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6 Steps to Creating an Effective Emergency Response Plan [+ Template]

Minutes can mean the difference between a minor impact and a major disaster. Develop an emergency response plan now to keep your people, business, and assets safe during any critical event that may arise.

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What Is an Emergency Response Plan?

  • How to Conduct Response Planning
  • Determine Your Response Plan Steps
  • Develop a Communication Plan

Every emergency management professional will tell you that the best time to prepare for an emergency is well before it occurs. If a hurricane or other severe weather hits, you won’t have time to create an evacuation plan on the spot; you’ll be too busy focusing on immediate hazards. And if your building has a power outage , it’s probably too late to search for generators.

Taking a proactive approach to emergency planning helps you ensure the best possible outcomes for your people and business, allowing you to think holistically about the situation, accounting for many variables. This approach boils down to a holistic emergency response plan for all the threats to your business.

While we can’t necessarily predict when critical events will happen, emergencies are a reality for every business—so you need to be ready. We’ll explore what an emergency response plan is and highlight six steps every organization should take to be prepared for any emergency or business interruption that may arise.

Download Our Emergency Response Plan Template

An emergency response plan is a document that lays out the series of steps your organization will take during a critical event, such as a fire or active shooter threat, to ensure employees’ safety and minimize the impact on emergency operations.

Preview of the AlertMedia Emergency Response Plan Template

Emergency response plans—just like other emergency management planning documents—are meant to help organizations address various types of emergencies, such as hurricanes, wildfires, winter weather, chemical spills, disease outbreaks, and other hazards. The goal is to reduce or prevent human injury and property damage during critical events. In the planning phase, you will document the detailed steps your organization will take in each emergency scenario.

These emergency action plans also take the guesswork out of roles and responsibilities by specifying which staff members should be part of the response team and which first responders you should contact.

You can create your emergency response plan from scratch or use a pre-built template, like ours , to make the process easier.

Why use an emergency response plan template?

An emergency response plan template can make your planning process quicker and simpler. Every business has a unique range of emergencies they face, but there are some consistent response procedures you can personalize to your risks. Templates also give you a single place to collect necessary contact information for your response team and first responders.

You can download this free template to get started building your plan today.

The best emergency response plans include a list of individuals to contact (and their contact information), evacuation routes, how to act during an emergency, how to mitigate risk to your people and facilities, and detailed communication procedures to follow during and after a specific emergency occurs.

That said, plans can vary widely depending on the setting and circumstances surrounding the crisis. Create a plan that accounts for life-saving actions, such as

  • Building evacuations in case of events like fires
  • Shelter-in-place orders during severe weather like tornadoes
  • Complete lockdown in case of an active shooter situation

Now that you’re up to speed on why your organization needs a plan and what it should cover, let’s examine how to create an effective emergency response plan for your business.

How to Conduct Emergency Response Planning

Each organization is unique, so you may find that additional measures are warranted to protect your business from possible hazards—beyond the examples listed. However, by completing these steps, you will be well on your way to ensuring your team knows what you expect of them and when.

Step #1: Perform a threat assessment

Resource-report-2024ThreatOutlook-v1

The first step to creating an emergency response plan is to conduct a comprehensive threat assessment to identify the types of events that may affect your organization and analyze their likelihood and potential impact. Specific threats vary by location, sector, and company, and your mitigation strategies and protective actions will vary depending on the scenario. You may need to plan for the following types of events:

  • Natural disasters — Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.
  • Severe weather — Winter storms, high winds, extreme heat waves , floods, etc.
  • Pandemics and infectious diseases — COVID-19, influenza, etc.
  • Facility emergencies — Structure fires, hazardous leaks or spills, etc.
  • Acts of workplace violence — Active shooters, bomb threats, terrorist attacks, etc.
  • Civil disturbances — Protests, demonstrations, riots, strikes, etc.

Even when lives may not be immediately at stake during a crisis, timely communication is just as important. Other events that require a planned response for the success of the business and the safety of your team may include the following:

  • IT events — Unplanned outages, planned downtime or maintenance, system testing, cyberattacks or security breaches, help desk escalations, etc.
  • Operational events — Logistics coordination, power outages, equipment malfunctions, office closures, travel advisories, safety alerts, shift and overtime scheduling, etc.
  • Corporate/ crisis communication events — Product recalls, negative publicity, layoffs, major company news, etc.

Using the all-hazards approach to your risk assessment is a great way to ensure you are covering all your bases and able to prepare for any kind of threat.

Step #2: Document contact information

In the event of an emergency that could cause physical harm to your employees, the first call you should make is to your local emergency responders. Aside from 9-1-1, you must have numbers for emergency medical services (EMS), the fire department, healthcare providers/insurance agents, and local law enforcement/police department readily available.

Additionally, ensure you have emergency contact information documented for every employee in case someone goes unaccounted for or gets injured during the emergency.

Step #3: Assign roles and responsibilities

Employees will look to their leaders for reassurance and guidance when an emergency occurs. These leaders should be responsible for activating your emergency response plan, answering questions, and ordering an evacuation if needed. When assigning roles, there are essential considerations to acknowledge. You need to ensure your response team is present, reliable, and can react quickly in an emergency.

Here are the leading roles to consider as part of your emergency response plan:

Emergency response team roles and responsibilities

Incident commander.

This employee has overall responsibility for an emergency, including planning and preparation. The incident commander is in charge of emergency response plan activation and is the one all critical decisions should go through.

Communication commander

This person should use the mass alert system to notify employees, call emergency services, and gather reports. If your company uses an emergency communication system, ensure this person is a system admin.

Scene supervisor

This person controls access to the emergency scene and keeps people away from unsafe areas.

Building utilities manager(s)

These team members need to be familiar with the locations and functions of controls for building utility and life safety and protection systems. These systems include ventilation, electrical shutoffs, water and sanitary systems, emergency power supplies, and alarm systems.

Route guide(s)

In the event of an evacuation, these guides play an important role in ensuring that routes are clear and evacuation is orderly and calm. They also help clear evacuation routes and assist those with mobility issues.

Step #4: Take stock of current resources within your organization

Have you inspected those dusty office fire extinguishers, alarm systems, or first aid kits lately? These are critical components of any emergency response plan, so examine them regularly.

Fire extinguishers and alarms

To support your fire safety, the National Fire Protection Association recommends refilling reusable fire extinguishers every 10 years and replacing disposable ones every 12 years. Periodically remind your employees where the fire extinguishers are located in the workplace. Maintain and test any fire alarms on your premises. Run regular fire drills to get your team used to the evacuation process.

This step-by-step video will guide you through the process of conducting a fire drill at work.

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Alarm systems

Inspect fire alarm systems annually, at the very least. OSHA recommends testing non-supervised employee alarm systems every two months. This inspection covers a host of details, depending on the type of alarm system, like inspection of the control panel(s), tests of all associated devices such as smoke detectors and heat detectors, warning systems operations, and batteries and power.

First aid kit

OSHA requires that “employers provide medical and first aid supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace.” Since many items in a first aid kit have expiration dates—typically three to five years after manufacture—and can become damaged by frequent use, moisture, and exposure to the air, it is vital to regularly check your first aid kit and replace any supplies as needed. As a proactive approach, restock items after use and inspect first aid supplies every three months. Provide the necessary first aid training so your team is prepared to use these supplies and help their coworkers in emergencies, big and small.

First aid supplies for the workplace

Step #5: Determine your response plan steps

Next, decide what steps to follow in an emergency. Customize each event response so the procedures are specific and clear.

For example, here’s how you might plan for an evacuation response.

Emergency fire evacuation plan example

A good fire evacuation plan for your business will include primary and secondary escape routes.

  • Clear signs should mark all the exit routes and fire escapes.
  • Keep exit routes clear of furniture or other objects that could impede your employees’ direct means of egress.
  • Make multiple maps of floor plans and diagrams for large offices and post them so employees know the evacuation routes.
  • Develop a separate evacuation plan for individuals with disabilities needing additional assistance.

Once your people are out of the building, where do they go?

  • Designate an assembly point for employees to gather.
  • Your response team should be at the assembly point, collecting a headcount and providing updates.
  • Ensure the escape routes and the assembly area can accommodate the expected number of employees who will be evacuating.

Be sure to consider your disaster recovery efforts or what you do once the crisis is resolved. With planning that extends to recovery, your business can move forward and get back to work as normal. Develop a comprehensive disaster recovery plan with a checklist to keep your whole team on the same page and align their efforts. For example, if you have a spill of hazardous materials, your emergency response plan will account for how to keep people safe and contain the spill. The recovery section of your template will explain how to clean up the spill and get that area of the building back to safe working conditions.

Step #6: Decide how to communicate with your employees

One of the most critical parts of any emergency response plan is how you will communicate. When developing your emergency communication plan , consider how to notify employees of a critical event, how the information will be delivered and received, and how effective your communication channels will reach every employee in harm’s way.

During critical events, phone calls and emails are no longer enough. Manual phone trees are prone to misinformation and long delays, and an email alert system alone just doesn’t cut it for emergency communication.

Research suggests that only 65% of employees open internal emails. For workers constantly inundated with messages, internal emails don’t create the sense of urgency needed for time-sensitive information. Hourly and frontline employees—such as retail associates and distribution center workers—often do not have a company email address at all, or they don’t have access to it from their personal phones outside of business hours. And if phone lines are down or email is inaccessible—as can often be the case in emergency situations—your employees may never receive the message. For example, if an organization is hit with an IT virus, relying on email as the only communication channel would be useless and perhaps even counterproductive.

Include notification templates in your emergency response plan to send messages about an incident as quickly as hitting a button. Our template includes examples of what those messages might look like and spaces to compose your own.

Leveraging Technology to Improve an Emergency Preparedness Plan for the Workplace

Today’s workforce is more distributed than ever, especially with a drastic shift to remote and hybrid working environments. This distributed model makes emergency communication increasingly important—but also more challenging.

A modern emergency notification system enables the fast, reliable delivery of mass notifications to any size audience, on any device, over any communication channel. And every organization—regardless of size, industry, or location—will face unexpected events they can manage more effectively with the help of emergency communication software.

When evaluating mass notification solutions, it may be easy to fall into the trap of thinking a standalone text messaging tool is sufficient. But a simple mass texting system  doesn’t have the functionality to communicate reliably with your people during critical events. When the health and safety of your people are at stake, only an enterprise-grade emergency communication system can offer the speed, reliability, and user experience you need.

