What an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is

Actions taken within the initial minutes of an emergency can largely dictate the severity of consequences. In this case, “severity of consequences” can involve terrible financial, environmental, material, and/or human losses. Your company needs a plan of action to follow when emergencies strike in order to minimize damages.

An emergency response plan is something that companies use to address many different types of emergency situations. It will include:

  • Who to contact;
  • How to act; and
  • Resources to use.

The priorities for any ERP are, in this order:

  1. Protection and safe conduct;
  2. Mitigation/stabilization of the dangerous condition; and
  3. Cleanup of incident, whether this be physical cleanup or conceptual.

ERPs should address only the highest risk situations. They are critical for high quality responsive risk management You might call an “emergency response plan” a “catastrophic situation plan.”

Emergency Response Plan Graphic

What an ERP Should Include

Emergency response plans should be organized into chapters and sub-chapters. Each chapter will categorize a type of emergency. Within each chapter will be numerous sub-chapters, each of which cover a specific emergency OR a separate task.

As said, emergency response plans need to include who to contact, how to act, and resources to use. In more detail, this means that each chapter should:

  • Have a list of people to contact, in order, with contact numbers;
  • The list of contact people might be organized by their response category, such as Hangar Fire Contacts, Aircraft Fire Contacts, etc.
  • The safety duties and responsibilities of each role in the company for a given emergency, such as CEO responsibilities, safety manager responsibilities, etc.;
  • Actions required to maintain safety;
  • Actions required to mitigate the danger;
  • Actions required cleanup incident, if applicable; and
  • What resources are best used to mitigate the emergency.

This “manual” can be an actual physical copy of your ERP, one documented in aviation safety software, or one documented on a server.