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Supplementing the All-Hazard EOP: Emergency Operations Plan

Posted on Mon, Jun 17, 2013

Each company’s emergency operations plan (EOP) should document response actions and identify the internal and external resources required to effectively manage all potential hazards.  The EOP, often termed the “emergency response plan”, is the centerpiece of a comprehensive emergency management effort.

An EOP should be flexible enough for use in all emergencies. However, many company emergency management programs, as well as certain specialized industrial facilities may require several types of plans. Specialized plans may focus on specific operational hazards, inherent threats, or incident-specific response needs.  Depending upon the EOP’s structure and required content, hazard-specific information may be either included within the response plan or created as a separate stand-alone plan. FEMA identifies the following supplemental plans:

Administrative Plans

Administrative plans describe policies and procedures basic to the support of internal processes. Such plans are not the direct concern of an EOP. However, if it is assumed that provisions of an administrative plan apply in emergency situations, then the administrative plan may be referenced in the EOP. If an emergency dictates exceptions to normal administrative operations, the administrative plan becomes a relevant function of the EOP. Examples for emergency administrative processes include financial management, personnel management, records reviews, and labor relations’ activities.

Mitigation Plans

Mitigation planning is often a long-term effort and may be a part of a company’s strategic development plan. Existing plans for mitigating hazards are relevant to an EOP, since both originate from a hazard-based analysis and share similar component requirements. Processes and procedures in a mitigation plan can prompt effective recovery decision-making efforts, and implement a mitigation strategy aimed at reducing the long-term risk to lives, the environment, and property.

Preparedness Plans

Preparedness plans should address capabilities needed for prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation activities. These plans should include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Facility Information
  2. Training needs based on roles and responsibilities
  3. Means for developing, conducting, and evaluating exercises.  
  4. The process for correcting identified deficiencies
  5. Hazard analysis and potential spill volumes, if applicable
  6. Notifications (shouldn’t this be part of an EOP?
  7. Contracting and procurement requirements and procedures

Results of these efforts should be incorporated in the EOP. Based on the preparedness plan, the EOP assumes accuracy of available identified equipment and facilities, training and exercises are adequate, and additional response resources have been evaluated. Measures to safeguard emergency management personnel, as well as vital records and existing equipment, should be part of an EOP.

Preparedness planning should cover three objectives

  • Maintain existing emergency management readiness capabilities
  • Prevent emergency management capabilities from becoming part of the emergency
  • Augment emergency management capabilities with internal and external response resources

Prevention and Protection plans

These procedural, tactical, and/or incident-specific action plans tend to be facility focused. These plans contain site-specific, unique response details that apply to a single hazard, such as pandemic, hurricane, or fire pre plans. These plans may also pertain to specific regulatory requirements, such as SPCC (spill prevention control and countermeasure plans required by EPA).

Continuity Plans

Business continuity, or continuity of operations plans, identify essential business functions necessary to sustain key operations in the event of an operational disruption. These plans address employee responsibilities, processes, and procedures applicable to the continued performance of core capabilities and critical operations during a potential incident. They also describe the process for timely resumption of normal operations once the emergency has ended.

Recovery Plans

Typically, an EOP does not identify recovery actions beyond rapid damage assessment and the actions necessary to satisfy the immediate life support needs of disaster victims. The EOP should provide a process for transition to short-term recovery plans. Pre-disaster planning for long-term mitigation and recovery requires identification of strategic priorities for restoration, improvement, and growth.

For an understanding of the necessary elements in creating an effective fire pre plan, download our Fire Pre Planning Guide.

TRP Corp Fire Pre-Plans Pre Fire Plan

Tags: Emergency Management, Emergency Preparedness, Response Plans, Event Preparedness, Business Continuity Plan