Emergency Preparedness and Response: What You Need to Know

The Emergency Preparedness and Response Program (EPR) is a vital part of the National Response Framework, designed to prepare for and respond to chemical, biological, radiological and natural disasters. It integrates and evaluates occupational safety and health issues to protect response and recovery workers. Good planning is essential for a successful response, and emergency preparedness programs allow emergency personnel to identify, evaluate and react quickly to a wide range of emergencies. The NRC's Office of Nuclear Safety and Incident Response (NSIR) has primary responsibility for these essential agency functions.

The first step in developing an emergency response plan is to perform a risk assessment to identify potential emergency scenarios. This will help you determine resource requirements and develop plans and procedures to prepare your business. The emergency plan must be consistent with your performance objectives. When people experience a disaster, they can experience a variety of reactions, many of which are natural responses to difficult situations.

Most people show resilience after a disaster, which is the ability to recover, cope with adversity and endure difficult situations. Fortunately, resiliency in disaster recovery is normal, not extraordinary, and people demonstrate this capacity regularly. Using supportive resources to address stress and other difficulties is a critical component of resilience. Emergency responses to releases of hazardous substances are covered by the OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard (29 CFR 1910.120). Training completion documentation will be maintained in the individual's personnel file or in a file designated for emergency preparedness and response plan documents.

Larger industrial operations may have special fire brigades or emergency response units trained to perform shutdowns and other emergency procedures when other workers need to evacuate. Emergency response organizations must coordinate with employers in their jurisdictions to ensure that they are prepared to safely respond to and perform necessary rescue operations in workplaces that may pose unique or particularly hazardous conditions for personnel in emergency response. When drafting an emergency action plan, consider selecting a responsible person to direct and coordinate the emergency plan and evacuation. Employers must work with emergency response organizations in their jurisdictions to ensure that organizations are prepared to safely respond and perform necessary rescue operations that may pose unique or particularly hazardous conditions for emergency response personnel. If you decide to do nothing more than call for help and evacuate, you should prepare an emergency plan that includes immediate notification of emergency services, protective measures for the safety of life, and accounting for all employees. New facilities must have a person on staff who has completed emergency preparedness and response training in child care within one year of the effective date of the initial license.

Current family child care home operators (operators or operators) will need to complete emergency preparedness and response training in child care. The page is not intended to address PPE for all emergency response situations, including certain operations specific to police, firefighting and emergency medical personnel. Public emergency services include fire departments that can also provide rescue services, hazardous materials and emergency medical services. Within one year from the effective date of a new license, the operator of a new family child care home will have completed emergency preparedness and response training in child care. During an emergency involving the release of a hazardous substance, emergency response workers who operate outside contaminated areas, but are expected to have contact with contaminated victims, may need level C or D personal protective equipment.

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