There is an article on the FEMA website titled "Why Your Community Should Race the Wave". This article is about a foot race in Cannon Beach, Oregon that makes practicing emergency response personal. The race route is actually set along tsunami evacuation routes. People participating in the race are actually practicing getting to safe zones in the event of a tsunami. The folks that developed this race understood the need to do more than post evacuation route for the residents of their community.

For knowledge to become practical, it needs to be practiced.. Consider practice a business investment into ensuring a successful failure. This investment, like any other business investment, needs to be part of the overall operating plan to ensure resources, in terms of budget and personnel, and sustainability. The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle can be used to ensure this investment is thoroughly developed for maximum effectiveness.


Practice planning begins with a needs assessment. The risk based planning process starts by brainstorming a list of emergencies. Guidelines are available through many different sources, such as NFPA, OSHA, and Department of Homeland Security, but the best sources for brainstorming are always the subject matter experts that reside in and around the planning organization. Sometimes more effort can be expended on looking for the perfect plan that developing a simple plan that can be executed with good results.

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