By Daryl Lee Spiewak, CEM, TEM, MEP, Lead Trainer for the CEM Commission
Last month we discussed the sixth and seventh sections of the Implementation standards — Operational Procedures and Incident Management. This month we will describe the last two sections of the Implementation standards —Emergency Operations/Response Plan and the Business Continuity and Recovery sections.
NFPA® 1600 version 2013 uses the term “operations/response plans” at the beginning of the standard. Then it changes the term to “emergency action plans.” In public entities, the plan is usually referred to as the “emergency management plan” or something similar. The name of the plan is not important. What is important is the content of the plan, as we will see with the last two sections of the Implementation standard.
The NFPA® 1600 version 2013 requires an entity’s “emergency operations/response plans to define responsibilities for carrying out specific actions in an emergency.” The plan should be risk-based and cover the roles and responsibilities for life safety, including people with access and/or functional needs, incident stabilization, property conservation, and the environment.
Depending upon the nature and location of the threat or hazard, these “protective actions may include evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lockdown” procedures. Incident stabilization is defined as those actions necessary to “prevent an incident from growing and to minimize the potential impact on life, property, operations, and the environment.” The functions or tasks necessary for incident stabilization will vary depending upon “the nature and location of the threat or hazard, the magnitude of the incident, the actual and potential impact of the incident, applicable regulations that could dictate minimum response capabilities, the entity’s program goals, and the resources available to the entity for incident response.”
The emergency operations/response plans also should include procedures and protocols for warning, notifications and communication; crisis communication and public information; resource management; and donations management, according to the requirements we discussed previously in the appropriate sections of the Implementation standard.
Local regulations and policies may require additional sections or topics in the plans. That is OK. Including them does not violate the standard. These additional sections or topics will not be addressed in the Core examination questions, but may be addressed in some country-specific examinations, such as the USA public sector exams.
This section includes two parts. The first part is the business continuity requirement, and the second is the recovery requirement. When studying business continuity, you will find processes or plans called business continuity, continuity of government, or continuity of operations. These processes and plans are generally similar in intent and somewhat less similar in content, but the purpose of these processes and plans remain the same regardless of their title.
Notice the Implementation standard does not specify who or how the various plans should be developed or how they should be maintained. It doesn’t say whether these should be separate plans or one comprehensive plan. Those decisions are left up to the individual entities and local or state requirements. The FEMA references described at the end of this article will provide more details on these plans and the planning process, which will be part of the CEM/AEM examination.
For information and discussion on Implementation (8 and 9): Emergency Operations/Response Plan and the Business Continuity and Recovery Requirements, refer to the recommended FEMA Independent Study courses and other related references mentioned below. Do not confuse these general resource requirements with the specific procedures found within your organization. While an emergency manager needs to understand and know local procedures to be effective in the position, those procedures could easily differ from the general procedures discussed in the study references and are not found on the certification exam.
The applicable FEMA Independent Study (IS) courses that should be reviewed by candidates when studying the Implementation Requirements are:
For those taking the USA version of the exam, review the following additional references:
This completes the Implementation standard. Next month we will describe the Exercises and Tests standard. We also will provide a recommended list of FEMA Independent Study courses and/or other references to study.
IAEM Bulletin, October 2014
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