What does that mean?

what is emergency management, what is incident command system, what is an emergency operations plan, what is emergency response, what is business continuity, what is a business continuity plan, what is crisis communications

HSEEP - Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation


A national standard for exercise design, development, conduct, and evaluation for all exercises that establishes common language and concepts to be adopted and used by various agencies and organizations.

ICS - Incident Command System
The national standard for Incident Management. It is an emergency management hierarchical command and control structure used by all governmental and some non-governmental entities. ICS is the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents. It is used for all kinds of emergencies and is applicable to small as well as large and complex incidents.

ICS Team Role
The ICS Team is described in a hierarchical table of organizations with its leaders having a limited span of control. Each position is defined by its function, or role within one of five primary areas: Command, Logistics, Operations, Administration and Finance. In an organization, several staff may be assigned and trained to take up a single role.

Improvement Plan (IP)
A critical component of every emergency program, the Improvement Plan is developed following the After Action Review process, either after the evaluation of an actual incident or an exercise. It should include specific objectives, a time frame for completion and a person designated to oversee each objective.

Incident Action Plan (IAP)
A description of goals and objectives for each operational period during the course of managing an event. They are maintained by each activated role within the Incident Command Team.

Incident Briefing
Conducted by the Planning Section Chief at scheduled intervals with the Incident Command Team. It includes a Situation Status update, a review of objectives in progress and the discussion of any new issues that need to be addressed in the next operational period, which will be assigned to the appropriate role and included as objectives in the next IAP.

ISO 22301
The international standard for businesses desiring certification for their Business Continuity Management System, though it is also adopted as an organizational framework by many as well.. It replaces ISO 9001.

Activities designed to reduce or eliminate risks to persons or property or to lessen the actual or potential effects or consequences of an incident.  Mitigation measures may be implemented prior to, during, or after an incident.  Mitigation measures are often developed in accordance with lessons learned from prior incidents.

NFP 1600
NFP 1600 : Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs is widely used by public, not-for-profit, nongovernmental, and private entities on a local, regional, national, international and global basis, NFPA 1600 has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a voluntary consensus standard for emergency preparedness.

NIMS - National Incident Management System
A systematic, proactive national guideline that directs government agencies at all levels, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work and coordinate efforts to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity.

Activities undertaken in advance of an emergency, including developing operational capabilities, training, preparing plans and improving public information and communications systems.

Psychological First Aid
An approach for assisting people in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism to reduce initial distress and to foster short and long-term adaptive functioning. It can be implemented by both mental health and other response personnel.

The ability of an organization to respond to an incident, based on the capabilities developed through all preparedness and mitigation efforts and activities.

Recovery involves actions, and the implementation of programs, needed to help individuals, communities and businesses return to normal.

Remote Worker

A staff member that is provisioned by the enterprise to work at home or other off-site location. (See Telework)

The ability to rapidly adapt and respond to risks and opportunities in order to maintain continuity of business operations, remain a trusted partner and enable growth.

Activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident, including immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency operations plans and incident mitigation activities.

The combination of the frequency of occurrence, vulnerability, and the consequence of a specified hazardous event.

Risk Assessment
The process of identifying likely risks that could disrupt critical business processes performed at specific locations of operation. The Risk Assessment is used to shape the overall BCMS scope by providing a list of likely events and associated consequences that should be addressed in a risk mitigation plan.

Situational Awareness
Situational awareness is the provision of timely and accurate information during an incident to aid in response decision making. Situational awareness requires continuous monitoring, verification and integration of key information needed to assess and respond effectively to threats, potential threats, disasters or emergencies.

Situation Status
The reporting of the current status of the incident to the Incident Commander or ICS Team as part of the Incident Briefing and is coordinated by the Planning Section.

Tabletop Exercise (TTX)
This type of exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. TTXs can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures and test knowledge of procedures or response roles.


Staff who work remotely are provisioned with all necessary technology and equipment to enable them to perform their routine responsibilities regardless of where they are located.  Often used to reduce real estate costs and enable operational resiliency under emergency conditions.

Activation (Team or Plan)
Your emergency plan or Incident Command Team is activated based on a set of organizational criteria. Day to day business management shifts to emergency management mode.

After Action Review/Report
Captures observations and recommendations made during an exercise or following an actual event/incident to comprise a full report and recommendations. Used to develop an Improvement Plan.

All-Hazards Plan
A plan that incorporates a common approach in responding to all types of threats and hazards.

Appended to the Emergency Operations Plan (see below), these provide more detailed protocols, designed in response to specific types of events identified as vulnerabilities to the organization.

Business Continuity Management System (see below)

BCP - Business Continuity Plan
A specific plan for a critical operational unit, department and service, outlining the alternate procedures, communications, relocation details and other defined elements.

Business Continuity
The ability of an organization to ensure continuity of service and
support for its customers and to maintain its viability before, after
and during an event.

Business Continuity Management System (BCP or BCM)
An ongoing management and governance process supported by
senior management and resourced to ensure that the necessary
steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses, maintain
viable recovery strategies and plans, and ensure continuity of products/services.

Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
The BIA is used to identify business processes that are integral to keeping the business unit functioning in a disaster and to determine how soon these integral processes should be recovered following
a business interruption.

Capabilities Assessment
A review of all elements of a business to identify the gaps in it's preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation efforts and strategies.

Certified Emergency Manager, professional credential managed by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

Continuity of Government/COG (public sector)
The preservation, maintenance, or reconstitution of civil government’s ability to carryout the executive, legislative and judicial processes under the threat or occurrence of any emergency condition that could disrupt such process and services.

Continuity of Operations/COOP (private sector)
An ongoing process supported by senior management and funded to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses, maintain viable recovery strategies, recovery plans, and continuity of services (often used interchangeably with Business Continuity Planning).

Crisis Communications (also, Risk Communications)
Crisis communication encompasses the urgency of disaster communication with the need to communicate risks and benefits to stakeholders and the public. Often, experts must engage their audiences with incomplete information and under time constraints.

United States Department of Homeland Security

An event that threatens people, property, business continuity, or the community and may develop into a disaster or critical incident.

Emergency Communications
All communications systems and procedures that are triggered in response to an incident/emergency, to both internal and external stakeholders.

Emergency Management
Organized analysis, planning, decision-making, and assignment of available resources to mitigate (lessen the effect of or prevent) prepare for, respond to, and recover from the effects of all hazards.

Emergency Operations Plan
An all-hazards document that specifies actions to be taken in the event of an adverse event; identifies authorities, relationships, and
the actions to be taken by whom, what, when, and where, based on predetermined assumptions, objectives, and existing capabilities.

Emergency Planning Cycle
A continuous improvement cycle used in maintaining a comprehensive emergency management program: preparedness - response - recovery - mitigation.

Emergency Operations Plan (see above)

Exercise Program
A multi-year plan of training and exercises designed to progressively test emergency plans and procedures. Types include drills, tabletop, functional and full-scale exercises.

Exercise Role
Assigned roles that cover all aspects of an exercise, including the
Coordinator or Facilitator, Participants, Evaluators and Observers.


Federal Emergency Management Agency - It's primary purpose is to coordinate the response to a disasterthat has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities.



A naturally occurring, manmade or technological event that poses a risk to life or property. 


Hazard Vulnerability Assessment

An analysis of the full range of hazards (natural, man-made or technological) that examines historical frequency, vulnerability (how would it be if it happened), and the probability of occurrence.  This is a critical planning tool that guides the development of the emergency response program.