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Course 717 - Emergency Action Plans

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Sample Vulnerability Analysis

What is the probability and impact of any emergency?

A Vulnerability Analysis allows you to consider many different types of events, which could have a negative impact on your people and your business. The key to the use of the Vulnerability Analysis is the recognition of the many types of emergencies, which could affect you, the projected impact of the emergency, and the resources that are available to respond to the emergency.

Type of emergency. In the first column of the chart, list all emergencies that could affect your facility.

  • Historical - What types of emergencies have occurred in your community, at your facility, and at other facilities in the area?
  • Geographic - What can happen as a result of the facility's location?
  • Technological - What could result from a process or system failure?
  • Practices and Conditions - What emergencies can be caused by employee practices and working conditions? Are employees trained to work safely? Do they know what to do in an emergency?
  • Physical - What types of emergencies could result from the design or construction of the facility? Does the physical facility enhance safety?
  • Regulatory - What emergencies or hazards are you regulated to deal with?

Analyze each potential emergency from beginning to end. Consider what could happen as a result of:

  • Prohibited access to the facility.
  • Loss of electric power.
  • Communication lines down.
  • Ruptured gas mains.
  • Water damage.
  • Structural damage.
  • Air or water contamination.
  • Explosion.
  • Building collapse.
  • Trapped persons.
  • Chemical release.

Estimate probability. In the probability column, rate the likelihood of each emergency's occurrence. This is a subjective consideration, but useful nonetheless. Use a simple scale of 1 to 5 with 1 as the lowest probability and 5 as the highest.

Assess the potential human impact. Analyze the potential human impact of each emergency - the possibility of death or injury. Assign a rating in the Human Impact column of the Chart. Use a 1 to 5 scale with 1 as the lowest impact and 5 as the highest.

Assess the potential property impact. Consider the potential property for losses and damages. Again, assign a rating in the Property Damage column, 1 being the lowest impact and 5 being the highest. Consider:

  • Cost to replace
  • Cost to set up temporary replacement
  • Cost to repair.

Assess the potential business impact. Consider the loss of market share. Assign a rating in the Business Impact column. Again, use 1 as lowest, 5 as highest impact. Consider:

  • Business interruption
  • Employees unable to report to work
  • Customers unable to reach the site
  • Company in violation of contracts
  • Imposition of fines, penalties, and legal costs
  • Interruption of supplies
  • Interruption of product distribution

Assess internal and external resources. Assess your resources and ability to respond. Can we respond? Will external resources be able to respond as quickly as we need them? If the answer is "no", then you may need to develop additional emergency procedures, add training, acquire additional equipment, establish mutual aid agreements, or contract with specialized services.

Add the columns. Total the scores for each emergency. The lower the score the better. While this is subjective, the comparisons will help determine planning and resource priorities.