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«GET STARTED – ESTABLISH A PLANNING TEAM Purpose The purpose of this module is to explore Step 1: Get Started – Establish a Planning Team, the ...»

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Module 1




The purpose of this module is to explore Step 1: Get Started – Establish a Planning Team, the

first step in the 4-step emergency planning process. You will be oriented to a team approach

to emergency planning, including functional areas and related considerations such as

timelines and budget that are critical to a successful planning effort.

Concepts are reinforced in this step to help ensure application to your business by:

Reviewing sections of an emergency plan template and identifying resources that will help you in completing an emergency plan for your business.

Demonstrating an understanding of Step 1 by responding to questions posed at critical decision points in a case study on emergency planning.


After completing this module, you will be able to:

Describe the value/benefits of a team approach to emergency planning.

Create a list of potential team members, in terms of functional areas, to be involved on an emergency planning team.

Recognize points to be included in a mission statement, schedule, and budget.

Demonstrate an understanding of Step 1 by responding to questions posed at critical decision points in a case study on emergency planning.

Identify 2 actions related to Step 1 to implement at your workplace, as well as potential barriers to these actions and how to overcome these barriers.

Planning for Emergencies © 2007 National Safety Council


Planning for Emergencies 2 © 2007 National Safety Council


Your Internal Planning Team: Reasons for a Team Approach Disaster recovery starts before a disaster occurs with the first step in the 4-step emergency planning process: Get Started – Establish a Planning Team.

Step 4 Step 1 Implement the Get Started – Plan Establish a Planning Team Step 3 Step 2 Develop the Analyze Capabilities, Plan Risks, & Vulnerabilities Why use a team app

–  –  –

To ensure that this first step is implemented in a way that will start the planning process effectively, your business must determine who will be in charge of developing the emergency plan. Even if an individual is assigned a primary leadership role, a team must share the responsibilities.

–  –  –

Form the Planning Team The size of the planning team will depend on your facility’s operations, requirements, and

resources. Usually, involving a group of people in a team approach is best because it:

Encourages participation and gets more people invested in the process.

Increases creativity, knowledge, and experience to each phase of emergency planning – providing a broad perspective on the issues.

Increases the amount of time and energy participants are able to give.

Enhances the visibility and stature of the planning process.

Results in a team-developed plan that includes multiple viewpoints and reflects shared goals, increasing the likelihood that the plan is successfully implemented.

Closer professional and personal relationships among the team members should result in better coordination and teamwork in emergencies.

Are there other benefits of a team approach? List ideas in the space below.

–  –  –

Functional Roles/Responsibilities on a Planning Team As we progress through this course, you will learn about the scope of emergency planning considerations. To help you get started in thinking about all of the issues that must be considered, review the following list of active and advisory roles/responsibilities of emergency team members. Functional roles/responsibilities include, but are not limited to the examples listed in this chart.

–  –  –

Functional Roles/Responsibilities on a Planning Team (continued) Determine who can be an active member of your emergency planning team and who can serve in an advisory capacity. In many cases, one or two people will be doing most of the work. However, at the very least, obtain input from all functional areas under the clear direction of senior management or its representatives.

Functional Areas to Include To create an effective team, try to match functional areas with similar responsibilities (skills)

on the emergency team. Remember to include:

–  –  –

Functional Roles/Responsibilities on a Planning Team (continued)

One example of a planning team:

From the Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry – A Step-by-Step Approach to Emergency Planning, Response and Recovery for Companies of All Sizes. FEMA 141/October 1993.

Ensure that planning team members:

Are appointed in writing by upper management.

Have their job descriptions reflect this emergency team assignment.

Which functions are represented in your business to involve in emergency planning? How will you ensure all functions are addressed?

–  –  –

Examples of Planning Responsibilities for Team Members In learning about various aspects of emergency planning in this training program, you will start to identify roles and responsibilities that may be assigned to individuals or functional areas at your business.

Examples of Planning Responsibilities Form a partnership with the community, state and local government, first responders, and industry as an enhancement for mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, planning, exercising, and training.

Provide planning and response assistance, including ensuring the local hazard analysis adequately addresses any possible incidents that may occur in your business.

Incorporate planning for hazmat incidents into the local emergency operations plan.

Assess capabilities and develop response capability using local resources, mutual aid, and contractors.

