Preparedness Bulletins

Our Preparedness Bulletins provide detailed guidance for development, implementation, and evaluation of your preparedness program.

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Emergency Operations Plans



Download our program self-assessment checklist that is based on NFPA 1600. It includes more than 200 questions to help you evaluate your preparedness program.


Resilience is not a finish line, rather it is a continuous process that engages safety, security, HR, operations, engineering, supply chain, IT, risk management, and others. It begins with identifying assets that are critical to the success of the organization—people, operations, facilities, supporting infrastructure and technologies, machinery and equipment, supply chain, and more. Resilience should also encompass reputation and relationships with stakeholders.


Integrated Program Management

Coordinated development and implementation of program elements can reap significant benefits including an enhanced understanding and treatment of risks, enhanced response capabilities, better outcomes, reduced costs, and a reduction in duplicative efforts. Planning for emergencies, continuity and recovery of operations, and the protection of the organization’s reputation and relationship with stakeholders requires teams at all levels to work together.


Auditing Your Preparedness Program

Will your preparedness program safeguard lives if there is a fire or active shooter? Will business continuity strategies enable you to continue priority operations when your building can’t be reoccupied? Will your communications plan enable you to quickly and effectively communicate with your customers and stakeholders as news is tweeted and blogged soon after emergency vehicles arrive? Auditing your program will answer these questions and identify opportunities for program improvement.

Risk Assessment

Conduct a risk assessment to identify the threats and hazards that could cause unacceptable impacts to the assets of your organization. Potential impacts are determined by the location and magnitude of the hazard, and vulnerabilities of the infrastructure, site, buildings, operations, systems, equipment, and people. A comprehensive risk assessment will provide a picture of risk that can be used to prioritize hazard mitigation and build other preparedness programs.


Business Impact Analysis

A BIA is a management-level analysis that identifies the potential impacts of business interruption and their escalation over time. Loss of revenue, loss of market share, deferred revenue (cash flow), increased expenses, regulatory fines, and contractual penalties (or loss of incentive bonuses) can be estimated. Impacts on relationships with customers, regulators, and other stakeholders are also considered.


Supply Chain Risk

There are many potential causes for supplier failure, and the impact to business operations can be significant. Analysis of supplier risk should begin by identifying the products that generate the most value to the organization. Next, identify the suppliers for those product lines. Survey all suppliers that are sole or single source then others that are considered highly valued. Construct a risk survey to help you understand the resiliency of your critical suppliers.

Emergency Operations Plans

The number one priority of emergency operations is to safeguard life. Other objectives include protection of property, the environment, and the organization’s reputation. An emergency operations plan that is risk-based, makes best use of available internal and external resources, and is executable by an organization with defined roles and responsibilities is essential.


Incident Management System

An incident management system (IMS) is an essential capability to execute plans to protect lives, property, business operations, the environment, reputations, and stakeholder relationships. An IMS can and should be used for all incidents planned, forecast, or occurring that require activation of emergency operations, business continuity, IT disaster recovery, and crisis management plans.


Protective Actions for Life Safety

Emergency plans should include actions to protect life safety from foreseeable hazards identified during the risk assessment. Protective actions include evacuation, lockdown, and shelter-in-place. If an armed perpetrator is inside a building threatening or actively using a weapon to harm people, occupants must know whether to “run” from the building; “hide” from the perpetrator(s) (also known as “lockdown”), or “fight” (counter) the perpetrator.

Acts of Violence

Active shooter, homegrown violent extremist, lone wolf, and “run, hide, fight” are relatively new to our vocabulary as the concern over acts of violence has grown. In this bulletin, acts of violence are defined; statistics are provided; and detailed guidance for the prevention and mitigation of, response to, and recovery from, multiple acts of violence are offered to help with the development of a preparedness program.


Civil Unrest

Riots have plagued the United States for decades and 2020 saw months-long protests and violence. This bulletin provides guidance on recognizing civil unrest, understanding perpetrators' weapons and tactics, and how to conduct a security and vulnerability risk assessment. It lists actions for physical and operational security, life safety, preparedness for demonstrations, and response to civil unrest.


Thunderstorms, Lightning, Tornadoes

Summer is thunderstorm season, and thunderstorms bring lightning, heavy rainfall, hail, and tornadoes. Resulting fatalities, property damage, and losses from business interruption are significant. Natural hazards can’t be prevented, but emergency management can protect life, mitigation can reduce property damage, and business continuity planning can speed recovery and reduce operational impacts.

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season begins each year on June 1. No matter the forecast for number of storms, major hurricanes, and land-falling hurricanes, it only takes one storm to cause many deaths and billions in damages. “Superstorm” Sandy was not technically a hurricane when it made landfall, but it caused billions in damages. Recovery efforts continue years later.

Flood Preparedness

Melting snow can combine with rain in the winter and early spring; severe thunderstorms can bring heavy rain in the spring and summer; or tropical cyclones can bring intense rainfall to the coastal and inland states in the summer and fall. Flash floods occur within six hours of a rain event, after a dam or levee failure, or following a sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam.

Arctic Freeze & Winter Storms

Updated 2021. Before the heavy snow warnings are broadcast and the frigid blasts of arctic weather arrive, it’s important to prepare your facility and your employees. Preparations before the severe weather can save costly damage to equipment and facilities and maintain important fire and life safety systems. Plans should also include actions to be taken if power or other utilities are interrupted.





NFPA 1600