The advantages of using a risk management approach to contingency / emergency planning.
In this article John Salter explores the factors that influence good contingency planning and provides a framework to follow to develop an effective ‘emergency risk management framework.
Policy implementation means putting some management strategy into practice and includes the process of progressive change in the specific management practices as a function of feedback gained by testing or rehearsal or by direct experience with risk (Perry & Mushkatel, 1984:9). This emphasis on process is fundamental. Planning is an active verb. Plans should be dynamic products – supportive outputs. The outcome is preparedness – a state (of being).
This distinction between plans and planning is well reinforced by Enrico Quarantelli, a doyen of disaster preparedness who defines (disaster) planning as “a process...which involves all of those activities, practices interactions, relationships, and so forth, which over the short or long run are intended to improve the response pattern at times of (disaster) impact”. (Quarantelli, 1987:15)
If an initial question is ‘should I place significance on a plan?’, we suggest the answer is ‘yes...but’ only if the plan is derived from a dynamic, ongoing, iterative process.
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Author: John Salter, Director, EPCB
•Date: 28th Sept 2007• Region: Australia/World •Type: Article •Topic: BC planning
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