chapter  14
38 Pages

Emergency Preparedness

A substantial part of this book has so far focused on how to improve the safety of maritime activities, primarily through the implementation of risk-reducing measures. If the safety work is effective the number of accidents will be reduced, but the chance of an accident occurring will always exist as no activity or system is 100% reliable and safe, mainly because of human involvement. The role of emergency preparedness, also known as contingency planning, is that of being ready to take the necessary and correct actions in the undesirable event that an unforeseen accident occurs. Emergency preparedness also includes being ready to initiate proper mitigating actions in the event that incidents threaten to escalate into a major accident with serious consequences for people, property and the environment. One thing is definitely certain: many accidents could have had less serious consequences if the right actions had been made at the right time and in the right place. Emergency preparedness requires that one makes the necessary planning and training proactively, i.e. before something undesirable happens.