A mass notification system with multichannel delivery, two-way communication , pre-built notification templates , and threat intelligence can help protect your people and business. With a modern emergency communication system, you can rapidly send and receive messages across multiple channels and ensure everyone gets the information they need when they need it. By automatically syncing with your HRIS or Active Directory, you’ll never have to worry about inaccurate employee contact information, which is critical to safeguarding message deliverability.

Designing a Modern Emergency Response Plan

Every business needs a solid plan for communicating with employees during emergencies and other business-critical events. Minutes can mean the difference between a minor impact and a major disaster. The heat of a crisis is not the time to figure out how to effectively communicate and ensure the safety of your employees.

By building out your emergency response plan in advance, your business is prepared to act at the first signs of a crisis. Download this template to make your planning process as simple and effective as possible—so you can get back to leading safe everyday operations.

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How to Create an Emergency Response Plan for Your Workplace

How to Create an Emergency Response Plan for Your Workplace

What is an Emergency Response Plan?

Preparedness is paramount in workplace safety. A robust emergency response plan can make all the difference in moments of crisis, like a fire, natural disaster, medical emergency, or threat of violence. 

Let’s dive into how business owners and facility managers can craft an effective emergency response plan tailored to their organization’s unique needs. 

Understanding the Basics of an Emergency Response Plan

An emergency response plan is a structured set of procedures designed to guide individuals and organizations in effectively responding to various emergencies. Having one helps mitigate risks, ensure safety, and minimize damages in crisis situations. 

Workplaces may encounter a range of emergencies, including fires, which require evacuation protocols and firefighting procedures; natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or storms, necessitating shelter and evacuation plans; medical emergencies or injuries, demanding first aid procedures and access to medical facilities; and threats of violence, which may require security protocols and emergency communication strategies. 

Each type of emergency demands a tailored response plan to address specific risks and ensure the safety and well-being of employees and stakeholders.

Assessing Your Workplace's Emergency Response Needs

Creating a comprehensive emergency response plan for your workplace involves thoroughly understanding environment-specific risks and challenges and engaging with the right professionals. Here's how to get started.

Conduct a Risk Assessment

Start with a detailed risk assessment to identify potential emergencies your workplace may face. This involves evaluating various factors, such as the nature of your business, the location of your facility, the types of equipment used, and the demographics of your workforce. Consider past incidents, industry regulations, and any specific hazards associated with your operations to prioritize risks and develop strategies to mitigate them effectively.

Engage with Local Emergency Services 

Collaborating with local emergency services is crucial for gaining insights and recommendations tailored to your area. Contact your local fire departments, police departments, and emergency medical services to discuss potential risks and response strategies. They can provide valuable expertise and guidance based on their knowledge of local hazards and resources. Building relationships with these agencies facilitates emergency coordination, ensuring a more effective response.

Consider Unique Aspects of Your Workplace

It's essential to consider the unique aspects of your workplace's layout, location, industry and employee needs when developing your workplace emergency response plan. Evaluate the physical layout of your facility , including exits, evacuation routes, and assembly points. Identify any vulnerable areas or specialized equipment that will require special attention during emergencies. Additionally, consider the needs of employees with disabilities or language barriers and ensure that your plan includes provisions for their safety and communication.

Developing the Emergency Response Plan

Having a well-developed plan can mean the difference between chaos and a coordinated, effective response in the face of unforeseen crises. Let’s review critical, actionable steps to help you confidently navigate the process and maintain employee well-being.

  • Form an Emergency Response Team: When selecting your team, define clear criteria and delineate roles and responsibilities to ensure seamless emergency coordination.
  • Establish a Communication Strategy: Clear lines of communication before, during, and after emergencies, coupled with regular updates, can minimize confusion and enhance response efforts. Talk with public emergency services (e.g., fire, police, and emergency medical services) to determine their response time to your facility, knowledge of your facility and its hazards, and their capabilities to stabilize an emergency at your facility.
  • Set Evacuation Procedures: Develop clear evacuation routes, designate assembly points, and ensure employee accountability.
  • Identify Needed Emergency Equipment and Facilities: Identify essential equipment such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits and maintain them regularly. Knowing the location of these resources is critical for swift action. Additionally, ensure there’s a plan to protect your people, such as evacuation, shelter, and lockdown protocols.
  • Implement Training and Drills: Regular training sessions and drills for employees and the emergency response team are vital because training personnel allows them to fulfill their roles and responsibilities swiftly and effectively. Practice scenarios relevant to your workplace and conduct drills frequently to reinforce preparedness.

How to Implement a Workplace Safety Plan

Once you've developed an emergency response plan for your workplace, the next step is effective implementation. 

Start by clearly communicating the plan to all employees, providing training on procedures, and conducting regular drills and exercises to reinforce readiness. When designating specific roles and responsibilities for staff members, ensure everyone knows their duties in various emergencies.

Next, ensure the plan is readily available in both digital and print for all employees by posting emergency procedures in prominent locations throughout the workplace, such as break rooms, hallways, and common areas, and making it available online. Provide training materials in multiple formats, too, to accommodate different learning styles and ensure comprehension among all staff members, including those with disabilities or language barriers.

Finally, leverage technology and emergency tools , such as mass notification systems, emergency alert apps, and two-way radios, to enhance emergency preparedness and response efforts. 

Implement monitoring systems for detecting hazards like fires or gas leaks and integrate them with the emergency response plan to trigger automatic alerts and responses.

Review and Iterate Your Plan

The nature of emergencies and workplaces constantly evolve, with new risks and organizational changes emerging over time. It's imperative to regularly review and update your emergency response plan to account for these changes. By keeping the plan current, you can address any gaps or deficiencies, incorporate lessons learned from past incidents, and adapt to evolving threats or regulations.

To improve your emergency response plan, after each drill or real-life emergency, debrief with participants to discuss what went well, what could be improved, and any unexpected challenges encountered. Use these insights to refine procedures, update protocols, and enhance training efforts, and incorporate lessons learned from drills and actual emergencies into your plan to ensure it remains robust and responsive to the evolving needs of your workplace.

Develop Your Workplace Emergency Response Plan

Having a well-thought-out emergency response plan can save lives and protect property in emergencies. Preparedness is not a luxury—it's a necessity. By taking proactive steps to develop and implement an effective plan, businesses can safeguard their most valuable assets—their employees—and ensure continuity even in the face of adversity. 

Remember, preparedness starts with a solid plan. Get in touch with a trained fire and life safety technician today to ensure you're ready.  

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10 Key Components Of An Emergency Management Plan

In today’s unpredictable world, where both natural and man-made disasters can strike with little to no warning, being prepared is more crucial than ever. An Emergency Management Plan (EMP) serves as a blueprint, guiding organizations and communities through the chaos and uncertainty of unexpected events. But what makes an effective EMP? It’s not just about having a plan on paper, but ensuring it’s comprehensive, actionable, and adaptable.

In this blog, we’ll delve deep into the 10 key components that form the backbone of a robust Emergency Management Plan, ensuring you’re not just prepared, but poised to respond and recover with efficiency and resilience.

What’s Emergency Management Plan?

An Emergency Management Plan (EMP) is a document that outlines the processes and procedures to be followed before, during, and after an emergency or disaster to ensure the safety and well-being of an organization’s employees, facilities, and stakeholders. The goal of the plan is to minimize the impact of disasters and to facilitate recovery efforts.

An Emergency Management Plan (EMP) plays a pivotal role in ensuring an organization or community’s safety, continuity, and resilience in the face of potential disasters. Here’s an exploration of the importance of an Emergency Management Plan:

  • Safety and Protection: At its core, the primary aim of an EMP is to protect human life. The plan ensures that employees and the general public can stay safe during a crisis by detailing evacuation routes, communication protocols, and first-aid procedures.
  • Minimizing Operational Disruption: Disasters can halt operations, leading to financial losses and reduced service delivery. An EMP provides the framework to quickly adapt and continue operations, ensuring minimal downtime and maintaining essential services.
  • Resource Allocation: Knowing what resources are required during an emergency – from manpower to equipment – allows organizations to efficiently allocate and utilize resources when needed.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Many jurisdictions and industries have laws and regulations requiring entities to have emergency or disaster preparedness plans. An EMP ensures compliance with these mandates, potentially avoiding legal consequences and liabilities.
  • Reputation Management: In the digital age, where news travels fast, how an organization handles crises can significantly impact its reputation. A well-executed EMP can help maintain public trust and stakeholder confidence by demonstrating preparedness and effective response capabilities.
  • Financial Savings: While developing an EMP requires an initial investment, it can result in significant cost savings in the long run. Preparedness can reduce the extent of property damage, lessen business interruptions, and decrease potential liability issues.
  • Psychological Assurance: Knowing a plan in place provides peace of mind to employees, stakeholders, and the community. It fosters a sense of security, understanding that proactive measures have been taken to address potential threats.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regular drills and post-incident reviews contribute to continuous improvement as part of the EMP. They help identify gaps and refine the plan, ensuring it remains effective and relevant.
  • Strengthening Community and Organizational Resilience: Communities or organizations with robust EMPs tend to recover faster post-disaster. They can adapt, reorganize, and grow despite facing adversities, making them more resilient in the long run.
  • Facilitating Coordination and Communication: In emergencies, coordinated efforts are essential to prevent chaos. EMPs provide a clear command structure, roles, and communication strategies, ensuring everyone knows their responsibilities and how to collaborate effectively.

In essence, while the hope is that emergencies and disasters can be entirely avoided, the reality dictates a need for preparedness. An Emergency Management Plan equips organizations and communities with the tools, knowledge, and strategies they need to face such events head-on, mitigate their effects, and emerge stronger on the other side.

Emergency Management Plan

An emergency management plan is a comprehensive framework designed to guide an organization, community, or entity in effectively responding to, mitigating, and recovering from various types of emergencies and disasters. Here are 10 key components that are typically included in an emergency management plan:

1. Purpose and Scope

An Emergency Management Plan’s “Purpose and Scope” section sets the stage for the plan’s existence and its overarching goals. It clarifies what the plan aims to achieve, such as ensuring the safety of all personnel, minimizing operational disruptions, or protecting physical assets. This section also highlights the types of emergencies or hazards the plan is designed to address, ranging from natural disasters like hurricanes and floods to human-made events like chemical spills or cyberattacks.

