Resources - Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Management Guide For Business & Industry - STEPS 3 AND 4


You are now ready to develop an emergency management plan. This section describes how.


Your plan should include the following basic components.

Executive Summary

The executive summary gives management a brief overview of: the purpose of the plan; the facility's emergency management policy; authorities and responsibilities of key personnel; the types of emergencies that could occur; and where response operations will be managed.

Emergency Management Elements

This section of the plan briefly describes the facility's approach to the core elements of emergency management, which are:

  1. Direction and control
  2. Communications
  3. Life safety
  4. Property protection
  5. Community outreach
  6. Recovery and restoration
  7. Administration and logistics.
These elements, which are described in detail in Section 2, are the foundation for the emergency procedures that your facility will follow to protect personnel and equipment and resume operations.

Emergency Response Procedures

The procedures spell out how the facility will respond to emergencies. Whenever possible, develop them as a series of checklists that can be quickly accessed by senior management, department heads, response personnel and employees.

Determine what actions would be necessary to:

  1. Assess the situation
  2. Protect employees, customers, visitors, equipment, vital records and other assets, particularly during the first three days
  3. Get the business back up and running.
Specific procedures might be needed for any number of situations such as bomb threats or tornadoes, and for such functions as:

  1. Warning employees and customers
  2. Communicating with personnel and community responders
  3. Conducting an evacuation and accounting for all persons in the facility
  4. Managing response activities
  5. Activating and operating an emergency operations center
  6. Fighting fires
  7. Shutting down operations
  8. Protecting vital records
  9. Restoring operations

Support Documents

Documents that could be needed in an emergency include:

Emergency call lists -- lists (wallet size if possible) of all persons on and off site who would be involved in responding to an emergency, their responsibilities and their 24-hour telephone numbers

Building and site maps that indicate:

  1. Utility shutoffs
  2. Water hydrants
  3. Water main valves
  4. Water lines
  5. Gas main valves
  6. Gas lines
  7. Electrical cutoffs
  8. Electrical substations
  9. Storm drains
  10. Sewer lines
  11. Location of each building (include name of building, street name and number)
  12. Floor plans
  13. Alarm and enunciators
  14. Fire extinguishers
  15. Fire suppression systems
  16. Exits
  17. Stairways
  18. Designated escape routes
  19. Restricted areas
  20. Hazardous materials (including cleaning supplies and chemicals)
  21. High-value items

Resource lists - lists of major resources (equipment, supplies, services) that could be needed in an emergency; mutual aid agreements with other companies and government agencies.

SIDE BAR - In an emergency, all personnel should know:

  1. What is my role?
  2. Where should I go?

Some facilities are required to develop:

  1. Emergency escape procedures and routes
  2. Procedures for employees who perform or shut down critical operations before an evacuation
  3. Procedures to account for all employees, visitors and contractors after an evacuation is completed
  4. Rescue and medical duties for assigned employees
  5. Procedures for reporting emergencies
  6. Names of persons or departments to be contacted for information regarding the plan


The following is guidance for developing the plan.

  1. Identify Challenges and Prioritize Activities

    Determine specific goals and milestones. Make a list of tasks to be performed, by whom and when. Determine how you will address the problem areas and resource shortfalls that were identified in the vulnerability analysis.

  2. Write the Plan

    Assign each member of the planning group a section to write. Determine the most appropriate format for each section.

    Establish an aggressive timeline with specific goals. Provide enough time for completion of work, but not so much as to allow assignments to linger. Establish a schedule for:

    1. First draft
    2. Review
    3. Second draft
    4. Tabletop exercise
    5. Final draft
    6. Printing
    7. Distribution
  3. Establish a Training Schedule

    Have one person or department responsible for developing a training schedule for your facility. For specific ideas about training, refer

  4. Coordinate with Outside Organizations

    Meet periodically with local government agencies and community organizations. Inform appropriate government agencies that you are creating an emergency management plan. While their official approval may not be required, they will likely have valuable insights and information to offer.

    Determine State and local requirements for reporting emergencies, and incorporate them into your procedures.

    Determine protocols for turning control of a response over to outside agencies. Some details that may need to be worked out are:

    1. Which gate or entrance will responding units use?
    2. Where and to whom will they report?
    3. How will they be identified?
    4. How will facility personnel communicate with outside responders?
    5. Who will be in charge of response activities?

    Determine what kind of identification authorities will require to allow your key personnel into your facility during an emergency.

    SIDE BAR - Determine the needs of disabled persons and non-English-speaking personnel. For example, a blind employee could be assigned a partner in case an evacuation is necessary.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disabled person as anyone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as seeing, hearing, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself or working.

    SIDE BAR - Your emergency planning priorities may be influenced by government regulation. To remain in compliance you may be required to address specific emergency management functions that might otherwise be a lower priority activity for that given year.

  5. Maintain Contact with Other Corporate Offices

    Communicate with other offices and divisions in your company to learn:

    1. Their emergency notification requirements
    2. The conditions where mutual assistance would be necessary
    3. How offices will support each other in an emergency
    4. . Names, telephone numbers and pager numbers of key personnel

    Incorporate this information into your procedures.

  6. Review, Conduct Training and Revise

    Distribute the first draft to group members for review. Revise as needed.

    For a second review, conduct a tabletop exercise with management and personnel who have a key emergency management responsibility. In a conference room setting, describe an emergency scenario and have participants discuss their responsibilities and how they would react to the situation. Based on this discussion, identify areas of confusion and overlap, and modify the plan accordingly.

  7. Seek Final Approval

    Arrange a briefing for the chief executive officer and senior management and obtain written approval.

