WHY IS PLANNING IMPORTANT? Planning is an important element in the effective management of any operation. Without plans, our actions and activities would tend to occur in a haphazard manner. Planning helps to focus efforts on meeting goals and objectives with a minimum amount of resources and time. The factors that make planning useful for the management of any project are particularly crucial in the management and control of emergencies. Emergencies are, by definition, unplanned events, but this does not mean that plans cannot be prepared for handling them. The fact that emergencies are unplanned events makes it even more critical that plans be developed to identify control strategies. Emergencies can place demands on systems and personnel that are unusual and well above the commitments normally necessary. Planning can help ensure that appropriate equipment, training, and preparations to handle the foreseeable emergencies are in place.