Additionally, it delineates the boundaries of the plan’s application, indicating whether it applies only to specific sites, regions, or the entire organization. This ensures no ambiguity about when and where the plan should be implemented.

2. Roles and Responsibilities

Knowing one’s role is crucial in any emergency to ensure a coordinated and efficient response. The “Roles and Responsibilities” segment delineates different individuals’ or teams’ duties and expected actions when a disaster strikes. For example, while the primary responsibility of a first response team might be to evacuate people from a hazard zone, the management could be tasked with decision-making and resource allocation.

By defining these roles clearly, the plan ensures no overlap or confusion during the critical moments of a crisis, leading to a smoother and more effective response.

3. Risk Assessment

This foundational analysis informs the rest of the plan. A thorough “Risk Assessment” identifies potential threats to the organization. This could be in the form of natural calamities, technological failures, security breaches, and more. After identifying these threats, the assessment gauges the likelihood of each event occurring and its potential impact on the organization’s operations, reputation, and finances.

Such an analysis helps prioritize which risks need immediate attention and resources, ensuring the organization is better prepared for the most pressing threats.

4. Emergency Response Procedures

The crux of the plan lies in the “Emergency Response Procedures” section. Here, detailed, actionable steps are laid out for different emergencies. For instance, in the event of a fire, this section would specify evacuation routes, meeting points, and how to use fire safety equipment.

The procedure might involve immediate shelter-in-place orders if the risk is a chemical spill. What’s essential is that these procedures are clear and concise, making them easy to follow during high-stress situations.

5. Communication Plan

Effective communication is the lifeline of any crisis response. The “Communication Plan” ensures that accurate and timely information flows seamlessly among all stakeholders within and outside the organization. Internally, this could involve alerting employees about the nature of the emergency and guiding them on the next steps.

The organization might need to communicate with local authorities, media, or affected communities. This section also defines the tools and channels for communication, such as emergency alert systems, emails, or public address systems. The communication must be clear, consistent, and controlled to prevent panic and misinformation.

Key Components Of An Emergency Management Plan

6. Training and Exercise

Ensuring individuals are well-equipped to handle emergencies goes beyond creating a plan—it demands regular training and practice. The “Training and Exercise” section focuses on developing and maintaining a competent response from everyone involved. This involves detailing the frequency, content, and method of training sessions. For instance, employees might be trained annually on general emergency preparedness, while specialized teams undergo quarterly sessions on specific procedures.

Beyond training, this section also emphasizes the importance of drills or exercises which simulate real-life emergencies. These exercises, be they fire drills or mock cyber-attack responses, test the practical application of the plan, offering invaluable insights into its strengths and areas of improvement.

7. Resource Management

In an emergency, having immediate access to the right resources can make a significant difference. “Resource Management” focuses on identifying and cataloging crucial equipment, supplies, and personnel integral to the plan’s execution. This could range from first-aid kits and emergency generators to specialized response teams and communication tools.

However, merely listing them isn’t enough. This section also details logistics, highlighting how these resources would be procured, where they would be stored, and the regular maintenance and check protocols. Effective resource management ensures the organization isn’t lacking when disaster strikes.

8. Recovery and Restoration

Emergencies inevitably lead to disruptions, but the goal is always to return to normalcy as quickly and efficiently as possible. The “Recovery and Restoration” segment is dedicated to transitioning from chaos to routine. This involves steps to assess the immediate aftermath of the crisis, from property damage to data loss, and strategies to address them. Here, business continuity plans come into play, detailing how essential services and functions can be resumed or rerouted.

Furthermore, considering the long-term impact of the disaster, strategies might be outlined to handle repercussions, be it rebuilding infrastructure, addressing reputational damage, or supporting affected employees and stakeholders.

9. Plan Maintenance and Review

Like any strategic document, an Emergency Management Plan is not meant to gather dust on a shelf. The “Plan Maintenance and Review” section underscores the dynamic nature of the plan. It specifies the regularity with which the plan should be revisited—annually or after every drill or emergency. This regular review ensures the plan remains relevant, accounting for organizational structure, technology, or risk environment changes.

This section also identifies who is responsible for this review, whether a dedicated emergency management team, a department, or an external agency, ensuring ownership and accountability in keeping the plan up-to-date.

10. Annexes

While the main body of the Emergency Management Plan offers a broad overview, “Annexes” serve as deep dives into specific topics. These can be considered supplementary material that provides granular details without overwhelming the main document.

Depending on the organization’s needs, these could include specialized response strategies for particular hazards, detailed floor plans highlighting evacuation routes, or in-depth protocols for specific scenarios, like handling hazardous materials. Housing this information in annexes makes the plan accessible and readable while offering comprehensive resources for those needing it.

What is Emergency Management Plan

Implementing an Emergency Management Plan Effectively

Implementing an Emergency Management Plan (EMP) effectively requires a systematic approach, commitment from leadership, and active participation from all stakeholders. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to effectively implement an EMP:

  • Gain Leadership Support: Implementation starts at the top. Secure buy-in from senior management or community leaders. Their support ensures the allocation of necessary resources and underscores the plan’s importance to all involved.
  • Appoint a Dedicated Team: Designate a team or individual responsible for the EMP’s coordination. Depending on the organization’s size and complexity, this can be an emergency management committee or a designated officer.
  • Communicate the Plan: Share the EMP with all stakeholders, including employees, volunteers, community members, and even suppliers or partners. Ensure they understand the plan’s importance, their roles, and responsibilities.
  • Training and Education: Organize training sessions for everyone involved. This can range from general awareness training for all employees to specialized training for emergency response teams.
  • Conduct Drills and Simulations: Regularly test the plan under simulated conditions. This can be tabletop exercises for decision-makers or full-scale mock drills. Real-time simulations help in identifying gaps and provide hands-on experience.
  • Gather Feedback: After training sessions and drills, solicit feedback from participants. They might have insights into the plan’s unclear or impractical aspects.
  • Update and Revise: Update the plan based on feedback and any observed inefficiencies during drills. An EMP should be a living document that evolves based on new risks, organizational structure changes, or exercise feedback.
  • Integrate with External Agencies: Often, emergencies require collaboration with external agencies like fire departments, police, or relief agencies. Ensure they know your plan and discuss how you’ll collaborate in an emergency.
  • Maintain Resources and Supplies: Regularly inspect and replenish emergency supplies and equipment. This includes first-aid kits, communication devices, backup power sources, and other vital resources.
  • Raise Awareness: Periodically remind everyone of the EMP’s existence, importance, and any changes made. Use newsletters, meetings, or dedicated awareness campaigns.
  • Evaluate and Learn from Real Events: Conduct a post-event review if an emergency occurs. Analyze what worked, what didn’t, and where improvements can be made.
  • Review Regularly: Even if no emergency occurs and no gaps are identified during drills, regularly review the EMP. Changes in technology, infrastructure, personnel, or the external environment might necessitate updates.
  • Document Everything: From training sessions and drill outcomes to post-event analyses, document everything. This provides a valuable reference and serves as evidence of due diligence in case of legal or regulatory scrutiny.
  • Promote a Culture of Preparedness: Beyond just the formal plan, encourage a culture where everyone is mindful of risks and the importance of preparedness. This proactive mindset can be invaluable during unexpected situations.

In summary, effectively implementing an Emergency Management Plan is an ongoing process that demands regular attention, updates, and stakeholder engagement. It’s not just about having a plan on paper but ensuring everyone is ready and equipped to act when needed.

A well-structured Emergency Management Plan is not just a contingency; it’s a vital tool that underscores an organization’s or community’s commitment to safety, preparedness, and resilience. By understanding and integrating the 10 key components we’ve discussed, entities can confidently and clearly navigate the tumultuous waters of unforeseen crises.

Remember, not the absence of emergencies determines our strength, but our preparedness and response to them. With a comprehensive EMP in place, we shield ourselves from potential disruptions and pave the way for a faster recovery and a stronger tomorrow.

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10 Steps to Creating an Emergency Response Plan for Your Business

In an emergency, the actions you take within the first few minutes will largely dictate the severity of consequences to follow. Unexpected situations can happen at any time, which means your company needs a plan of action in order to minimize damage and loss.

This article walks you through the 10 steps involved in creating an effective emergency response plan for your business. You’ll learn how to effectively respond to emergencies, protect your staff and occupants, minimize downtime and fully recover operations. Here’s how to get started.

Running short on time?  Download the Safety and Security Plan Guide here.

Emergency Response Planning for Business Continuity Teams

Step 1: understand the importance of emergency response planning..

Planning for interruptions, emergencies and disasters is a crucial aspect of running a business. An emergency response plan is designed to help companies address various emergency situations that could occur within their organization. The best plans include who to contact, how to act in an emergency, how to mitigate risk and what resources to use to minimize loss.

The main objective of an emergency response plan is to reduce human injury and damage to property in an emergency. It also specifies which staff members should enact emergency response plans, as well as which local emergency teams (i.e. police, fire and rescue, etc.) should be contacted. Ideally, the final outcome of emergency planning is to protect a company’s finances, physical infrastructure, materials and occupants from harm.

Step 2: Brainstorm a list of potential risks, hazards and threat scenarios.

All organizations face risks, hazards and threats, which, left unchecked, can lead to financial loss, illness, injury or even death. It’s a good idea to review potentially dangerous scenarios in a risk assessment . A risk assessment identifies potential hazards and analyzes what could happen if the hazard were to occur.

Understanding your organization’s vulnerabilities is the first step towards proactive emergency response planning and will help you protect your staff and occupants from harm.

In your risk assessment, be sure to prioritize risks according to their severity. Consider the following examples of emergency scenarios:

Download - Active Shooter Protocol for Facility Managers

Step 3: Collect contact information from local emergency personnel.

The list of potential risks you assembled in step #2 will help inform your organization of emergency services you’ll need to contact in a crisis. At a minimum, speak to your local fire department, police department and emergency medical services to determine their anticipated response times, their knowledge of your facility and its hazards, and their capabilities to stabilize an emergency at your facility.

The following list contains a more comprehensive list of emergency personnel you may want to contact :

Step 4: Assess your organization’s resources.

