Why an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is Essential for Your Organization

The primary objective and ultimate goal of any Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is to ensure the safety of your employees by protecting their lives.

The ERP is a carefully developed plan that is designed to ensure your personnel can effectively respond to numerous emergency situations while also complying with applicable government emergency response regulations and standards. The plan is specific to your organization and explains how to effectively prevent/mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all incidents and emergencies.  All individuals affected by your ERP need to be familiar with their roles and able to perform their assigned functions within the plan.

Goals of the Plan

While the primary goal of any ERP is always to prevent incidents before they happen, it must also prepare personnel within your organization to respond safely and effectively if an incident does occur. Other goals of the ERP are to establish and maintain the procedures, plans, resources, and roles that will:

  • Reduce or remove the effects of emergency incidents and prevent exposures from turning into larger emergency incidents
  • Prepare for and respond to emergencies
  • Activate, mobilize, and coordinate all necessary resources and activities to manage the emergency’s immediate consequences
  • Restore the affected area back to pre-incident or better condition and learn from the event.

Objectives of the Plan

To accomplish these goals, an ERP must include the following objectives:

  • Complete hazard identification and consequence analysis to develop specific emergency procedures and plans.
  • Train all personnel who may be involved in a response.
  • Maintain competent and sufficient resources and service providers.
  • Complete exercises to test the plan and procedures.
  • Consult, communicate with, and inform the public and other external agencies, as appropriate, of the procedures, plans, and training materials to educate and prepare those who may be involved in or affected by an emergency.
  • Develop, implement, establish, and report on controls to prevent, manage, and mitigate conditions during an emergency.
  • Regularly evaluate and continually improve incident management, regulatory requirements, and community relations plans and protocols.
  • Transition from the emergency phase to the recovery phase to ensure that sites are remediated.
  • Communicate lessons learned from exercises and events as part of the continuous improvement of the ERP.

Everyone Needs a Plan

Every business, facility, field-site, and organization should have an emergency response plan. All personnel must be trained in ERP procedures and how to react to any emergency situation. An ERP cannot be generic and must include site-specific details that are unique to a facility and situation. An effective ERP is developed and implemented to ensure that all personnel can respond to emergency situations in a consistent, methodical, and organized manner for the protection of employees, visitors, contractors and anyone else in the organization. Spark Thought can help your organization develop a functional ERP and implement it.


Spark Thought is a strategic consulting firm that provides operations and management support services to a wide range of clients, in multiple industries. Our services include: Knowledge Management, Regulatory Compliance, Technical Writing, Collaboration and Portals, and Instructional Design.