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close this bookCommunity Emergency Planning Guide - Australian Emergency Manual (Natural Disaster Organization, 78 p.)
close this folderCHAPTER ONE - WHY PLAN?
Open this folder and view contentsGeneral
Open this folder and view contentsBenefits of Planning
Open this folder and view contentsThe Planning Process
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1.01 The economic and social effects of emergencies including destruction of property, dislocation of communities and loss of life are increasing in scope and severity.

1.02 Coping with hazards gives us our reason and focus for planning. If hazards, natural or technological did not exist, or threaten, there would be no reason to plan. Hazards exist within all communities whether they are recognised or not.


1.03 The community’s ability to cope with the impact of these hazards depends mainly on whether it has prepared plans and programs for:

a. prevention - regulatory and physical measures to ensure that emergencies are prevented, or their effects mitigated;

b. preparedness - arrangements to ensure that, all resources and services which may be needed, can be rapidly mobilised and deployed;

c. response - actions taken, during and immediately after a hazard impact to ensure that its effects are minimised; and

d. recovery - arrangements to ensure that a community is restored to normal.

Prepared Community

1.04 In order to protect life, properly and the environment, it is necessary to have:

a. an alert, informed and prepared community;

b. an understanding of hazards that the community faces;

c. a program for prevention and mitigation of emergency events;

d, identification of those responsible for controlling and coordinating emergency management;

e. acceptance of support roles and responsibilities;

f. cooperation between emergency services and others, and acceptance of their roles in emergency management;

g. a coordinated approach to the use of all resources; and

h. arrangements to enable communities to recover from emergencies.


1.05 Emergency planning is the key to meeting these requirements. Communities which have effectively applied the emergency planning process are better able to cope with the impact of hazards.

Legal Protection

1.06 Emergency planning may help protect organisations from litigation arising ‘out of the duty’ of care provisions in common law. The general obligation of fulfilling duty of care, and the specific requirements under most State/Territory legislation, indicate clearly the need for communities to develop, test and review emergency plans.


1.07 There is a proven process for preparation of emergency plans. The key to emergency management is the planning process, from which all related programs, strategies and arrangements should flow.

Record of Commitment

1.08 The planning process enables agreements to be reached between people and organisations to meet their communities’ needs during emergencies. The plan becomes a record of the commitments made to perform certain actions, provide resources, etc.

1.09 Chapter Two presents and overview of the emergency planning process and the remaining chapters of this Guide present and discuss each step of this process.


1.10 Coping with the impact of hazards gives us our reason to plan. A community’s ability to cope effectively will depend on whether it has prepared plans covering:

a. prevention;
b. preparedness;
c. response; and
d. recovery.

1.11 In most States and Territories, legislation requires preparation, testing and review of emergency plans.

1.12 The planning process is the key to emergency management. From this process flow all emergency management programs, strategies and arrangements.

1.13 The planning process allows agreements to be reached between people and organisations. The written plan becomes a formal record of commitments made.