Resources are required to keep occupants safe , protect infrastructure and carry out recovery strategies during a disaster. You’ll want to assess the availability and capabilities of resources for incident stabilization within your organization. Resources can include people, systems and equipment, both within your business and from external sources. Here’s a list of resources you may want to consider:

Facility Safety and Security Plan Guide link to download

Step 5: Create accurate egress plans and evacuation routes.

An egress plan is a map of a facility that houses critical indicators such as posted emergency routes, evacuation paths and red exit signs that lead to stairs and doorways. Even if occupants have never done a fire drill at the facility, it should be obvious where to go in an emergency.

Police officers, medical personnel and other emergency services also rely on accurate floor plans. They help notify emergency services of the best ways to enter a building to get to a threat quickly, safely and efficiently.

Free Resource: Create or update your facility plans in our free guide on “ How to Create An Egress Plan ”. If you’re looking for more insight on creating up-to-date floor plans, contact a professional facility management consultation company today for advice on how to get the most accurate floor plans.

  • Pro Tip: No time to update your floor plans? A data collection service team can do the work for you. They will walk your current floor plans, collect space and asset data, and create two-dimensional models of your plans. An intuitive facility management software can also be used as a visual mapping tool to show the location of critical fire/life safety assets in an emergency. Show your business continuity team, building managers and local emergency personnel the locations of the following within and around your building:
  • Emergency exits
  • Exterior doors and windows
  • Locations of fire extinguishers
  • Fire alarm pull station locations
  • Assembly points for personnel

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Step 6: Create an emergency communications plan.

An emergency communications plan includes information on how both internal and external crisis communications will be handled. Internal communication alerts can be sent via email, paging systems, voice messages or text messages to mobile devices. Use these channels to instruct personnel on how to evacuate the building and relocate to assembly points. You may also send updates on the status of the situation and notification of when it’s safe to return.

External communication during an emergency should also be a part of business continuity planning . External alerts typically discuss the disaster with the media and provide status information to key clients and stakeholders. Your emergency communications plan must be flexible, have management support and be regularly reviewed and updated to address a variety of emergency situations.

Step 7: State required actions in the event of an emergency.

Develop protective, threat-specific emergency procedures for occupants, staff and visitors of your facility to follow in a disaster situation. This portion of your emergency response plan will detail life safety protocols , including evacuation, shelter, shelter-in-place and lock down actions. You’ll also want to determine the required actions that occupants should take during an emergency to protect themselves. Use the following example as a guide for required actions in an emergency:

  • Declare an emergency.
  • Alert personnel using an internal communication system (see step #6).
  • Activate the emergency plan.
  • Evacuate the danger zone, seek shelter-in-place or implement a lock down.
  • Close main shutoffs, if applicable.
  • Call for external aid from local emergency services.
  • Initiate rescue operations.
  • Attend to casualties, if applicable.

Step 8: Disperse responsibilities following the disaster event.

During and following an emergency, many tasks must be completed in order to continue business as usual and ensure occupants are both safe and comfortable. The following list contains responsibilities that will need to be taken care of following a disaster:

Step 9: Train and educate internal personnel on your emergency response plan.

Your business continuity team , as well as your emergency preparedness team, will require continuous training to stay up-to-date on the latest emergency protocols in your business. Education and hands-on training will help your team members fulfill their roles and responsibilities during and after a disaster.

Facilitate exercises that test your team’s knowledge of the emergency response plan. Your emergency preparedness team may also want to host corporate safety awareness programs, orientation exercises, emergency responder training or emergency communication exercises. Learn more about business continuity planning best practices here .

Step 10: Test and revise your emergency response plan.

Creating a comprehensive plan for handling emergencies is a major step toward preventing and recovering from disasters. However, it can be difficult to predict all situations that could occur until the plan is tested.

To put your plan into action, conduct exercises and drills to practice critical portions of the plan. This could involve sending test messages via your emergency notification systems, or practicing an evacuation or lock down. These tests will highlight areas of improvement before a disaster actually occurs.

When shortcomings become apparent, review and revise your plan. Revisit it at least once a year and note any changes to building infrastructure, processes, materials, resources and key personnel.

Discover More Ways to Protect Your Business from Disaster

When an unexpected disruption affects your business, it’s important to respond quickly. A business continuity plan can help you stay prepared (not to mention, it may make the difference between financial ruin and long-term survival of your company). Read tips for protecting your business from harm by reading AkitaBox’s five-step guide to Business Continuity Planning . This comprehensive article will help your organization achieve the following goals:

  • Understand the importance of business continuity planning
  • Conduct a business impact analysis
  • Take steps to reduce identified risks and hazards
  • Create risk mitigation guidelines
  • Assemble recovery plans

You also may find it helpful to download the checklist version of this article for later reference. Click here to receive your free copy of “ 10 Steps to Creating an Emergency Response Plan ”.

Download - Emergency Response Planning Checklist

Let Us Know: What steps has your organization taken to prepare for emergencies? Leave a comment below to let us know!

Meaghan Kelly

Meaghan Kelly

Former marketing content copywriter for AkitaBox.

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osha emergency response plan guide

OSHA Emergency Response Plan: A Brief Guide and Checklist

Preparation is critical to your business. While you certainly cannot plan for everything specifically, you can be ready for anything broadly. When it comes to protecting your workers and remaining OSHA compliant with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you need to know what you will do in potentially dangerous worst-case scenarios. This forward-thinking is in the realm of emergency preparedness and emergency response. With a specific emergency response plan, OSHA regulations can be addressed systematically.

Emergencies must be carefully considered because they present diverse hazards within your workplace. It is particularly important to know what you will do under the most difficult circumstances because you may need to move without stopping to think over your strategy. Strong emergency preparedness sets you up for the best emergency response so that everyone associated with your business has a safe place to go and access to protective equipment.

To make your employees aware of the risks they might face in emergencies, you need an emergency action plan (EAP). This document covers evacuation procedures, employee training, and other elements of preparedness and helps you avert or mitigate disasters when faced with unwelcome events.

Table of Contents

What Is A Workplace Emergency?

Emergency scenarios in the workplace fall into two basic categories, those generated by people and by the environment.

Types of emergencies resulting from people include:

  • Trauma or injury caused by worksite violence;
  • Civil unrest;
  • Radiological accidents;
  • Releases of toxic gas;
  • Chemical spills ; and
  • Explosions.

Environmental emergencies could be any natural disaster, such as the following:

  • Hurricanes; and
  • Earthquakes.

How can you identify other kinds of workplace emergencies? These incidents are unanticipated events that cause any of the following problems:

  • Interference with or disablement of your operations;
  • Introduction of a threat posed to the public, your customers, or your personnel; and/ or
  • Damage, whether bodily or to the natural environment.

What Is An Emergency Response Plan (EAP)?

An emergency action plan (EAP) is a written document that is intended to organize and support the actions you and your employees take during on-the-job emergencies.

According to federal regulations, an EAP is mandatory for OSHA compliance . However, those with small businesses may be able to simply talk with personnel about the plan rather than have it in writing (see the next section).

Small Business: The Oral Emergency Response Plan

The good news for small companies with up to ten (10) employees is that you are not legally required to create a written report. Instead, you can simply speak with your workers and let them know what to do when various emergency situations arise (covering the topics in the below checklist). It may make sense to write everything down for organization and consistency, but it is not mandatory that you have an official document.

Why Is An OSHA Emergency Action Plan And Training Important?

Simply put, a well-developed emergency preparedness plan can save lives and save your business.

If you either do not have a plan or have not developed it well, that can cause confusion. If people are unsure of what to do when they are more susceptible to injury, death, and property damage from a disorganized emergency response.

On the other hand, if your workers know what to do when any type of emergency occurs, you are less likely for people to get hurt and die; plus, you are less likely to see damage to your workplace.

An excellent plan is well-integrated with OSHA training . As with other safety and health information, it is important that everyone on your payroll gets thorough training so that everyone knows what is expected of them when unforeseen circumstances arise.

OSHA Requirements

A comprehensive assessment of your workplace is essential and a basic building block of OSHA emergency preparedness. Using what you glean from your evaluation, you are able to consider the characteristics of your unique setting – its emergency systems, structure, and layout – and understand what the employee response should be to any conceivable event. This information allows you to easily and straightforwardly develop and implement a customized emergency action plan.

Here is what you need to have in your EAP, per OSHA regulations:

  • Reporting protocols for any emergency;
  • Names and/or titles of individuals who should be alerted;
  • Assignments of escape routes and step-by-step procedures for evacuation;
  • Medical and rescue procedures to be used by appointed employees;
  • Confirmation that all personnel are present following an evacuation; and
  • Steps to be taken by those on your staff who will stay behind to complete critical work prior to evacuation.

OSHA Recommendations

First and foremost , you want to get buy-in from everyone. If some of your employees are not aligned with this effort, it can create weaknesses in your emergency preparedness. To create a plan that is widely acknowledged and accepted, OSHA suggests using a collaborative model.

Organize a committee of both employees and management to develop and launch your emergency response plan. Have this team get together on a regular basis to refine the plan and determine which parties will advance various aspects.

Second , there are additional components that you may want to include in your emergency response plan:

  • Information regarding a different communications center can be used if an explosion or fire occurs.
  • Details about public address systems, sirens, horn blasts, and/or other aspects of your alarm system to be used in emergencies. These systems notify your workers that they need to evacuate or otherwise respond to an emergency. You want to have different sounds for each main type of emergency so your employees quickly get signaled what is happening. These notifications should take special consideration for any disabled personnel.
  • A safe and secure storage area (whether onsite or offsite) so that copies or originals of core records – legal paperwork, accounting documents, emergency contact information for employees, etc. – can be accessed regardless of the situation. (Offsite storage is preferable, so there is less of a threat to both sets of copies.)

OSHA EAP Checklist

For an effective emergency response plan, OSHA stresses the importance of trained personnel. It is also important that employees get training updates whenever the OSHA EAP checklist is changed.

With this OSHA EAP simple checklist, you can put together a plan that is aligned with OSHA compliance and that will provide the most robust emergency preparedness:

OSHA EAP checklist for an emergency response plan

Common Mistakes in Developing an Emergency Response Plan

We will now break down some common mistakes in developing an emergency response plan.

