Emergency Planning and Response
This chapter addresses planning for emergencies and how to respond appropriately when they occur. A well-designed emergency plan that is understood by the individuals responsible for action, as well as by the public, can ease concerns over emergencies and reduce “chemophobia.” People will react during an emergency; how they react can be somewhat controlled through education. When ignorance is pervasive, the likely behavior during an emergency is panic. Emergency planning should grow out of a team process coordinated by a leader. The team may be the best vehicle for including in the planning process people representing various areas of expertise, thus producing a more meaningful and complete plan. A survey of hazards or foreseeable threats in the community must be performed and evaluated to characterize potential disasters by type and extent. Without such information, an appropriate plan cannot be developed. An inventory of the community protection assets, hazard sources, and risks must be completed before the actual plan is written.