In a major emergency, such as a catastrophic earthquake, response systems will be overwhelmed (e.g., police & fire departments, hospitals, utility companies, etc.). Officials tell us we will be virtually be on our own the first 72-hours. The following outline will help your organization plan and prepare to meet the needs of both your staff and the people you serve in this event.

A. Facility Preparation

Date Accomplished ____________

Indicate the location at each site where the following items, in working condition, can be found.

B. Inventory of Neighborhood Resources

Note: Contact your local Red Cross chapter for copies of their individual and family planning disaster brochures. They outline steps for developing home emergency plans. Your local Red Cross may also provide first aid and disaster preparedness training for your staff and clients.

E. Personnel Resources

(Staffing necessary for post-disaster response)

1. ____________________ 2. ____________________ 3. _______________________

F. Immediate Response in Emergencies

Inform staff of the responsibilities required of each function and assign as appropriate:

1. Site Security: Check and turn off gas, and/or electricity only if you can smell gas or if other damage is evident. Turn off water if pipes are broken or leaking.

Responsible staff person:_______________________________________________________

2. Fire Suppression: Check for and suppress small fires. Attempt to notify fire department.

Responsible staff person: ______________________________________________________

3. Search and Rescue: If evacuation is required, ensure everyone has evacuated. Quickly search the facility for people who may be trapped or injured. Help if possible. Note and record situation for other responders, including names and location.

Responsible staff person: ______________________________________________________.

4. First Aid: Administer first aid to injured persons. Note: This may require providing first aid training for selected staff persons.

Responsible staff person: ______________________________________________________.

G. Evacuation/Transportation

(Fire or structural damage may require you to evacuate your building in an emergency)

The following questions anticipate that you must evacuate your building, and that you have responsibility for the care and shelter of people you serve.

1. Temporary shelter to be used (consider churches, nearby community centers, schools, other residential facilities, etc.). You may want to develop mutual aid agreements with these sites.

Temporary shelter name: _____________________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________________________________

Contact person name: __________________________ Phone: ___________________

2. Will you need a phone list or system for letting authorities, family and friends know where you are sheltering program participants? Date phone list developed:___________________.

3. Identify and plan for alternative transportation to the shelter, or clients' homes, if necessary.

  1. Who is responsible for the care of your clients at the alternate site __________________

Name of staff person

  1. If evacuated, what will your clients need that may not be available in mass shelters?

1. _______________________________________________________

2. _______________________________________________________

H. Emergency Management -- the Incident Command System (ICS)

In a situation where you will provide disaster relief to people you serve, community organizations can develop structures for emergency work that parallels the government's Incident Command System (ICS). This clarifies the key functional areas that need your attention when responding to emergencies. Using the ICS conforms to California's Standard Emergency Management System. This increases the likelihood of your being eligible for reimbursement of disaster-related costs.

Please indicate which staff persons are responsible for the following emergency functions:

* In community agencies, these functions can be assumed by the same staff person or by volunteers.

1. Incident Command - the person who will lead. This person manages the overall response effort including the other functions below. Generally this position is filled by the agency director.

Responsible staff person:_______________________________ Home phone:_____________

2. Operations - the person who will do the work. Has responsibility for whatever the agency does in an emergency to respond to client needs. Directs the carrying out of initial response functions, some of which may be delegated to other staff identified in Section F (e.g., utility checks, fire suppression, search and rescue, and first aid).

Responsible staff person:______________________________ Home phone:____________

3. Logistics - the person to get the resources. Responsible for getting everything operations (above) needs to function to ensure the health and safety of clients, staff and volunteers.

Responsible staff person:______________________________ Home phone:____________

4. Finance - the person who will track all activities and costs. Oversees the processing and documenting of all disaster-related costs (includes keeping track of all receipts, etc.). This person must also ensure there are safe backup copies for the following agency documents:

1. Articles of Incorporation (e.g., verification of tax exempt status);

2. Recent Photographs documenting the interior and exterior of your facility;

3. Insurance Documentation,

4. Licensing documentation, if appropriate;

5. Updated Mission Statement on your letterhead.

Responsible staff person:______________________________ Home phone:____________

5. Information/Planning - keeps everyone in the know. Gathers facts and provides current information on the agency situation. Projects short (i.e., what are we going to do in the next 24-hours), and longer term needs for client and agency recovery.

Responsible staff person:______________________________ Home phone:____________

I. Ensuring Service Continuation

(Building Collaborations -- What is needed to continue providing services after a disaster)


1. ______________________________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________________________

1. _______________________________________________________________________

2. _______________________________________________________________________

3. _______________________________________________________________________

This plan was produced by the Bay Area Emergency Preparedness Coalition for Seniors and People with Disabilities It was adapted from Creating a Workable Disaster Plan for Your Agency produced by VOICE of Contra Costa County and from the Earthquake Preparedness Guidelines for Large Retirement Complexes and Large Residential Care Facilities produced by the Bay Area Regional Earthquake Preparedness Project. 5/27/97