Lack of Specificity: A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for emergency response plans. Each workplace has unique hazards, requiring tailored plans that address specific risks, from chemical spills to natural disasters. Neglecting to customize your plan can result in inadequate responses that increase risk during an emergency.

Insufficient Training: Merely having an emergency response plan on paper is not enough. A common oversight is failing to provide comprehensive training for all employees, including regular drills and updates. Without thorough training, employees may not know how to act swiftly and safely in an emergency.

Poor Communication Strategies: Effective communication is crucial in emergencies. Plans often lack clear, multiple-channel communication strategies for alerting employees about an emergency and providing ongoing updates. Overlooking the need for diverse communication methods can lead to confusion and panic.

Neglecting Special Needs and Accommodations: Not considering the diverse needs of all employees, including those with disabilities, is a significant oversight. Plans should include provisions for assisting individuals with mobility, visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments during evacuations and other emergency procedures.

Inadequate Identification and Analysis of Risks: Some businesses fail to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment, overlooking potential threats. Understanding all possible emergencies, including less obvious ones like cyber-attacks or power outages, is essential for developing an effective response plan.

Failure to Regularly Review and Update the Plan: Emergency response plans are often created and then forgotten. Failing to review and update your plan regularly to reflect changes in your operations, workforce, or external environment can render it obsolete when an emergency occurs.

Ignoring Community Resources and External Partners: Many businesses overlook the importance of coordinating their emergency response plan with local emergency services, neighboring businesses, and community resources. Collaboration can enhance your response capabilities and provide additional support during and after an emergency.

Inadequate Backup and Recovery Plans: Ensuring business continuity involves more than just an immediate response. A common error is not having a robust recovery plan to resume operations safely after an emergency. This includes data backups, alternative work sites, and supply chain contingencies.

Not Testing the Plan Thoroughly: Without conducting full-scale drills that simulate real emergency scenarios, it’s difficult to identify weaknesses in your plan. Many businesses fail to test their plans adequately, missing the opportunity to refine procedures and ensure all employees are prepared.

By avoiding these common mistakes, businesses can develop a comprehensive, effective emergency response plan that not only complies with OSHA regulations but also significantly enhances the safety and preparedness of their workplace. This proactive approach is essential for protecting employees, minimizing risks, and ensuring a swift recovery from any emergency situation.

Refining Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

Finally, it is critical to review and update your emergency response plan, not just when your environment changes but also at regular intervals. Pay special attention to the contact information – the most commonly outdated item, per OSHA.

For your emergency response plan, OSHA compliance efforts, and potential evacuations to be successful, occupational health and safety training is pivotal. At Alpha-Omega Training and Compliance (A-OTC), we assess your business needs and work with you to devise a customized program. Contact us to schedule your training and education courses or environmental consulting services today! We also offer 24/7 emergency spill response services .

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/eap.html

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.38#1910.38(a)

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9726#1910.38(b)

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/min_requirements.html

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9726#1910.38(c)

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/implementation.html

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Develop or Update an Emergency Response Plan

Emergency response plan (erp) template and instructions.

On this page:

  • ERP Template and Instructions for Drinking Water Utilities

ERP Template and Instructions for Wastewater Utilities

An ERP describes strategies, resources, plans, and procedures utilities can use to prepare for and respond to an incident, natural or man-made, that threatens life, property, or the environment. Incidents can range from small main breaks or localized flooding to large scale hurricanes, earthquakes or system contamination, among other examples.

The ERP Template and Instructions PDF document for drinking water and wastewater utilities features an embedded blank ERP template in Word format that can be easily accessed and modified by utility personnel to meet their own water system needs.

The EPA welcomes comments on the ERP Template and Instructions. Based on feedback, the EPA may revise the document in the future. Please email [email protected] to provide feedback.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s  About PDF page  to learn more. 

ERP Template and Instructions for Drinking Water Utilities

This template and instructions will assist water utilities with developing an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in accordance with America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) section 2013(b), which amended Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) section 1433(b). SDWA 1433(b) requires community water systems serving populations greater than 3,300 to develop or update an ERP that incorporates findings of their risk assessment . Please note that the instructions were updated in August 2021 to include a new appendix containing additional practical mitigation options for utilities. 

SDWA Section 1433 Certification Requirements

Community water systems serving populations greater than 3,300 must certify to U.S. EPA that they have completed an ERP that incorporates findings of the risk and resilience assessment conducted under SDWA section 1433(a) and meets the criteria outlined under SDWA section 1433(b). U.S. EPA strongly recommends you electronically submit your community water system’s ERP certification statement by clicking the link below.

  • Submit Emergency Response Plan Certification Online 

Alternate certification statement submittal options are accessible by clicking the link below.

  • Email, Regular Mail or Alternate Submittal Options for Emergency Response Plan Certification

AWIA requires you to submit only a certification of completion of an risk and resilience assessment and an ERP; therefore, do not submit the risk and resilience assessment and ERP documents to U.S. EPA.

NOTE : The PDF files use Javascript.  In order to access the Word template that is imbedded within the PDF, please download the PDF file to your computer and open the PDF file with a PDF reader.  If you are still having problems with accessing the Word template, email [email protected] .

  • Drinking Water Utility ERP Template and Instructions (pdf) (482.8 KB, July 2019)

This template and instructions will assist wastewater utilities with developing an ERP. An ERP describes your utility’s strategies, resources, plans, and procedures to prepare for and respond to an incident, natural or man-made, that threatens life, property, or the environment. Incidents can range from small main breaks or localized flooding to large scale hurricanes, earthquakes, or system contamination, among other examples. 

  • Wastewater Utility ERP Template and Instructions (pdf) (505 KB, 8/5/21, 817B21003)
  • Water Utility Response Home
  • Plan For Emergencies
  • Hazard Resilience
  • Mutual Aid and Assistance for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities
  • Decontamination
  • Water Utility Communication During Emergency Response

Watch CBS News

What is Project 2025? What to know about the conservative blueprint for a second Trump administration

By Melissa Quinn , Jacob Rosen

Updated on: July 11, 2024 / 9:40 AM EDT / CBS News

Washington — Voters in recent weeks have begun to hear the name "Project 2025" invoked more and more by President Biden and Democrats, as they seek to sound the alarm about what could be in store if former President Donald Trump wins a second term in the White House.

Overseen by the conservative Heritage Foundation, the multi-pronged initiative includes a detailed blueprint for the next Republican president to usher in a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch.

Trump and his campaign have worked to distance themselves from Project 2025, with the former president going so far as to call some of the proposals "abysmal." But Democrats have continued to tie the transition project to Trump, especially as they find themselves mired in their own controversy over whether Mr. Biden should withdraw from the 2024 presidential contest following his startling debate performance last month.

Here is what to know about Project 2025:

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 is a proposed presidential transition project that is composed of four pillars: a policy guide for the next presidential administration; a LinkedIn-style database of personnel who could serve in the next administration; training for that pool of candidates dubbed the "Presidential Administration Academy;" and a playbook of actions to be taken within the first 180 days in office.

It is led by two former Trump administration officials: Paul Dans, who was chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management and serves as director of the project, and Spencer Chretien, former special assistant to Trump and now the project's associate director.

Project 2025 is spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation, but includes an advisory board consisting of more than 100 conservative groups.

Much of the focus on — and criticism of — Project 2025 involves its first pillar, the nearly 900-page policy book that lays out an overhaul of the federal government. Called "Mandate for Leadership 2025: The Conservative Promise," the book builds on a "Mandate for Leadership" first published in January 1981, which sought to serve as a roadmap for Ronald Reagan's incoming administration.

The recommendations outlined in the sprawling plan reach every corner of the executive branch, from the Executive Office of the President to the Department of Homeland Security to the little-known Export-Import Bank. 

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with advisers in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D,C., on June 25, 2019.

The Heritage Foundation also created a "Mandate for Leadership" in 2015 ahead of Trump's first term. Two years into his presidency, it touted that Trump had instituted 64% of its policy recommendations, ranging from leaving the Paris Climate Accords, increasing military spending, and increasing off-shore drilling and developing federal lands. In July 2020, the Heritage Foundation gave its updated version of the book to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. 

The authors of many chapters are familiar names from the Trump administration, such as Russ Vought, who led the Office of Management and Budget; former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller; and Roger Severino, who was director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vought is the policy director for the 2024 Republican National Committee's platform committee, which released its proposed platform on Monday. 

John McEntee, former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office under Trump, is a senior advisor to the Heritage Foundation, and said that the group will "integrate a lot of our work" with the Trump campaign when the official transition efforts are announced in the next few months.

Candidates interested in applying for the Heritage Foundation's "Presidential Personnel Database" are vetted on a number of political stances, such as whether they agree or disagree with statements like "life has a right to legal protection from conception to natural death," and "the President should be able to advance his/her agenda through the bureaucracy without hindrance from unelected federal officials."

The contributions from ex-Trump administration officials have led its critics to tie Project 2025 to his reelection campaign, though the former president has attempted to distance himself from the initiative.

What are the Project 2025 plans?

Some of the policies in the Project 2025 agenda have been discussed by Republicans for years or pushed by Trump himself: less federal intervention in education and more support for school choice; work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults on food stamps; and a secure border with increased enforcement of immigration laws, mass deportations and construction of a border wall. 

But others have come under scrutiny in part because of the current political landscape. 

Abortion and social issues

In recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services, the agenda calls for the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its 24-year-old approval of the widely used abortion pill mifepristone. Other proposed actions targeting medication abortion include reinstating more stringent rules for mifepristone's use, which would permit it to be taken up to seven weeks into a pregnancy, instead of the current 10 weeks, and requiring it to be dispensed in-person instead of through the mail.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that is on the Project 2025 advisory board, was involved in a legal challenge to mifepristone's 2000 approval and more recent actions from the FDA that made it easier to obtain. But the Supreme Court rejected the case brought by a group of anti-abortion rights doctors and medical associations on procedural grounds.

The policy book also recommends the Justice Department enforce the Comstock Act against providers and distributors of abortion pills. That 1873 law prohibits drugs, medicines or instruments used in abortions from being sent through the mail.

US-NEWS-SCOTUS-ABORTION-PILL-NEWSOM-TB

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade , the volume states that the Justice Department "in the next conservative administration should therefore announce its intent to enforce federal law against providers and distributors of such pills."

