Southhampton, PA – May 2004 – According to Pat Goelz, partner at Emergency Preparedness Partnerships, a surprising number of organizations large and small, public or private, profit or nonprofit generally share an alarming problem: inadequate emergency planning. That’s the message Pat Goelz sent as the speaker for the Southampton Business and Professional Association monthly meeting at the Davisville Baptist Church.
“The problem is that emergencies can be, by their nature, infrequent and unpredictable,” explained Goelz. “As a result, an ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ condition can set in. With too many organizations, emergency planning becomes a priority only after an emergency has struck.”
An engineer who has written, administered and evaluated emergency plans and drills for major corporations, Goelz says every organization owes itself the protection of at least a basic emergency or business continuity plan.
“Emergency planning does not need to be a prohibitively expensive task,” explained EPP’s Goelz. “It starts with identifying the person responsible for designing and maintaining your plan and a management goal to exercise and revise the plan according to lessons learned. After that, potential hazards and their likely impacts need to be identified; then preventive or mitigating actions should be developed, along with support processes and the identification of responsible personnel, their roles and responsibilities.”
“Of course, the larger the organization, the more complex that task becomes, but even smaller organizations should seek the help of their local Office of Emergency Management for coordination and advice, Goelz suggested.”