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Pre-Incident Planning: The Most Important Step in Hazmat Preparedness

Pre-Incident Planning: The Most Important Step in Hazmat Preparedness

The Chemical Safety Board has identified through 14 investigations that community’s, facility’s or emergency responder’s response to chemical incidents have been deficient. They have issued 46 recommendations that cross-sect multiple areas of emergency planning, preparedness and response. After analyzing these incidents across the phases of emergency management, one thing is clear: effective pre-incident planning could have prevented a disaster, mitigated the crisis or improved the response and recovery significantly.

What is pre-incident planning? It is collaborative planning at facilities during the pre-incident phase that enables all stakeholder (public safety, private sector and transporters) to anticipate, identify, and assess potential hazards that could present during an incident. Guidance for this process is outlined in NFPA Standard 1620, Pre-incident Planning. The output from this process is a shared plan among responders to identify the location and quantity of hazards; data on building construction and occupants; schematic drawings depicting fire suppression systems, water sources, and hydrants. This is also an opportunity to conduct some modeling and incident analysis and include these projected effects in the plan to support decision making during response.

Why is pre-incident planning so important? Communities and facilities are required to participate in emergency planning under EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act under certain conditions. OSHA requires facilities to develop an Emergency Action Plan to address employee health and safety. However, these regulatory requirements leave several gaps that can be addressed through pre-incident planning since both the private company and the public responders will be required to work together in a unified manner if there is an incident at a private facility which could impact the public.

Join us on May 21st at 2pm for a presentation on how to get started with pre-incident planning at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo (#AIHceEXP) in Philadelphia.

Presenter: Bob Campbell, PE has over 21 year of emergency planning, response and ESH experience. He has led the way in designing, developing and delivering nation-wide training programs in support of emergency responders, private industry and the military. As a FEMA and DoD subject matter expert, he has designed training programs that address our nation’s greatest challenges in Hazmat/CBRN preparedness. His company delivers training that addresses emerging trends with innovative approaches to strengthen preparedness and reduce risks to the public. He is a contributing author to the Handbook of Emergency Response (CRC Press 2014) and has presented at state, national and international conferences.

Pre-Incident Plan Template