The guide recommends the next secretary of Health and Human Services get rid of the Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force established by the Biden administration before Roe's reversal and create a "pro-life task force to ensure that all of the department's divisions seek to use their authority to promote the life and health of women and their unborn children."

In a section titled "The Family Agenda," the proposal recommends the Health and Human Services chief "proudly state that men and women are biological realities," and that "married men and women are the ideal, natural family structure because all children have a right to be raised by the men and women who conceived them."

Further, a program within the Health and Human Services Department should "maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family."

During his first four years in office, Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military. Mr. Biden reversed that policy , but the Project 2025 policy book calls for the ban to be reinstated.

Targeting federal agencies, employees and policies

The agenda takes aim at longstanding federal agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The agency is a component of the Commerce Department and the policy guide calls for it to be downsized. 

NOAA's six offices, including the National Weather Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, "form a colossal operation that has become one of the main drivers of the climate change alarm industry and, as such, is harmful to future U.S. prosperity," the guide states. 

The Department of Homeland Security, established in 2002, should be dismantled and its agencies either combined with others, or moved under the purview of other departments altogether, the policy book states. For example, immigration-related entities from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Health and Human Services should form a standalone, Cabinet-level border and immigration agency staffed by more than 100,000 employees, according to the agenda.

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington on March 7, 2017.

If the policy recommendations are implemented, another federal agency that could come under the knife by the next administration, with action from Congress, is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The agenda seeks to bring a push by conservatives to target diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, initiatives in higher education to the executive branch by wiping away a slew of DEI-related positions, policies and programs and calling for the elimination of funding for partners that promote DEI practices.

It states that U.S. Agency for International Development staff and grantees that "engage in ideological agitation on behalf of the DEI agenda" should be terminated. At the Treasury Department, the guide says the next administration should "treat the participation in any critical race theory or DEI initiative without objecting on constitutional or moral grounds, as per se grounds for termination of employment."

The Project 2025 policy book also takes aim at more innocuous functions of government. It calls for the next presidential administration to eliminate or reform the dietary guidelines that have been published by the Department of Agriculture for more than 40 years, which the authors claim have been "infiltrated" by issues like climate change and sustainability.

Immigration

Trump made immigration a cornerstone of his last two presidential runs and has continued to hammer the issue during his 2024 campaign. Project 2025's agenda not only recommends finishing the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but urges the next administration to "take a creative and aggressive approach" to responding to drug cartels at the border. This approach includes using active-duty military personnel and the National Guard to help with arrest operations along the southern border.

A memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that prohibits enforcement actions from taking place at "sensitive" places like schools, playgrounds and churches should be rolled back, the policy guide states. 

When the Homeland Security secretary determines there is an "actual or anticipated mass migration of aliens" that presents "urgent circumstances" warranting a federal response, the agenda says the secretary can make rules and regulations, including through their expulsion, for as long as necessary. These rules, the guide states, aren't subject to the Administration Procedure Act, which governs the agency rule-making process.

What do Trump and his advisers say about Project 2025?

In a post to his social media platform on July 5, Trump wrote , "I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they're saying and some of the things they're saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them."

Trump's pushback to the initiative came after Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said in a podcast interview that the nation is "in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be."

The former president continued to disavow the initiative this week, writing in another social media post  that he knows nothing about Project 2025.

"I have not seen it, have no idea who is in charge of it, and, unlike our very well received Republican Platform, had nothing to do with it," Trump wrote. "The Radical Left Democrats are having a field day, however, trying to hook me into whatever policies are stated or said. It is pure disinformation on their part. By now, after all of these years, everyone knows where I stand on EVERYTHING!"

While the former president said he doesn't know who is in charge of the initiative, the project's director, Dans, and associate director, Chretien, were high-ranking officials in his administration. Additionally, Ben Carson, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Trump; John Ratcliffe, former director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration; and Peter Navarro, who served as a top trade adviser to Trump in the White House, are listed as either authors or contributors to the policy agenda.

Still, even before Roberts' comments during "The War Room" podcast — typically hosted by conservative commentator Steve Bannon, who reported to federal prison to begin serving a four-month sentence last week — Trump's top campaign advisers have stressed that Project 2025 has no official ties to his reelection bid.

Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, senior advisers to the Trump campaign, said in a November statement that 2024 policy announcements will be made by Trump or his campaign team.

"Any personnel lists, policy agendas, or government plans published anywhere are merely suggestions," they said.

While the efforts by outside organizations are "appreciated," Wiles and LaCivita said, "none of these groups or individuals speak for President Trump or his campaign."

In response to Trump's post last week, Project 2025 reiterated that it was separate from the Trump campaign.

"As we've been saying for more than two years now, Project 2025 does not speak for any candidate or campaign. We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy & personnel recommendations for the next conservative president. But it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement," a statement on the project's X account said.

The initiative has also pushed back on Democrats' claims about its policy proposals and accused them of lying about what the agenda contains.

What do Democrats say?

Despite their attempts to keep some distance from Project 2025, Democrats continue to connect Trump with the transition effort. The Biden-Harris campaign frequently posts about the project on X, tying it to a second Trump term.

Mr. Biden himself accused his Republican opponent of lying about his connections to the Project 2025 agenda, saying in a statement that the agenda was written for Trump and "should scare every single American." He claimed on his campaign social media account  Wednesday that Project 2025 "will destroy America."

Congressional Democrats have also begun pivoting to Project 2025 when asked in interviews about Mr. Biden's fitness for a second term following his lackluster showing at the June 27 debate, the first in which he went head-to-head with Trump.

"Trump is all about Project 2025," Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman told CNN on Monday. "I mean, that's what we really should be voting on right now. It's like, do we want the kind of president that is all about Project '25?"

Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, one of Mr. Biden's closest allies on Capitol Hill, told reporters Monday that the agenda for the next Republican president was the sole topic he would talk about.

"Project 2025, that's my only concern," he said. "I don't want you or my granddaughter to live under that government."

In a statement reiterating her support for Mr. Biden, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida called Project 2025 "MAGA Republicans' draconian 920-page plan to end U.S. democracy, give handouts to the wealthy and strip Americans of their freedoms."

What are Republicans saying about Project 2025?

Two GOP senators under consideration to serve as Trump's running mate sought to put space between the White House hopeful and Project 2025, casting it as merely the product of a think tank that puts forth ideas.

"It's the work of a think tank, of a center-right think tank, and that's what think tanks do," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

He said Trump's message to voters focuses on "restoring common sense, working-class values, and making our decisions on the basis of that."

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance raised a similar sentiment in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," saying organizations will have good ideas and bad ideas.

"It's a 900-page document," he said Sunday. "I guarantee there are things that Trump likes and dislikes about that 900-page document. But he is the person who will determine the agenda of the next administration."

Jaala Brown contributed to this report.

Melissa Quinn is a politics reporter for CBSNews.com. She has written for outlets including the Washington Examiner, Daily Signal and Alexandria Times. Melissa covers U.S. politics, with a focus on the Supreme Court and federal courts.

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Politics latest: Foreign secretary holds meeting with Israeli president following calls for ceasefire

Foreign Secretary David Lammy has held talks with Isaac Herzog, the president of Israel. Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer has announced he wants to break down the barriers of opportunity in football following England's defeat in the final of the Euros.

Monday 15 July 2024 14:22, UK

  • General Election 2024
  • David Lammy has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Government announces plan to break down 'barriers of opportunity' in football after Euros campaigns
  • Labour will be "far more Gareth Southgate and far less Michael Gove"
  • Poison spreading into politics on both sides of the Atlantic - minister
  • Labour plans for 35 new bills in King's Speech
  • PJAS: Keir's coming home
  • Jon Craig:  Assassination attempt on Trump is a wake-up call for UK MPs
  • Live reporting by Tim Baker

By Faye Brown , political reporter

Rishi Sunak has been urged to stay on as Conservative leader until November amid divisions within the party over how long the contest to replace him should take.

Shadow foreign secretary Andrew Mitchell said the former prime minister's instinct "is almost certainly to go" but more time was needed for potential successors to make their case.

The view is at odds with other senior figures who fear a protracted contest would leave a vacuum for Labour and Reform UK to capitalise on.

Mr Mitchell told Times Radio on Monday: "An interim leader is not, in my view, the best option.

"The best option is to seek to persuade Rishi to remain. It's not an enormously long time in the scope of things. It's probably 'til mid to end November."

He added: "I think his instinct is almost certainly to go. I hope that he won't."

Read the full story here:

Here's a little bit more from the massive More in Common analysis that came out earlier today.

The work relied on surveys and interviews with more than 10,000 people.

The group found that - by a huge margin - voters of every persuasion attributed the Conservative Party's loss to incompetence, rather than being too right wing or left.

The report said that Mr Sunak's U-turn on net zero went down badly - as did axing the northern leg of HS2.

This compounded with the former PM failing to stop the boats or cut NHS waiting lists, as he pledged to do.

By Tomos Evans , Wales reporter

Drink refills could be banned in Wales, under plans currently the subject of a consultation.

The regulations, if approved, would prohibit retailers from offering free refills or top-ups of sugary drinks.

Multi-buy offers, such as buy-one-get-one-free, will also be prohibited under the proposals.

But there will be a 12-month window for the packaging of products to be updated, before the restrictions come into force next year.

The Welsh government says it wants to help people in Wales "make the healthy choice" when shopping and dining out.

If businesses do not comply, they would face an improvement notice and failure to act could lead to a criminal penalty under the Food Safety Act.

Enforcement would be down to local councils, the Welsh government confirmed.

Sky News' deputy political editor Sam Coates and Politico's Jack Blanchard are here with their guide to the day ahead in politics. 

On day 10 of the new Labour government, Jack and Sam cover the fallout from the attempted assassination of Donald Trump, preparations for the King's Speech, and if one Tory beast has ambitions to be interim leader.

Email Jack and Sam: [email protected]

👉 Tap here to follow Politics at Jack and Sam's wherever you get your podcasts 👈

This morning's More in Common report - which we reported on earlier - looked into the attitudes of voters and why they switched.

One area they examined was who went to Reform UK - and the implications of the switching.

According to the research, less than a third (31%) of people who voted Reform said they would have chosen the Tories otherwise.

