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close this bookCommunity Emergency Preparedness: A Manual for Managers and Policy-Makers (WHO, 1999, 141 p.)
close this folderAnnexes
View the documentAnnex 1 - Project management
View the documentAnnex 2 - Hazard description tables
View the documentAnnex 3 - Emergency preparedness checklists
View the documentAnnex 4 - Personal protection in different types of emergencies

Annex 3 - Emergency preparedness checklists

The checklists in this annex can be used for developing or evaluating emergency preparedness programmes. Some parts of the checklists would also be of value during response and recovery operations.


· Have all emergency management parts of relevant legislation been located, and have the implications of this legislation been considered in community emergency preparedness?

· Have any inconsistencies in the legislation been reported to central government?

· Is there power for the following actions during emergencies:

- commandeering of resources?

- evacuation of people at risk?

- centralized coordination of emergency work at the national, provincial, and community levels?

Vulnerability assessment

· Is a vulnerability assessment available for emergency preparedness, as well as for emergency response and recovery work?

· Are there procedures for reviewing vulnerability assessment in the light of:

- community change?
- vulnerability change?
- hazards change?
- capacity/capability change?


· Have private organizations and NGOs been involved in the planning process?

· Has assistance or guidance in developing emergency plans been provided to government, private organizations, and NGOs?

· Are there emergency plans that are related to the community emergency plan?

· If such plans exist, what are the implications for your plans?

· Has contact been made with people in other organizations or jurisdictional areas who may be able to assist the community?

· Has the plan been approved by the chief executive of the community administration?

· Has the plan been endorsed by all relevant organizations?

· Has a person or organization been assigned responsibility for developing the community emergency plan?

· Who is responsible for keeping the emergency plan up to date and how often is it to be formally reviewed?

· Do people who hold existing plans receive amendments?

· Is a distribution list of the plan maintained?

· Have the community emergency management structure and organizational responsibilities been described?

· Who is responsible for the overall management?

· Who is responsible for the operations of particular organizations?

· Who is responsible for coordinating particular tasks?

· Are all the necessary tasks assigned to organizations and personnel?

· Are the responsibilities of all organizations described?

· Does the plan contain a summary of the vulnerability assessment?

· Has the relationship between different levels of planning been described?

· Have mutual aid and twinning agreements with adjacent communities been made?

· Is the plan consistent with related plans?

· Does the plan make reference to the legislation that establishes the legal basis for planning and carrying out emergency measures?

Training and education

· Who is responsible for the various training and education requirements of emergency workers and the public?

· Has a training needs analysis of emergency workers been performed?

· Have a number of different public education strategies been implemented?

· How quickly are new personnel in organizations made capable of working in emergency management?

· Is institutional memory being preserved? For example, do people have to “reinvent the wheel” or are past, practical lessons learned, documented, and passed on?

· Do the capabilities and capacities of organizations improve over time during the implementation of preparedness strategies?

Monitoring and evaluation

· Is there a procedure for reviewing emergency preparedness on a regular or as-required basis? How is it done and who is responsible?

· How often is the community plan to be exercised? Who is responsible?

· How are the lessons learned from exercises to be incorporated into plans?

· Are multi-organizational exercises run, as well as single-organizational exercises?


· What forms of communication are available?

· Are there backups?

· Who is responsible for communications maintenance and planning?

· Do people know the relevant radio frequencies and contact numbers?

· Are there contact lists (containing names, telephone numbers, etc.) for all emergency management organizations?

· Do the communications systems allow communication between all relevant organizations?

Search and rescue

· What rescue tasks may need to be performed?

· Who is responsible, who coordinates?

· Are there procedures for detecting and marking danger areas?

· How are search and rescue activities integrated with other emergency functions, in particular health?

Health and medical

· Have the ambulance and hospital services planned and been trained for the handling of mass casualties?

· Are they aware of each other’s arrangements?

· Are there emergency field medical teams?

· Who manages these on-site?

· Are there arrangements for counselling the public and emergency workers? Who is responsible for providing this service and who pays for it?

Social welfare

· Are the arrangements for feeding and accommodating people linked to the registration and enquiry system and the evacuation procedures?

· Is there any arrangement for expediting the assessment of damage to private and public property and payment for losses?

· Do the insurance companies have any cooperative arrangements among themselves?

· Where, when, and how do people have access to insurance companies?

· What is insurance company policy on makeshift repairs or repairs to minimize damage?