  8. Distribute the Plan

    Place the final plan in three-ring binders and number all copies and pages. Each individual who receives a copy should be required to sign for it and be responsible for posting subsequent changes.

    Determine which sections of the plan would be appropriate to show to government agencies (some sections may refer to corporate secrets or include private listings of names, telephone numbers or radio frequencies). Distribute the final plan to:

    1. Chief executive and senior managers
    2. Key members of the company's emergency response organization
    3. Company headquarters
    4. Community emergency response agencies (appropriate sections)

    Have key personnel keep a copy of the plan in their homes. Inform employees about the plan and training schedule.

    SIDE BAR - Consolidate emergency plans for better coordination. Stand-alone plans, such as a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan, fire protection plan or safety and health plan, should be incorporated into one comprehensive plan.


Implementation means more than simply exercising the plan during an emergency. It means acting on recommendations made during the vulnerability analysis, integrating the plan into company operations, training employees and evaluating the plan.


Emergency planning must become part of the corporate culture.

Look for opportunities to build awareness; to educate and train personnel; to test procedures; to involve all levels of management, all departments and the community in the planning process; and to make emergency management part of what personnel do on a day-to-day basis.

Test How Completely The Plan Has Been Integrated By Asking:

  1. How well does senior management support the responsibilities outlined in the plan?
  2. Have emergency planning concepts been fully incorporated into the facility's accounting, personnel and financial procedures?
  3. How can the facility's processes for evaluating employees and defining job classifications better address emergency management responsibilities?
  4. Are there opportunities for distributing emergency preparedness information through corporate newsletters, employee manuals or employee mailings?
  5. What kinds of safety posters or other visible reminders would be helpful?
  6. Do personnel know what they should do in an emergency?
  7. How can all levels of the organization be involved in evaluating and updating the plan?


Everyone who works at or visits the facility requires some form of training. This could include periodic employee discussion sessions to review procedures, technical training in equipment use for emergency responders, evacuation drills and full-scale exercises. Below are basic considerations for developing a training plan.

  1. Planning Considerations. Assign responsibility for developing a training plan. Consider the training and information needs for employees, contractors, visitors, managers and those with an emergency response role identified in the plan. Determine for a 12 month period:

    1. Who will be trained?
    2. Who will do the training?
    3. What training activities will be used?
    4. When and where each session will take place?
    5. How the session will be evaluated and documented?
    Use the Training Drills and Exercises Chart in the appendix section to schedule training activities or create one of your own. Consider how to involve community responders in training activities. Conduct reviews after each training activity. Involve both personnel and community responders in the evaluation process.

  2. Training Activities. Training can take many forms:

    1. Orientation and Education Sessions -- These are regularly scheduled discussion sessions to provide information, answer questions and identify needs and concerns.
    2. Tabletop Exercise -- Members of the emergency management group meet in a conference room setting to discuss their responsibilities and how they would react to emergency scenarios. This is a cost-effective and efficient way to identify areas of overlap and confusion before conducting more demanding training activities.
    3. Walk-through Drill -- The emergency management group and response teams actually perform their emergency response functions. This activity generally involves more people and is more thorough than a tabletop exercise.
    4. Functional Drills -- These drills test specific functions such as medical response, emergency notifications, warning and communications procedures and equipment, though not necessarily at the same time. Personnel are asked to evaluate the systems and identify problem areas.
    5. Evacuation Drill -- Personnel walk the evacuation route to a designated area where procedures for accounting for all personnel are tested. Participants are asked to make notes as they go along of what might become a hazard during an emergency, e.g., stairways cluttered with debris, smoke in the hallways. Plans are modified accordingly.
    6. Full-scale Exercise -- A real-life emergency situation is simulated as closely as possible. This exercise involves company emergency response personnel, employees, management and community response organizations.

  3. Employee Training. General training for all employees should address:

    1. Individual roles and responsibilities
    2. Information about threats, hazards and protective actions
    3. Notification, warning and communications procedures
    4. Means for locating family members in an emergency
    5. Emergency response procedures
    6. Evacuation, shelter and accountability procedures
    7. Location and use of common emergency equipment
    8. Emergency shutdown procedures
    The scenarios developed during the vulnerability analysis can serve as the basis for training events. OSHA training requirements are a minimum standard for many facilities that have a fire brigade, hazardous materials team, rescue team or emergency medical response team.
  4. Evaluate and Modify the Plan

    . Conduct a formal audit of the entire plan at least once a year. Among the issues to consider are:

    1. How can you involve all levels of management in evaluating and updating the plan?
    2. Are the problem areas and resource shortfalls identified in the vulnerability analysis being sufficiently addressed?
    3. Does the plan reflect lessons learned from drills and actual events?
    4. Do members of the emergency management group and emergency response team understand their respective responsibilities? Have new members been trained?
    5. Does the plan reflect changes in the physical layout of the facility? Does it reflect new facility processes?
    6. Are photographs and other records of facility assets up to date?
    7. Is the facility attaining its training objectives?
    8. Have the hazards in the facility changed?
    9. Are the names, titles and telephone numbers in the plan current?
    10. Are steps being taken to incorporate emergency management into other facility processes? Have community agencies and organizations been briefed on the plan? Are they involved in evaluating the plan?

    In addition to a yearly audit, evaluate and modify the plan at these times:

    1. After each training drill or exercise
    2. After each emergency
    3. When personnel or their responsibilities change
    4. When the layout or design of the facility changes
    5. When policies or procedures change
    6. Remember to brief personnel on changes to the plan. Conduct a formal audit of the entire plan at least once a year.<

    Source: FEMA

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Copyright ©2000-2019 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).