Some 33% of people said they would not have voted for another party, while the rest said they would have picked Labour (12%), Lib Dem (9%), Green (6%), another party (9%), and then the don't knows were on 6%.

The research also found that Conservatives who left to vote Reform are the most likely to never want to vote Tory again.

The report said: "If the Conservative Party is to recover, it will have to start with restoring its reputation for economic competence and selecting a leader who can bring back voters who deserted the party to the left and the right.

"Rather than either or, voters who would back the Conservatives suggest a preference for a leader who can merge the appeal of both David Cameron and Boris Johnson."

The report suggested that if Reform had not stood, the Tories would only have won an extra 40 seats - leaving Labour still with a majority of more than 100.

In our previous post, we reported on how people want to see change from Labour quickly - with a "honeymoon" period unlikely. 

Well a separate piece of research - this time from More in Common and UCL - has shown what issues are the key tests for Labour.

The surveyors asked more than 10,000 people for their opinions.

The most important issue people will judge the new government on is how much they reduce NHS waiting - with the second issue being how much the cost of living goes down.

In third place is lowering immigration, followed by tax cuts.

You can see the full survey in the chart below.

When a new government is elected, it is usually thought they can enjoy a "honeymoon" period where the public gives them time to enact change.

However, a survey of 20,000 people by IPPR and Persuasion shows this may not be the case for Sir Keir Starmer.

According to the research, voters expect most policy areas to improve in the next two or three years.

The survey also found that most constituencies think Labour should borrow extra money to invest in the economy and public services.

There is also broad support for improving workers' rights, accelerating housebuilding and a closer relationship with Europe.

And most areas of the UK also want to see greater action on climate change.

Harry Quilter-Pinner, director of policy and politics at IPPR, said: "This coalition that came together to give Labour its landslide expects bold and tangible change.

"The good news for Labour is that this coalition is more united than many think, and they are clear they want to see action on the economy, climate change and workers' rights.

"If the government can deliver on the things that matter the most, it will have a better chance of turning this temporary coalition into a permanent one, and winning a second term."

Foreign Secretary David Lammy is currently on a visit to the Middle East.

Today, he met with Isaac Herzog, the president of Israel, as well as the family of someone who was murdered on 7 October, with the body still being held in Gaza.

Mr Herzog said he had "great appreciation" for Mr Lammy making one of his first trips to Israel and the region.

Over the weekend, Mr Lammy called for an immediate ceasefire, having met with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority leader Mohammad Mustafa on Sunday.

According to Mr Herzog's spokesperson, the president told Mr Lammy that Israel is "at war with an empire of evil that wants to undermine the stability of the world and is rushing to the bomb, undermining international trade, blocking trade routes which were laid down hundreds of years ago, actually, by the British Empire as part of the world order".

He added that the main issue is hostages - and the Israeli government is working "tirelessly" to get hostages "back home".

Mr Lammy said he met with families of UK hostages last night, and he hoped to see a deal emerge in the "coming days".

The foreign secretary added that he wanted to see a ceasefire "soon".

First lady Michal Herzog also raised the issue of the "severe sexual violence" carried out by Hamas.

Mr Lammy met with the family of Tamir Adar, who was killed by Hamas, and whose body is being held in Gaza.

Sir Keir Starmer has already said he wants to "reset" the UK's relationship with the European Union.

In the wake of Brexit, the Conservative UK governments had a strained relationship with Brussels.

But the new prime minister seems to want to change that - and also appears to have the support from across the Channel too.

Today, Europe minister Nick Thomas-Symonds is heading to Brussels as part of the "reset" - and to "build closer cooperation on shared issues".

He will meet with the commission's executive vice president, Maros Sefcovic.

Mr Thomas-Symonds said: "The EU and member states are among the UK's closest friends and allies. With war in Europe, and shared global challenges, in areas such as climate change and illegal migration, a strong UK - EU alliance is vital.

"I am looking forward to meeting the executive vice president in Brussels today, it was a pleasure to speak to him immediately after my appointment last week. 

"I expect to be engaging with him and EU colleagues much more in the coming months, as we work together to help make our continent safer and more prosperous."

Mr Sefcovic said: "The EU and the UK are close neighbours, partners, and allies, sharing values as well as challenges that are global in nature.

"I am looking forward to receiving minister Thomas-Symonds to discuss ways to strengthen our cooperation, while making the most of our existing agreements that form the cornerstone of our partnership."

Following the maelstrom of activity over the past several weeks during the election, things have started to return to their usual cadence in Westminster.

For example, parliament is not sitting today - so there are no debates or committees to report on.

The Commons will be back on Tuesday - and new MPs will continue to swear the oaths to the King as they take their seats.

Then on Wednesday, it's the state opening of parliament and the King's Speech.

This mixes a big ceremonial set piece - with the monarch taking their seat on the throne in the House of Lords - with legislation and agenda setting.

The speech King Charles will make is written by the government, and will set out what the new administration wants to achieve in the next year or so.

MPs will continue to debate the speech until at least Thursday next week - and with 35 bills set to be included, there's a lot of ground to cover.

But on Thursday of this week, Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer is hosting a summit of the European Political Community on 18 June.

The EPC, which first met in October 2022, will gather at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

The group was created following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and is separate to the European Union.

Around 50 leaders from around the continent will gather at Winston Churchill's birthplace, with Sir Keir already saying he wants a closer relationship with Europe than his predecessor.

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Verizon gears up for Hurricane Beryl

Proactive measures such as robust planning, network upgrades, and mobile assets are essential to the response plan.

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HOUSTON, TX – As Hurricane Beryl approaches Texas, Verizon remains committed to keeping communities and first responders connected. Verizon's Response Team has prepared year-round to respond to extreme weather situations, like hurricanes, by taking part in emergency drills, fortifying the network infrastructure, and ensuring resources are mobilized for rapid response.

"Verizon takes great pride in providing the connectivity to power our customers’ daily lives, a responsibility we take very seriously” said Michelle R. Miller, Senior Vice President and Coastal Plains Market President, Verizon. “We are committed to keeping communities connected and supporting first responders, especially during a time of crisis. Our relentless preparations and robust network infrastructure ensure that before, during and after a storm, we're able to serve our customers." 

Verizon’s Networks Are Primed

Verizon's networks are primed to maintain connectivity even in the face of extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes. With redundancy built into critical paths and components, Verizon's network is engineered to withstand severe weather. Verizon engineers have prepared by conducting thorough checks, ensuring backup systems like batteries and generators are operational and refueled.

In readiness for potential network recovery operations, Verizon has bolstered its arsenal with:

A fleet of over 550 portable network assets, including generator-powered cell sites, drones, and a fixed-wing aircraft for aerial support.

An industry-leading 200 satellite-based portable network assets, providing crucial connectivity in scenarios where fiber connections are compromised.

More than 1,000 mobile generators to assist communities in maintaining or restoring connectivity, and rapid recovery efforts.

Verizon Frontline stands at the ready, prepared to assist first responders in any capacity needed

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team stands ready to help ensure public safety agencies on the front lines of any potential disaster response operations have the mission-critical communications capabilities they will need to achieve their missions. This team, composed primarily of former first responders and military personnel, is solely dedicated to supporting public safety customers during emergencies at no cost to the supported agencies. Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team members provide portable cell sites, WiFi hotspots, drones, charging stations and other Verizon Frontline devices and solutions that can help enable mission-critical communication and/or boost network performance.

In 2023, this team supported public safety agencies and the communities they served during three major hurricanes: Hilary, Idalia and Lee. Hurricane Idalia alone saw nearly 100 Verizon Frontline solutions delivered to public safety agencies in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina as they dealt with the aftermath of the storm.

Connectivity is essential to support local businesses and communities

Recognizing the critical role of connectivity in business continuity, Verizon Business provides a suite of solutions tailored for seamless operations during emergencies. From SD-WAN to advanced security tools, Verizon Business equips businesses with the tools needed to maintain productivity amid disruptions.

Suggested steps for businesses and government organizations include:

Mitigate customer disruption: Think about what you need to ensure continuous service to your customers, and what software and equipment your business needs to continue operations. Make a detailed list, including service contracts and warranty information and all pertinent phone numbers for local authorities, utility companies, suppliers, and vendors. Speak with your insurance agent and suppliers, and ensure you are protected with the right business insurance policies.

The right tech makes an impact: Ensure you have the right technology to support your business connectivity needs assuming you might need to move away from your primary location.

Contacts and documents are key: Make sure you have contact information updated and readily available for all employees, including at-home information for remote workers and branch information for satellite offices. Make copies of insurance documents, review insurance coverages, and update as appropriate.

Test, test, and test again: Stress-test primary and backup networks and shore up any weak areas.

Keep track of equipment: Ensure employees working from home have documented all corporate equipment being used to work from home in case of damage or loss.

Have a backup plan: Ensure backup plans are in place to shift work in case work-from-home employees in a storm-impacted area have to evacuate their home or their home loses commercial power.

Are you ready for the next storm?

Verizon’s team works year-round to ensure it's ready to respond to any type of disaster. With the storm season approaching, now is the time for families to prepare at home as well. When a storm is forecast:

Keep devices dry: While many phones today have some degree of water resistance, you still want to take some extra care to ensure phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment remain dry and accessible. Plastic zipper storage bags help shield devices, and there are weatherproof phones, phone cases and other protective accessories available.

Keep devices fully charged: Make sure your device is ready when you need it by keeping phone and tablet batteries fully charged in case commercial power goes out.

Get some backup: When power is out for an extended period of time, portable battery packs can be a game-changer to ensure you remain connected. Don’t forget your car chargers as well in case you need to evacuate.

Create a list: Keep a list of emergency numbers in your phone so that you have them if needed.

Be prepared for loss: Take pictures of valuables and other important belongings for possible insurance claims. And make sure they’re uploaded to the cloud so you have a backup.

Review checklists: Review the hurricane preparedness checklist, power outage checklist and other resources from the American Red Cross.

Download useful apps: There are plenty of free weather, news, and safety-related apps available for download to your smartphone.

Verizon is Committed to its Employees

As part of its commitment to its employees, Verizon supports its workforce through initiatives like the VtoV Employee Relief Fund. First created in 2013, the fund provides aid for Verizon employees affected by natural disasters or emergencies.

More information

Visit our Emergency Resource Center at https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center for further details on Verizon's emergency response capabilities.

