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close this bookCommunity Emergency Preparedness: A Manual for Managers and Policy-Makers (WHO, 1999, 141 p.)
close this folderChapter 4 Emergency planning
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentAn emergency planning process
View the documentPlanning group review
View the documentPotential problem analysis
View the documentResource analysis
View the documentRoles and responsibilities
View the documentManagement structure
View the documentStrategies and systems
View the documentContent of community emergency plans
View the documentSummary
View the documentReferences

An emergency planning process

The process of emergency planning is of major importance: if this process is not rational and appropriate, it is unlikely that the plans produced will be of value.

The planning process described here is a series of rational steps for producing an emergency plan; each of these steps involves standard management methods. This process can be applied to any community, organization, or activity, e.g. the health sector in general, hospitals, and search and rescue organizations. It is intended primarily for preparedness, but can be used equally well for planning during response and recovery operations.

Each step of the planning process is defined briefly here (see Fig. 20), and discussed in greater detail later in the chapter. These steps must be documented, and the written emergency plan will consist of the results of each step.

· Project definition determines the aim, objectives, scope, and context of an emergency plan, describes the tasks required and the resources needed to perform these tasks (see Chapter 1 and Annex 1). Recommendations based on the vulnerability assessment should be used in the planning process.

· A representative planning group is essential for emergency planning. Without such a group it will be difficult to gather the required information and gain the commitment of key people and organizations. There may be a need to review any existing planning group to assess its appropriateness. The composition of the planning group may change during the planning process.

· Analysis of potential problems examines in more detail the hazards and vulnerabilities, their causes, possible preventive strategies, response and recovery strategies, and trigger events for these strategies. It will provide information for later steps of the process.

· The resource analysis asks what resources are required, what is available, what is the variation between requirement and availability, and who is responsible.

· A description of roles and responsibilities outlines who does what.

· The management structure involves the command of individual organizations and control across organizations.

· Development of strategies and systems is concerned with response and recovery strategies and the systems that will support them.

Fig. 20. An emergency planning process (WHO 97561)

Some planning groups may choose to alter the sequence of these steps, perhaps analysing resources before potential problems, or describing the management structure before describing roles and responsibilities.