Phase of Preparation

The Importance of the Planning Process in Emergency Response

The preparation process offers a forum for policymakers and partners to build " (FEMA, 2014). The six phases in the emergency planning process include: " (FEMA, 2013). The amount of commitment to be implemented in the six separate phases of the planning process is recommended by FEMA. FEMA provides the overall effort for each of the six steps in the planning process.

Forming a Collaborative Planning Team

I believe the recommended effort by FEMA is correct as it considers the different aspects that have to be considered in the various stages and allow the plan to achieve the desired goals holistically. The recommended effort in the first step, forming a collaborative planning team is 10% of overall effort allowing the formation of emergency response team including members from different fields to contribute critical perspectives (FEMA, 2013). Members of the business community, civic leaders, and organizations should be included in the planning team.

Understanding the Situation

The bulk of the overall effort is allocated to the next three steps of the planning process, understand the situation (25%), determine goals and objectives (20%), and plan development (20%). These steps are most important and more effort should be applied as they determine the chances of success or failure of a plan. Understanding the situation is allocated the highest percentage of effort because it offers a platform for later stages and is the most critical in the planning process. This stage allows for the development of factual basis from in-depth research, identification of operational and physical effects, and generation of the scope and intent of the planning process. These aspects are critical in guiding the planning team and prepare to make informed decisions that improve the effectiveness of the planning process to achieve the goals.

Determining Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives determination stage also require substantive effort as recommended by FEMA. The stage sets the platform for evaluating the performance of the planning process by developing the mission statement, identifying the phases of planning and the core objectives at each stage. According to FEMA (2014), the stage allows for the "clear definition of the mission and supporting goals enabling unity of effort and consistency of purpose among multiple groups and activities." The step ensures the team members understand their roles and understand the expected output of the intervention.

Plan Development

Assigning the plan development stage 20% of overall effort shows its importance in the planning process by allowing the team to come up with the problems that need intervention, develop strategies, avenues, and course of action. The planning team also makes recommendations in line with the available resources and capabilities. The stage is also critical as the planning team analyzes the available resources and skills and offers members brainstorm the courses of action to achieve the objectives.

Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval

The fifth stage is plan preparation, review and approval allocated 15% of overall effort and culminates from the undertakings in the previous stages. The step is critical as the views and suggestions expressed in stage four of the planning process are refined and put on paper. The step is also crucial as it offers the team a chance to review and understand the plan better through in-depth briefing improving the chances of the plan succeeding.

Plan Revision and Updating

The last stage of the planning process takes 10% of the overall effort and involves revising and updating the plan to ensure feasibility in light of changing conditions. The step is essential in that it allows the team to make changes for plan success under different conditions occasioned by policy changes, risks, and passing the plan to program areas, staff, and operators for implementation. The planning process identifies the steps that ensure all aspects that assure better preparedness and effective intervention. The recommendations on percentage of effort for each step are correct and provide an effective planning process for emergency response.


FEMA. (2013). Developing and maintaining emergency operations plans. US Department of Homeland Security.

FEMA. (June 2014). FEMA operational planning manual. US Department of Homeland Security.

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