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Emergency management as the organization and management

Emergency planning ideals[edit]

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Emergency planning, a discipline of urban planning and design, first aims to prevent emergencies from occurring, and failing that, should develop a good action plan to mitigate the results and effects of any emergencies. As time goes on, and more data become available, usually through the study of emergencies as they occur, a plan should evolve. The development of emergency plans is a cyclical process, common to many risk management disciplines, such as business continuity and security risk management, as set out below:

  • Recognition or identification of risks[1]
  • Ranking or evaluation of risks[2]
  • Responding to significant risks
  • Tolerating
  • Treating
  • Transferring
  • Terminating
  • Resourcing controls and planning
  • Reaction planning
  • Reporting and monitoring risk performance
  • Reviewing the risk management framework

There are a number of guidelines and publications regarding emergency planning, published by professional organizations such as ASIS, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). There are very few emergency management specific standards, and emergency management as a discipline tends to fall under business resilience standards.

In order to avoid or reduce significant losses to a business, emergency managers should work to identify and anticipate potential risks. In the event that an emergency does occur, managers should have a plan prepared to mitigate the effects of that emergency, as well as to ensure business continuity of critical operations after the incident. It is essential for an organization to include procedures for determining whether an emergency situation has occurred and at what point an emergency management plan should be activated. An emergency plan must be regularly maintained, in a structured and methodical manner, to ensure it is up-to-date in the event of an emergency. Emergency managers generally follow a common process to anticipate, assess, prevent, prepare, respond and recover from an incident.[3]