats, or forecast.
- Fire Pre Plans: Addresses specific information necessary to effectively fight a fire and limit exposures. Chemical and hazardous details in regards to particular buildings, tanks, and process units, and foam and water requirements should be included in fire pre plans.
- Pandemic Plans: Documents procedures and methods necessary to maintain and restore operations of critical business processes in the event of a pandemic outbreak among the local population and workforce.
- Additional Natural Disasters: Natural hazards tend to occur repeatedly in the same geographical locations because they are related to weather patterns or physical characteristics of an area. Depending on your specific risks, supplemental plans may be developed for one or more of the following:
- Thunderstorms and Lightning
- Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
- Extreme Heat
- Landslide and Debris Flow (Mudslide)
The planning development stage must include the identification of potential site specific hazards, and the critical responses necessary to respond to those hazards. To ensure consistency, it is a best practice for hazard-specific plans to follow the same layout and organizational format as the main response plan. This allows for familiarity and continuity, which enables the information to be identified and disseminated in a timely manner. Best practices also dictate that plans be developed during normal operational conditions, prior to any threatened outbreak. Training on the specific response plans allows for a complete understanding of assigned responsibilities and processes if an actual incident were to occur.
For an understanding of the necessary elements in creating an effective fire pre plan, download our Fire Pre Planning Guide.