· Is there access to legal advisers during emergency response and recovery operations?

· Is there a system for providing legal advice to emergency-affected persons?

Transport and lifelines

· Who is responsible for each lifeline?
· What are the priorities for repairing damaged lifelines?
· How long should it take to repair each lifeline from the predicted levels of damage?
· How are alternative lifelines to be arranged if required?

Police and investigation

· Are there procedures to ensure that resources are reserved from the emergency response work to enforce law and order?


· Who is responsible for receiving warnings from outside the community?

· Is there a clear system that ensures that all relevant organizations and personnel are alerted?

· Does this system:

- assign responsibility for initiating an alert?

- provide for a “cascade” method of alerting, whereby those alerted are responsible for further alerting where appropriate?

- describe the first actions required by those alerted?

- provide for the cancellation of an alert and the stand-down of organizations and personnel?

Command, control and coordination

· Is there a threat to the existence or continuity of government?

· Who is responsible for planning for continuity of government?

· Have all senior management personnel and elected officials been allocated a task?

· To whom do management personnel or officials turn for information?

· Are there procedures for ensuring the safety of government and administrative records (paper and computerized)?

· Have lines of succession been determined to ensure continuity of leadership?

· Have alternative sites for government organizations been identified?

· Have locations for emergency coordination centres been designated and promulgated?

· Are there alternative centres?

· Are they remote from areas likely to be damaged?

· Do they have adequate communications, feeding, sleeping, and sanitation facilities?

· Do they have backup power?

· Is the availability of backup communications equipment known?

· Is there an adequate water supply?

· Is there a designated centre manager and alternative and relieving managers?

· Do the centres have trained staff?

· Are there procedures for developing staff rosters?

· Are there procedures for activating and operating the centres?

· Is there adequate administrative support for the centres?

· Are functions of the centres succinctly described?

· Is there a procedure method for collecting, verifying, analysing, and disseminating information?

· Is there a procedure for recording events, requests for assistance, decisions, and allocating resources?

· Are there internal security arrangements for the centres?

· Has responsibility for day-to-day maintenance of the centres been assigned?

· Are there procedures within and between organizations for the briefing of personnel on an impending or actual emergency?

· Are there procedures for conducting single and multi-organizational debriefings following an emergency or alert?

Information management

· Are maps of the community (topographic, demographic, hazard, and vulnerability) available?

· Is a public information centre designated as the official point of contact by public and the media during an emergency?

· Are there provisions for releasing information to the public, including appropriate protective actions and devised responses?

· Have agreements been reached with the media for disseminating public information and emergency warnings?

· Are contact details for all media outlets (radio, television, and newspapers) available?

· Who is responsible for providing information to the media?

· Who is responsible for authorizing information?

· Who is responsible for emergency assessment and to whom do they report? How is the information recorded and who relays the information to those concerned?

· Who is responsible for issuing public statements about emergencies?

· Do they have public credibility and adequate liaison with other organizations who may also issue warnings?

· Who is responsible for providing warnings for each likely type of emergency?

· To whom is the warning supplied?

· At which warning level is response action initiated?

· What is the purpose of the warnings and what action is required of the public?

· Who will inform the public when the danger has passed?

· Is there a point of contact for members of the public wanting specific information, and is this point of contact publicly known?

· Is there a referral service for directing people to the appropriate sources of information?

· Is there a registration and enquiry system for recording the whereabouts of displaced, injured, or dead persons?

· Is there a system for providing this information to bona fide inquirers?

· Does the community know how to contact the registration and inquiry system?

· Is there a facility for multilingual message broadcasting and an interpreter service for incoming calls?

· Are there plans for establishing public information centres?

· Is the community aware of the existence of these centres?

Resource management

· Who coordinates resources within each organization?

· Who is responsible for supplying resources beyond the normal capabilities of each organization? Who records the use and cost of resources?

· Have arrangements been made with national or provincial military organizations for assistance in times of emergency?

· Is there agreed access to emergency funds?

· Who records the expenditure for future acquittal/repayment?

· What are the limits of expenditure for personnel?

· What tasks can be safely performed by unskilled volunteers?

· Who coordinates this work?

· Is it likely that some organizations will begin public appeals for donations to emergency-affected persons?

· How can these appeals be coordinated?

· How is equitable disbursement of appeal money to be ensured?

· Who coordinates the requests for assistance for the community?

· What sort of assistance is likely to be required?

· Where is this assistance likely to come from?

