The headlines have been filled with stories about communities affected by disaster. These stories remind us of the need for advanced preparation. FEMA offers many useful publications to help prepare for these emergencies. Everyone can benefit from reading the following publication which offers useful suggestions to help prepare for the unexpected:
Those responsible for the reliable operation of business’s and industrial manufacturing facilities must be familiar with NFPA 1600 which is the Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business
Continuity Programs. A pdf of this publication is available free of charge from the NFPA Website:
The site requires that you create an NFPA account for which there is no charge and the pdf of this publication is available for download at no charge.
This publication is designed to aid in the development of a Disaster Recover Plan for your facility. A comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan must cover all potential hazards. These hazards may include
but not be limited to fire, flooding, hurricane, tornados, and earthquake.
Leadership should be committed to prevent, mitigate the consequences of, prepare for, respond to, maintain continuity during, and recover from incidents. Key personnel should be identified in advance along with a communication plan that includes provisions for backup when normal lines of communication are unavailable. A Program Coordinator is appointed and authorized to develop, implement, administer, evaluate, and maintain the program.
A risk assessment should be conducted to identify spare parts for critical equipment with long lead times that may be affected by an event. Qualified contractors and disaster recovery specialist should be identified that may be required to return the facility to full operation.
The publication discusses the use of an Incident Management System (IMS) which is used to facilitate command, operations, planning, logistics, finance, and administration. The location where coordination and support of incident management activities takes place is known as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). An Incident Commander oversees the recovery effort.
Temporary and emergency power may be required. The Disaster Recovery Plan should include personnel responsible and the procedures to be followed for implementation.
It may be possible to secure the facility in advance of an impending event in order to limit damage. This may involve the shutdown of mechanical and electrical systems. Critical computer and electrical
equipment may be removed or secured. Sandbags might be used to limit water damage.
After an event an initial damage assessment should be performed to establish the extent of damage to infrastructure. This assessment should help establish the financial impact and the outage time required. Many factors must be considered in the decision about whether to repair or replace equipment. Lead times, age, and reliability of equipment are factors.
Advanced planning can minimize the amount of down time and the financial impact of unexpected disasters.
Doug Deiterman – Senior Controls Engineer