Train responders.

Review and update the emergency plan for response to major emergencies in accordance with the State Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS).

Provide support to the Emergency Operations Center staff when necessary.

Communicate and disseminate emergency planning information to the community.

Provide training to appropriate personnel, such as conduct evacuation drills and tabletop exercises, test mutual aid agreements.

Maintain the inventory and budget for facilities, equipment, and supplies required for emergency response/preparedness.

Act as a liaison with local emergency planning entities such as the American Red Cross; township, county, and city operations; school universities and colleges; and regional hospitals.

Coordinate with the Crisis Intervention Team (a sub-group of the Emergency Team) when appropriate.

Call periodic meetings of the Emergency Team to revise and update the Emergency Plan to ensure that all representatives understand their roles and responsibilities.

Distribute and update copies of the Emergency Plan to all appropriate business personnel.

Notify appropriate community representatives of current addresses and telephone numbers of “lead” emergency team representatives, at least annually (coordinator).

–  –  –

Examples of Planning Responsibilities for Each Team Member Examples of planning responsibilities that each member of the emergency team should have


Attend all emergency team meetings.

Designate primary and alternate emergency representatives.

Assist in the development and revision of the emergency plan.

Provide telephone trees for their area of responsibility. (Selected members of the team may have access to the home phone numbers of the CEO. All members may have access to a number that starts a phone tree to the CEO.) Develop a specific, concise plan covering the responsibilities assigned to the emergency team (and ensure their own responsibilities are understood).

Develop, implement, and participate in training programs to ensure that all staff members of the emergency team understand the emergency plan and their assignment.

Brief emergency team members on emergency operational plan periodically to ensure that the emergency plan is complete and workable.

Information for the Emergency Plan Contact information for team personnel, including those assigned to crisis management and response teams, should be included in your emergency plan. Personal information such as unlisted phone numbers and home addresses should be protected. Also, establish procedures to ensure that the information is kept up-to-date.

–  –  –

Complete the following tasks and address preliminary planning issues as you start your emergency planning process.

Establish Authority It is necessary that an appropriate administrative structure – a chain of command – be put in place to effectively deal with any emergency, starting with the initial steps of planning.

Clear definitions must exist for a management structure, authority for decisions, and responsibility for implementation.

Initial decisions need to be made about the leadership structure of the team and how communication will take place. The person who calls the first meeting is not necessarily the leader who coordinates ongoing emergency planning processes. If possible, consider having the team led by the chief executive or the facility manager.

Demonstrate management’s commitment and promote an atmosphere of cooperation by “authorizing” the planning group to take the steps necessary to develop a plan.

Ensure that effective collaboration across political and organizational barriers is considered as a planning structure and team members are selected.

Establish a clear line of authority between group members and the team leader, though not so rigid as to prevent the free flow of ideas.

Create and Issue a Mission Statement

Have the planning team create a mission statement. The statement can be brief using the KISS (Keep It Simply Stated) method. Ask someone who has strong writing skills to work on this task. Then, have chief executive or facility manager issue a mission statement to

demonstrate the company’s commitment to emergency management. The statement should:

Define the purpose of the plan and indicate that it will involve the entire organization.

Define the authority and structure of the planning group.

An example of a mission statement is:

The emergency preparedness mission of “Our Business” is to develop, coordinate, and lead the emergency management effort, enabling effective preparation for and efficient response to emergencies and disasters in order to save lives, reduce human suffering, and

reduce property loss. The planning group of Our Business:

Develops plans and procedures, as well as coordinates federal, state, and local resources to ensure the highest levels of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Maintains a comprehensive, risked-based emergency management and training program.

–  –  –

Important Preliminary Steps in Emergency Planning Establish a Schedule and Budget Create an initial draft of a schedule and budget for the planning effort.

Establish a work schedule and planning deadlines. Modify timelines as priorities become more clearly defined.

Develop a budget for such things as research, new equipment for handling emergencies, printing, seminars, consulting services, and other expenses that may be necessary to support emergency planning efforts. Similar to timelines, revise a budget as priorities are more clearly defined.

Manage Start-Up

Start-up can be complex and include such mundane, but essential tasks such as who should send the invitational letters for the first meeting, as well as where and when meetings are to be held, should be determined.

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