I recently read an excellent article from EHS Today that discussed the “five planning P’s” of emergency response. The article was written from a facility manager’s point of view, but I think the framework is intriguing and definitely applies to utility emergency response and outage restoration efforts.
Five P’s of Emergency Response
According to the EHS article, there are 5 P’s associated with emergency response:
- Predict: Events with advanced warning – like hurricanes and blizzards – can be predicted with relative certainty thanks to today’s highly advanced weather prediction algorithms.
- Prepare: Emergency plans must be written to cover a wide range of events, as each type of event will generally warrant a specific response protocol.
- Protect: As always, safety is priority #1.
- Practice: Emergency plans and procedures must be practiced by regularly conducting employee training, as well as emergency exercises and drills.
- Patrol: This refers to the process of continuously updating the plan to keep it up to date with current happenings, trends and post-event learnings.
It’s another version of the typical emergency planning cycle of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation, but I think the five P framework is useful because it highlights important elements such as advance warning / prediction, practicing (i.e., training, exercises and drills) and debriefing to keep the plan as up-to-date as possible.
The bottom line is that, no matter what framework your company uses, being prepared must follow some sort of logical pattern. As far as the specific type of pattern, well, that is largely up to you and/or your organization. But again, the idea is to follow a framework, and what framework is chosen is never a right or wrong proposition because every company is different, even those within the same industry or utility sector. In other words, select the best framework for YOU!