Emergency Response Planning / Development of Emergency Response Scenario Plans

As much as emergency scenarios may be unforeseen, the impacts of an emergency event on an organisation can be minimised through sound planning.  A key element of this planning is a clear understanding of what could go wrong and what systems are required to respond to each plausible event.

R4Risk can assist its clients in the development of emergency response scenario plans.  These scenario plans provide the client with the information necessary to manage an emergency should such an unfortunate event occur.  The scenarios plans can also be used as very effective training tools, enabling personnel and systems to be tested against the requirements of each scenario.

The key steps in the development of an Emergency Response Scenario Plan are as follows:

1. Hazard Identification

This step consists of a review of the operations at the facility to identify a selection of credible scenarios for analysis.

2. Consequence Assessment

The impacts of each scenario must be assessed.  For incidents involving dangerous goods, this is done using specialised consequence modelling software.  For incidents impacting on facility / operation, the impact would be determined based on the expected business interruption and property loss.

3. Identification of Existing Protection and Mitigation Systems

Existing systems that would assist in the management of the incident being analysed are identified.  The expected effectiveness of these systems is also qualitatively assessed.

4. Determination of System Performance Requirements

The potential impacts of the scenario is reviewed to determine the performance requirements that the Protection and Mitigation systems should satisfy in order to be effective in managing the particular scenario.

5. Identification of Additional Protection and Mitigation Systems Requirements

In cases where the protection and mitigation systems have been identified as being inadequate, additional measures would be identified and proposed to enable the scenario under analysis to be managed satisfactorily.  The details of measures that are considered during the analysis, but ultimately rejected would be recorded also for future client reference.

For the specific case of dangerous goods, the development of emergency response scenarios plans also aids in the compliance with regulatory responsibilities associated with their storage and handling.  Further to the management of emergencies involving dangerous goods, the development process for emergency response scenario plans can also include a review of the applicable fire systems (e.g. fire detection, fire protection and fire suppression systems) and an assessment of the escalation potential of the scenario.  To aid clarity in an emergency situation, the expected impact zones can also be shown graphically on a site plot plan, including relevant information on emergency response systems (e.g. fire systems) to provide emergency response personnel with the information needed to manage the emergency.

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