Substantive response

Note: Please provide a substantive response to the post of a fellow student. Below in your own words.

Module 5: Discussion – Emergency Operations Planning
Provide an appreciative inquiry responses to at least one other student in your own words. (approx. 200 words each).

When responding to other students please refrain from simply stating “great comment/response”. Offer your thoughts on what he/she may have added to make the discussion more substantive. Remember to be respectful and focus on only the discussion points and arguments posted.

Module 5: Discussion – Emergency Operations Planning

For this week’s discussion, we were asked to Discuss the importance of standardized emergency plans and why it is important to understand best practices and be able to apply them to your own plans?To understand the importance of standardizing emergency plans, we must define standardization as it pertains to developing and maintaining emergency plans. According to Dictionary.com, standardization is the process of developing, promoting, and maintaining standards based on acceptable processes and methodologies within a given industry. (Dictionary.com). For example, when emergency managers are developing specific emergency response policies, plans, and procedures, they should be structured to incorporate the four fundamentals of emergency management including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. (FEMA.gov/emi). An emergency plan should outline and specify procedures for managing sudden or unexpected situations. The objective of preparedness is to be equipped to protect lives, protect property, and reduce the amount of damage to buildings, structures, and the environment. The importance of standardizing emergency plans is so that for each emergency or disaster, the process of activating the plan should be the same regarding a clear and concise delivery of an action plan. By having well established emergency plans, local, state and federal agencies and organizations can effectively manage a crisis with the way resources are allocated and have better control over costs. Controlling resources which may arrive from various jurisdictional levels plays an important role because emergency plans describe how personnel, equipment and supplies, facilities and physical property, and other resources will be coordinated, controlled, and protected. (CPG version 2.0, November 2010).

It’s important to understand that best practices are a way to maintain quality or as a benchmark for self-assessment. When an agency organization uses best practices, actions and decisions can be performed more efficiently and timely. This is especially true when there is collaboration with other agencies during a large response and resources are being allocated from various stakeholders. Using the Incident Command System (ICS) for example, applies best practices for leading and distribution of critical resources including personnel. Another good example of a planning and preparedness best practice is attaining Mutual-Aid Agreements (MAA) for emergency resources from jurisdictions outside of the affected area. Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) and Memorandums of Agreement (MOA). Planners working with emergency managers must ensure that the stakeholders they work with from outside of their local jurisdiction, city, region, state, and including country, authenticate their understanding or agreement for engagement of coordinated resources. It’s also best practice to maintain a good working relationship with MOU and MOA stakeholders. This can be accomplished by including them in emergency management and logistics planning meetings, training, drills and exercises, or for those stakeholders outside of the state or country, conduct face-to-video meetings using videoconferencing. Another best practice begins with planning directly with your community through an active community-based planning committee. An assembly and representation of local jurisdiction agency and departments, business leaders, civic groups, faith-based organizations, academia, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is a great starting point for building relationships around planning facts, eliminating planning assumptions, and building the foundation for a more resilient community.

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