Preparedness takes the form of plans or procedures designed to save lives and to minimize damage when an emergency occurs. Planning, training, and exercising are the essential elements of preparedness. These activities ensure that when a disaster strikes, emergency personnel will be able to provide the best response possible.
Preparedness activities may include:
Establishing an incident command system (ICS) consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for organizing personnel and services to respond in the event of an emergency.
Developing all-hazard policies, procedures, and protocols with input from key community partners such as law enforcement, medical services, public health, fire services, and mental health.
Collaborating with community partners to establish mutual aid agreements that will establish formal interdisciplinary, intergovernmental, and interagency relationships among all the community partners and campus departments.
Negotiating contracts that will provide the campus with resources (e.g., food, transportation, medical services, and volunteers) needed during an emergency.
Assigning personnel to manage each ICS function and defining lines of succession in emergency plan as to who is in charge when key leaders are not available.
Preparedness is not limited to the emergency response community. You should take steps to ensure that you are personally prepared for emergencies and disasters, both at work and home. See the EHS Personal Preparedness web page for more information.