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Using preparedness terminology

Video summarising the key points from the exercise investigating the effectiveness of different types of emergency response.
Okay, so let’s remind ourselves about some of the terminology we’ve been using so far. Emergency preparedness describes a process for putting in place a framework for responding to disruptive challenges to an organisation, to a region or even to an entire country. Emergency planning describes a process for managing the response to a specific emergency or a type of emergency. As we said earlier, there are a number of elements to emergency preparedness. Firstly, there’s defining the scope of the emergency preparedness framework, what you’re trying achieve. Then there’s obtaining buy-in from management and the organisation for that framework. And importantly, there’s carrying out the risk assessment to understand the threats an organisation may face and the impacts on that organisation.
Once you’ve done all these things, you can then develop the emergency plan or plans. Also importantly is implementing the emergency plans and that includes training and testing. Finally, there’s reviewing the emergency plans and the preparedness framework and the aim
of that is to ensure that the emergency framework continues to be fit for purpose. Emergency planning is an integral part, in fact it’s the core of an emergency preparedness framework. What we’re going to do in the following sections is look at the relationship between different types of emergency and the nature and the structure of the response. We’ll also look at the concept of the emergency planning cycle and, most importantly, we’ll look at how you set about developing an emergency plan.

You have now seen examples of both good and bad emergency responses and investigated some of your own. By taking into account the key features of emergency preparedness, it is possible to create resilient plans that will stand up to unexpected events.

In the video Michael Gilbert reviews some key concepts and highlights the importance of emergency preparedness as a whole.

There are a number of elements to emergency preparedness.

  • Defining the scope
  • Obtaining buy-in
  • Carrying out risk assessments
  • Developing the emergency plan(s)
  • Implementation
  • Review

Emergency planning sits at the very core of emergency preparedness.

Later in the course, we will study the relationship between different types of emergencies and the appropriate responses, the emergency planning cycle and how to develop an emergency plan.

Your task

Why is it important to include all of the elements listed when developing emergency preparedness? Are they all equally important?


Coetzee, C. and Van Niekirk, D. (2012) ‘Tracking the Evolution of the Disaster Management Cycle: A general System Theory Approach’. Jamba: Journal of Risk Studies 4 (1), 208-216

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Emergency Planning and Preparedness: An Introduction

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