The purpose of emergency planning is to provide the basis for systematic responses to emergencies that threaten an organization and the records and information necessary for continuing operations.
Survival also means maintaining the competitive position and financial stability of an organization immediately following and continuing long after an emergency. An emergency management plan is a unique, detailed guide for times of great stress and crisis. However, if a plan is prepared well and maintained periodically, it should greatly enhance the organization’s ability to respond to most emergencies and reduce the potential loss. The result of the planning process is a written records and information emergency management plan. Management approves this plan and provides the necessary authority, structure, policies, procedures, and resources to guide the organization through an emergency. Refer to the sample emergency management plan in the sidebar as you read the following sections. The Components of an Emergency Management Plan Policy Statement Emergency plans should include the policy established in the development process. Responsibilities and Authority The policy statement will describe broad responsibilities of the key personnel.
However, the plan must specifically list the positions designated to activate the plan as well as what conditions those designated positions are authorized to trigger the plan’s activation.
Task Organization Organizational size may dictate that several teams be involved in plan activities.

If several teams will be involved, each team and respective member responsibilities should be included in the plan.
If citizen or corporate partners are included in the emergency process, list them in the plan. Information Distribution Procedures The emergency plan should explain the methods [by which] employees would communicate if an emergency event occurs.
Define whether employees will use the telephone, cellular telephone, radio, or another method of communication. If the organization has a courier, define what information will be delivered,where it will be delivered, and how it will be delivered. For example, emergency or vital records and information may be transferred to the requestor via a special color-coded mail pouch.
Preparedness Checklist The emergency plan must address specific emergencies and how to handle them. It must provide for both major and minor emergencies and should include both site-specific and community-wide events. Organizations should have a checklist covering each emergency and the steps necessary to prepare for and control the emergency. These steps should be continuous or sequential from the preparedness phase to the response phase for each emergency addressed. Examples of checklists to include are the vital records schedule and records recovery priority lists.

Additionally, disaster recovery procedures, disaster recovery services and resources, and salvage equipment and supply listings should be included. The plan should show when an emergency status is upgraded from one phase to the next phase. Recovery Checklist A recovery checklist should also show the continuing steps from the response phase to the recovery phase. The response checklist should indicate brief statements regarding particular activities that should be performed in the recovery phase. Training Programs Employees will not follow the plan properly if they have not been trained how to use it. A training program outline should be included in the plan to document subjects in which employees have been trained and the frequency the training was administered. If the resources to conduct training do not exist in-house, training should be outsourced to professionals. Testing Procedures The plan must include goals, objectives, and schedules for conducting exercises or simulations.
Specific types of exercises to be used for the most likely emergencies should also be in the plan.

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Rubric: Business Emergency Preparedness


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