· Is there an expected form that the request should take?

· Is the following information available to help outside assistance:

- lists of organizations working in the country, with information on their competence and capacity to be involved in emergency response and recovery activities?

- lists of essential response and recovery items not available in the community that would need to be obtained abroad, with available information on potential international sources?

- information on customs and taxation regulations covering the importation and transit of response and recovery (and other) items?

· Is the following information available:

- lists of essential response and recovery items, with specifications and average costs?

- lists of local manufacturers and regional manufacturers or suppliers of response and recovery items, with information on quality, capacity and capability, delivery times, and reliability?

- information on essential response and recovery resources that will allow a rapid response, e.g. water supply systems, sanitation systems, health networks, alternative shelter sites and materials, ports and transport networks, warehouses, and communications systems?


· Does any person or organization have the authority to evacuate people who are threatened?

· Are there designated locations to which evacuees should travel?

· How many people may need to be evacuated?

· In what circumstances should they be evacuated?

· Who will tell people that it is safe to return? What will trigger this?

· Are staging areas and pick-up points identified for evacuation?

· Are evacuees to be provided with information on where they are going and how they will be cared for?

· Is there security for evacuated areas?

· How are prisoners to be evacuated?

· How are the cultural and religious requirements of evacuees to be catered for?

· Who is responsible for traffic control during evacuation?

· How are evacuees to be registered?

Response and recovery operations

· Has a community emergency committee been set up?

· Have response teams been organized?

· Is anything being done for isolated families?

· Have arrangements been made to pick up the injured and take them to the health centre or hospital?

· Have people been evacuated from dangerous buildings?

· Have steps been taken to resolve the most urgent problems for the survival of the victims, including water, food, and shelter?

· Has a place been assigned for the dead to be kept while awaiting burial?

· Are steps being taken to identify the dead?

· Has an information centre been established?

· Have communications been established with the central (regional, national) government?

· Has there been a needs assessment to consider the number of people needing assistance, the type of assistance required, and the resources locally available?

· Are steps being taken to reunite families?

· Have safety instructions been issued?

· Are steps being taken to circulate information on:

- the consequences of the emergency?
- the dangers that exist?
- facts that may reassure people?

· Are communications being maintained with the central government?

· Is information on requirements being coordinated?

· Are local volunteer workers being coordinated?

· Are volunteer workers from outside being coordinated?

· Is inappropriate aid being successfully prevented and avoided?

· Are response and recovery supplies being fairly distributed?

· Is contact being maintained with all family groupings?

· Have families who are living in buildings that are damaged but not dangerous been reassured?

· Has an appropriate site been chosen for temporary shelters?

· In setting up shelters for emergency victims, have family and neighbourhood relationships and socioeconomic and cultural needs been taken into account?

· Have the victims been organized in family groupings?

· Have the essential problems been dealt with:

- water supply?
- the provision of clothing, footwear, and blankets?
- food supply?
- facilities for preparing hot meals?
- the installation of latrines?
- facilities for washing clothes and pots and pans?
- collection and disposal of waste?

· Have short meetings been arranged in the community to discuss the various problems and find solutions to them?

· Have steps been taken to encourage solidarity, mutual assistance, and constructive efforts among the people?

· Have school activities started up again?

· Have initiatives been taken for community action by children?

· Have steps been take to combat false rumours?

· Have measures been adopted to ensure that there is no favouritism in the distribution of response and recovery supplies?

· Is care being taken to make certain that volunteer workers from outside do not take the place of local people but help them to take the situation in hand?

· Have the victims been encouraged and helped to resume their activities?

· Have initiatives been taken to facilitate economic recovery, putting local resources to good use?

· Have steps been taken to ensure that people participate in drawing up plans of recovery and development and that those plans are in line with needs and the local culture?

· Are arrangements in force to avoid:

- delays?
- crippling disputes?
- favouritism?
- speculation?
- dishonesty?
- violence?


1. Australian emergency manual: community emergency planning guide, 2nd ed. Canberra, Natural Disasters Organisation, 1992.

2. A guide for the review of state and local emergency operations plans. Washington, DC, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1992 (CPG 1-8A).

3. Capability assessment and standards for state and local government (interim guidance). Washington, DC, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1983 (CPG 1-102).

4. International Civil Defence Organisation. The international status of civil defence and the ICDO. International civil defence journal, 1993, 6(3):44-46.

5. Koob PC. Planning process II. Hobart, University of Tasmania, 1993.