A good Crisis & Emergency Response Plan describes in general terms: the basis of an Incident Management System; the alignment between incident classification and scalable response; the response organization; triggers for activation of a response; notification and activation of response teams; incident management processes; business continuity; plans linkage and the varying frameworks within which an organization response may have to function.
This plan is used as a basis for advising Contractors, Joint Venture and External Agencies as to the Crisis and Emergency Response Arrangements within an organization. It is also a ready reference for Corporate Communications to explain organization’s methodology and procedures for Incident Management. The plan should be designed for response at all levels. A wide range of response organizations, contractors and resources may be called on to respond to incidents, and their missions and procedures may vary. The coordination of, and collaboration between, these organizations is critical to an effective response operation. These groups and individuals must be able to work together at short notice and may have little or no prior experience of collaborating with each other to manage stressful, dangerous and evolving problems in what may be a hazardous working environment.
Responders need to cultivate a working trust with one another, have clear roles, responsibilities and authorities, and ensure that sufficient on-scene resources are available at all times. Responders face many other potential challenges in responding effectively to major incidents. Factors such as weather, site access, resource constraints, poor coordination, or poor communications can delay response times or hinder the efficiency of the response. Incident Command System (ICS) is an essential tool for overcoming many of these challenges; it provides clarity in command and control, improves resource coordination & communications and facilitates the cooperation & integration of the various parts of the response organisation. ICS is a scalable, systematic method for coordinating and controlling a variety of activities, resources and response organizations from a command center, to ensure that all personnel work to a common system and are familiar with the various roles, responsibilities and processes of the ICS system.