Emergency Operations Plan

What are some roles or operations your agency would perform in the event of an incident?
Warning and communication.
Emergency public information.
Mass care and emergency assistance.
Health and medical services.
Public protection.

What Is an EOP and What Does It Do?
An __________ is a key component of an emergency management program that establishes the overall authority, roles, and functions performed during incidents.

-Assigns responsibility to organizations and individuals.

-Sets forth lines of authority and organizational relationships and shows how all actions will be coordinated.

-Describes how people and property are protected.

-Identifies personnel, equipment, facilities, supplies, and other resources.

-Identifies steps to address mitigation concerns during response and recovery operations.

-Is flexible enough for use in all emergencies.

-Helps personnel and providers operate as a team in an emergency.

The local government EOP:
Focuses on measures that are essential for protecting the public, because the local government is responsible for attending to the public’s emergency needs.

The State government EOP
Establishes the framework within which local EOPs are created and through which the Federal Government becomes involved in response, recovery, and mitigation.

The three main purposes of a State government EOP are to:
-Facilitate a State response to certain emergencies.

-Expedite the State in assisting local jurisdictions during major emergencies and disasters in which local response capabilities are overwhelmed.

-Enable the State to appoint liaisons with the Federal —

-Government in cases where Federal assistance is necessary and authorized.

A local government EOP typically describes:
-Warning and communications:
How the local government will warn the public of an existing or impending emergency and communicate internally before, during, and after an event occurs.

-Emergency public information:
How government will communicate with the public before, during, and after an emergency occurs. Information on decisions about what to tell the public and when should be provided. This information is critical to ensuring confidence that the government is doing all it can to protect the public and control the situation.

-Mass care and emergency assistance: Where and for how long the public’s emergency needs, such as shelter and food distribution, will be met. What facilities will be available, what supplies will be stocked, and how the supplies will be distributed are all covered under mass care in the EOP.

-Health and medical services: How survivors will be cared for, where, and by whom are addressed in the health and medical portion of the EOP. Special issues, such as decontamination, must also be addressed for hazardous materials and terrorist events.

-Public protection: Plans for in-place sheltering or evacuation. What routes will be used if evacuation becomes necessary, special transportation or routing, and other issues dealing with emergency egress are all part of the evacuation portion of the EOP.

The National Planning System
Includes guidance to support State, territorial, tribal, and local governments and to address the inclusion of individuals, communities, and businesses in planning efforts.

For example, Comprehensive Preparedness Guides (CPGs) provide flexible decision aids, tools, and templates that jurisdictions can use to assist with the development and integration of plans.

National Planning System
Local and State government EOPs are part of the larger National Planning System. This system integrates nationwide planning efforts by providing a set of interrelated and interdependent guides and processes that:

Apply across the whole community and contribute to achieving the National Preparedness Goal.

Provide a common and layered approach for synchronized planning at all levels.

Establish critical links that span across the five mission areas.

Before reviewing each EOP planning step, it is important to understand the following key principles:
-Planning must be community based.
-Planning must include participation from all stakeholders in the community.
-Planning uses a logical and analytical problem-solving process.
-Planning considers all threats and hazards.
-Planning should be flexible enough to address both traditional and catastrophic incidents.
-Plans must clearly identify the mission and supporting goals.
-Planning depicts the anticipated environment for action.
-Planning does not need to start from scratch.

THIRA:
Overall planning begins with the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process. THIRA provides a comprehensive, consistent approach for identifying and assessing risks and associated impacts.

THIRA expands on existing local, tribal, territorial, and State Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRAs) and other risk methodologies by broadening the factors considered in the process, incorporating the whole community throughout the entire process, and accounting for important community-specific factors.

THIRA Process
Does not replace the need to do comprehensive planning for emergency operations. Rather, the process provides a strategic assessment of threats and hazards along with the capabilities needed to address those risks. THIRA:

-Engages the whole community in establishing desired outcomes.
-Focuses on a jurisdiction’s unique threats and hazards.
-Supports emergency operations planning by establishing capability targets.
-Provides a basis for identifying resource gaps.
-Allows for assessment and reporting on preparedness.

