Creating an Emergency Response Plan
Perhaps drawing on the experiences of the NRP mentioned in this week’s Introduction, Canton (2007) takes care to distinguish “a plan” and “the act of planning.” Planning for emergencies and disasters is an ongoing and dynamic process that never ends. Skilled emergency managers know that plans are not merely written—they are routinely evaluated and updated. Moreover, there are several multidimensional planning approaches to make the response plan as effective as possible when activated.
When creating an emergency response plan, you may be inclined to write something that describes roles and responsibilities and then perhaps provide a list of action items that will need to be implemented if an emergency or disaster strikes. A more sophisticated and nuanced set of plans goes a step further and integrates a set of different response approaches into a seamless overarching response plan. These planning approaches include (1) a scenario plan based on a particular type of incident; (2) a functional plan, which combines similar functions needed to respond to an incident; and (3) a capabilities plan, which examines not only the capabilities needed to respond to a particular incident but also identifies the capabilities that are lacking and need to be improved (or that can be borrowed from neighboring communities through mutual aid agreements).
In addition, the emergency response plan provides a “leadership structure” akin to an organizational chart designating who is in charge of certain departments and their relationship to other departments.
For this Discussion, review the media Preparedness: Planning in this week’s Learning Resources and then look at the sample scenario (below) depicting a hazard within a community. Analyze the scenario and think about a scenario-based plan that describes how you would plan a response for the incident, including what department would be designated as the lead in the response and what departments would play a supporting role. In addition, provide a statement as to who would be the key leaders in charge of the response.
Scenario: On the outskirts of a large industrial city, there is a factory that produces batteries. Inside it there are some large tanks that contain toxic chemicals that are highly combustible. It has been a dry summer and there is a threat that wildfires may break out near the factory. If the factory catches on fire, there is a high probability of explosion and release of a cloud of deadly corrosive gas. Winds could drive the toxic cloud over a densely populated area.
Canton, L. G. (2007). Emergency management: Concepts and strategies for effective programs. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
With these thoughts in mind:
Question #1: Post an explanation of the leadership structure that would be needed to effectively respond to the hazard in the scenario. Then explain how you would apply all three planning types to respond to the hazard.
For more information on Emergency Response Plan read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_management
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