High-Quality Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Toolkit

2.4 Plan Development

The planning team should consider the requirements, goals, and objectives to develop several response alternatives. When developing courses of action, planners describe how an operation unfolds by illustrating the incident’s actions, decision points, and participant activities. Courses of action address the what, who, when, where, why, and how for each hazard. This process helps planners identify tasks that occur immediately at incident initiation, tasks that are more mid-incident focused, and tasks that affect long-term operations. Course of action development follows these steps.

  • Depict the scenario and place the incident information on the timeline.
  • Establish the timeline by using the speed of the incident onset.
  • Identify and depict decision points that identify where and when decisions are required to provide the best chance of achieving a goal and the associated objectives.
  • Select courses of action by comparing the costs and benefits of each action against the goals and objectives. Note: Cost is not necessarily financial. Consider the resources needed to accomplish the task verses the benefit.

Once courses of action are selected, the planning team identifies resources needed to accomplish the action. The objective is to identify the resources needed to make the operation work. This helps the planning team determine resource shortfalls and develops a list of needs.