Step 1: Form a Team
Experiences and best practices show that planning is most effective when performed by a team. The steps to form a collaborative planning team include:

Identifying the core planning team. In most jurisdictions, the emergency manager provides oversight of the planning team, although other government agencies or departments may have overlapping or complementary responsibilities. The involvement of executives from member agencies or departments is critical.

Engaging the whole community. Planning that is for the whole community and involves the whole community is crucial to the success of the plan. Effectively involving the community is a challenge, but community leaders provide keen insight into the community’s needs and capabilities.

Step 2: Understand The Situation
-Identify the threats and hazards in the jurisdiction using the results of THIRA, follow-on assessments, and other existing information about the jurisdiction (for example, data from the local planning and zoning commission, utility providers, the U.S. Census, the chamber of commerce, etc.).

-Assess the risk associated with those threats and hazards to help the planning team decide which ones merit special attention.

Step 3: Determine Goals and Objectives
Goals and objectives must be developed to ensure they support accomplishing the mission of the plan and operational priorities. Goals should clearly indicate the desired result.

Goals are broad, general statements that indicate the intended solution to problems identified by planners when identifying threats/hazards and assessing risk in the previous step.

Objectives are specific actions that lead to achieving the identified goals of the plan. Objectives will be translated to activities and procedures.

Step 4: Plan Development and Step 5: Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval
Steps 4 and 5 are the process of developing a plan for your jurisdiction and having it reviewed, approved, and disseminated. A traditional plan has three components: the basic plan, supporting annexes, and threat/hazard/incident-specific annexes.

The following screens present the content and format of a typical EOP.

Basic Plan
Provides an overview of your community’s preparedness and response strategies. It describes expected threats/hazards, outlines roles and responsibilities, and explains how the plan is kept current. The contents of the basic plan include:

Introductory Material
-Purpose, Scope, Situation Overview, and Assumptions
-Concept of Operations
-Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities
-Direction, Control, and Coordination
-Information Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination
-Communications
-Administration, Finance, and Logistics
-Plan Development and Maintenance
-Authorities and References

Supporting Annexes
Include functional, support, emergency phase, or agency-focused annexes. The supporting annexes describe the policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes for a specific emergency function that can be applied to different threats and hazards.

Each annex focuses on one function that the community has identified as being important during an emergency. The number and type of annexes will vary based on the community’s needs, capabilities, risks, and resources.

Recommended Functional Annexes
Some recommended functions to include in the functional annexes are:

-Direction, Control, and Coordination
-Communications
-Warning
-External Affairs/Emergency Public Information
-Population Protection
-Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services
-Public Health and Medical Services
-Logistics Management and Resource Support

Step 6: Plan Implementation and Maintenance
The last step in the planning process is plan implementation and maintenance. Plans must not be placed on a shelf to collect dust; they must be maintained, and the information communicated to:

-Local, tribal, State, and Federal officials who need to coordinate the plan with their EOPs.
-Response personnel both inside and outside of the community who share responsibility for implementing the plan, reducing damage, and saving lives.
-The local community, which has expectations concerning the government’s role in an emergency and, collectively, is critical to the plan’s success.
-The best way to communicate the plan to personnel and response agencies that are responsible for implementing it is through training and exercising.

Training
_______is critical to response personnel so that they know:

What they are supposed to do.

When they are to do it.

How they are to do it, including procedures for:

Accomplishing their task or mission.

Coordinating efforts with personnel within and outside of the agency.

Communicating needs and status.

Training can include a wide range of activities, from classroom training to on-the-job training to the use of checklists, worksheets, and job aids. The type and duration of the training selected depends on the frequency and complexity of the task to be trained.

Exercises
_______ are critical to a plan’s success and a successful response because they show whether what appears to work on paper actually does work in practice. Exercise types vary by level of realism, complexity, and stress levels.

________ will help to:

-Test and evaluate plans, policies, and procedures.
-Identify planning weaknesses.
-Identify resource gaps.
-Improve interagency coordination and communication.
-Clarify the roles and responsibilities of all who play any part in the response.
-Improve individual performance by providing an opportunity for responders and others to practice their assigned duties.
-Gain public recognition that the local government has taken steps to protect their safety—and gain the support of public officials who will support the response effort during an emergency.

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