This chapter examines the theoretical and practical bases of emergency planning (including disaster, crisis and contingency planning). A distinction is drawn between permanent plans (which, however, should be living documents) and contingency planning during emergency situations. Planning is considered more as a process than an end product. The relationship between plans, procedures and protocols is described. The chapter discusses the use of scenarios as a basis for planning emergency responses. Emphasis is given to the exploration of reference scenarios of known hazards in terms of what how they relate to emergency response needs. Next, the phases of emergency planning are described, with particular attention to how they can be implemented in a socially inclusive way. After this, the chapter discusses the integration and standardisation of plans around the local authority level, which in many cases is the reference level for planning activities. The discussion is extended to the role of disaster planning at the community level. The chapter concludes by considering the fields of ignorance and potential for unforeseen change in threats and hazards. It ends with a brief, synthetic summary of the emergency planning process.
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