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Sri Lanka becomes the second country in the South-East Asia Region to initiate the capacity building for Health Emergency Operations Centres

From 25 to 28 June 2024, Sri Lanka initiated the capacity building package rollout for Health Emergency Operations Centres (HEOC) in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 requirements to develop, strengthen and maintain their capacities to respond promptly and effectively to public health risks and emergencies in a collaborative effort with Disaster Preparedness and Response Division of Ministry of Health, WHO and Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany. The overall objective of the capacity building efforts is to strengthen the capacities of the national and subnational Health Emergency Operations Centres (HEOCs) to effectively and efficiently prepare for and respond to health emergencies in Sri Lanka.

A capacity building needs assessment was conducted prior to the detailed planning process for project activities.  The assessment, which included national and subnational experts and participants, identified the current status of the national and subnational HEOCs and set priorities for the country-specific adaptation of the business continuity plan.

Based on the results of the capacity building needs assessment a 3-day capacity building workshop was held for 37 national and sub national participants with an additional day for  skill building for master training.  The sub-objectives of country-specific capacity building workshops included an analysis of areas which need strengthening to structure roadmaps at sub-national level for further improvement, and the development of guiding documents such as the HEOC handbook for national and sub-national levels which are needed to efficiently operate HEOCs.  

The Joint External Evaluation of the IHR core capacities conducted in 2023 identified the need to extend the subnational HEOC coverage, capacity and auditing to all districts in a phased manner based on risk.  

To achieve the mandates of the IHR (2005) and to address health consequences of emergencies, Member States (MS) in the South-East Asia Region of WHO have been improving their HEOCs and/or established dedicated HEOCs within their Ministries of Health to strengthen communication and coordination during public health response. While the initial focus has been placed on information and communication technology (ICT) and the physical HEOC infrastructure, the effective activation and operation of a HEOC equally depends on adequate plans, procedures and protocols. These need to be known, exercised and adapted on a regular basis.

The National Health Emergency Operations Centre (NHEOC) in Sri Lanka was established in 2004 in the aftermath of the tsunami and the physical NHEOC at the premises of the Ministry of Health was established in 2008. Since then, eight subnational Health Emergency Operations centres were established in the most vulnerable districts.  

The National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) Strategic Plan  2024-2028 and the two-year operational plan  identified the need for strengthening of NHEOC and sub-national HEOCs through a capacity building needs assessment, and country-specific modules developed for training, while the standard operative procedure for HEOC developed in 2019 needs to be updated and  the procedures needing to be practiced through simulation exercises.

The Robert Koch Institute has a long-standing experience in the planning, setting up and operation of a HEOC at the national level, as well as in providing HEOC-related training and simulation exercises at both national and international level. In 2021,  Project on Training for Health Emergency Operations Centres II (ProTECt II) started the piloting phase of a HEOC capacity building package (CBP).

The CBP aimed to a) refresh knowledge on international HEOC standards and b) assess the existing setup of the national and subnational HEOC and develop roadmaps for the sub national-level.

The scope of training for HEOC based on the assessment included HEOC principles and core components, risk assessment and operations readiness, incident management system, incident action plan, HEOC roles and functions learning experience from RKI, regional and Sri Lanka experience, HEOC modes of operation  (watch, alert, response), surge response capacities, HEOC activation and deactivation, monitoring and evaluation, after action reviews and a tabletop simulation exercise.  

The priorities that  need to be further enhanced following the initial training was identified by the participants. These include expanding the training for the districts not included in the current training, cascading training for technical staff from the districts that core staff were trained,  finalizing the HEOC handbook for national and subnational level, following up on the sub-national roadmaps developed and a functional simulation exercise to be conducted within six months to assess the overall effect of all the capacity building activities. This list of priorities will guide the future activities to strengthen HEOC capacities within the ProTECt project in 2025.

Participant attending the Capacity Building Training for Health Emergency Operations Centres

A Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) is a hub for the coordination of information and resources to support incident management activities, and integrates traditional public health services into an emergency management model. It supports health sector at national and sub national level and is a component of existing national disaster management authorities or entities. The HEOC plays a critical role in preparedness and response activities to health emergencies. In 2015, WHO published the “Framework for a Public Health Emergency Operations Centre”  which outlines the key concepts and essential requirements for developing and managing a HEOC.

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  6. An In-Depth Guide to Emergency Response Plan

    An emergency response plan is a document that outlines the crucial steps in the first few minutes of a disaster, whether it be man-made or natural, or in any dire situation that threatens life and the environment. The initial response to any emergency is critical to containing the threat, minimizing further damage, and saving lives.

  7. 10 Key Components Of An Emergency Management Plan

    Explore the 10 essential elements of a robust Emergency Management Plan, ensuring preparedness and effective response in crises.

  8. Prepare for emergencies

    Step 2: Create a plan. Your response plan is your roadmap to recovery, so it should be tailored to your business's specific needs and operations. It should address immediate priorities and be easy to access. Checklists and online toolkits are effective resources to help you develop your plan. Consider the following:

  9. 10 Steps to Creating an Emergency Response Plan for Your Business

    Learn the 10 steps to creating an emergency response plan for your business so you can effectively respond to emergencies and protect occupants.

  10. PDF Emergency Response Planning Guide

    An emergency response plan helps eliminate or minimize the loss in case a fire does occur. The appropriate response depends on the internal and external resources (such as Fire Department) available.

  11. Emergency Plans

    Emergency Plans. The process for creating a business's preparedness plans should encompass as much as possible of what a business might need during an emergency. This includes communications planning, IT support and recovery, and continuity plans.

  12. Business Emergency Plan: 7 Steps for Disaster Preparedness

    The time is now to create a disaster preparedness plan. These steps will help you evaluate potential threats to your business and keep your company safe.

  13. PDF How to prepare an emergency response plan for your small business

    How to prepare an emergency response plan for your small business Emergencies and disasters can occur any time without warning. The more you are prepared for them, the better you will be able to act, minimizing panic and confusion when an emergency occurs. Relatively speaking, small businesses may have more to lose than large companies when a disaster — natural or otherwise — strikes ...

  14. PDF How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations

    When you include your employees in your planning,encourage them to offer suggestions about potential hazards, worst-case scenarios, and proper emergency responses. After you develop the plan, review it with your employees to make sure everyone knows what to do before, during and after an emergency.

  15. OSHA Emergency Response Plan: A Brief Guide and Checklist

    Need to ensure you're OSHA compliant? Check out our emergency response plan guide and checklist to get started.

  16. Develop or Update an Emergency Response Plan

    For use by community water systems serving a population between 3,301 and 99,999 as they develop or revise emergency response plans.

  17. PDF Emergency Response Plan

    Medical Emergency Plan. If a medical emergency is reported, dial 9-1-1 and request an ambulance. Provide the following information: Nearest entrance (emergency access point) Alert trained employees (members of the medical response team) to respond to the victim's location and bring a first aid kit or AED.

  18. PDF Company Emergency Response Plan (CERP)

    This version of our emergency plan builds from the core processes that work to expand our capabilities with new roles and resources that enhance our emergency response and restoration. Some of the enhancements in our Plan are: Details about the Public Safety Power Shutoff program

  19. PDF Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan

    This emergency plan applies to all employees, contract employees, guests, and visitors to the Company during normal office hours, unless noted below:

  20. Strategies for Success: Preparing Practical Crisis Response and

    It's critical for companies to have a basic crisis playbook that can be overlaid with a customized response, factoring in the variables of each emergency, such as location, terrain, and the number of employees involved. Although excellent in concept, 300-page resiliency plans mire decision makers in an overload of information.

  21. CenterPoint activates emergency response plan in preparation for Beryl

    CenterPoint said its emergency response plan is an "all-hands-on-deck" approach, which means contractors and resources are brought in from around the country.

  22. Hurricane Beryl

    Governor Abbott Provides Update On State Response To Hurricane Beryl; Governor Abbott Increases Readiness Level Of State Emergency Operations Center Ahead Of Hurricane Beryl; Governor Abbott Directs TDEM To Issue Hurricane Beryl Advisory Notice For Texas Emergency Management Council

  23. Hurricane Beryl

    By request, TSLAC is sharing information from the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), a public-private partnership between FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, with resources to help your libraries and patrons with post-storm recovery. ... How a "Library of Things" Became an Emergency Response Plan Upcoming Webinar: Librarians ...

  24. Heat-ex

    Heat-ex Elektrostal postal code 144002. See Google profile, Phone, Website and more for this business. 0.5 Cybo Score. Heat-ex is working in General contractors, Heating installation and repair activities. Review on Cybo.

  25. What is Project 2025? What to know about the conservative blueprint for

    The Heritage Foundation's Project 2025 includes a detailed blueprint for the next Republican president to usher in a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch.

  26. Politics latest: 'Emergency' prisons plan revealed

    The new government is expanding the early release scheme to ease pressure on prisons amid a lack of spaces - amid calls to go further and decriminalise drug posession.

  27. Verizon gears up for Hurricane Beryl

    HOUSTON, TX - As Hurricane Beryl approaches Texas, Verizon remains committed to keeping communities and first responders connected. Verizon's Response Team has prepared year-round to respond to extreme weather situations, like hurricanes, by taking part in emergency drills, fortifying the network infrastructure, and ensuring resources are mobilized for rapid response.

  28. 15 men brought to military enlistment office after mass brawl in Moscow

    Local security forces brought 15 men to a military enlistment office after a mass brawl at a warehouse of the Russian Wildberries company in Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast on Feb. 8, Russian Telegram channel Shot reported. 29 people were also taken to police stations. Among the arrested were citizens of Kyrgyzstan.

  29. State Housing Inspectorate of the Moscow Region

    About State Housing Inspectorate of the Moscow Region is located in Elektrostal. State Housing Inspectorate of the Moscow Region is working in Public administration activities. You can contact the company at 8 (496) 575-02-20. You can find more information about State Housing Inspectorate of the Moscow Region at gzhi.mosreg.ru.

  30. Sri Lanka becomes the second country in the South-East Asia Region to

    From 25 to 28 June 2024, Sri Lanka initiated the capacity building package rollout for Health Emergency Operations Centres (HEOC) in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 requirements to develop, strengthen and maintain their capacities to respond promptly and effectively to public health risks and emergencies in a collaborative effort with Disaster Preparedness and ...