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

2.5 Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval

The planning team develops a rough draft of the Basic Plan, functional annexes, and hazard-specific annexes using the results from plan development. Developing the EOP is made simpler by using planning templates.

Write the Plan

As the planning team works through the rough draft, members add tables, charts, and graphics to the document. Follow these rules for writing the EOP:

  • Write clearly, using plain language.
    • Avoid using jargon.
    • Minimize the use of abbreviations.
  • Use short sentences.
    • Use active voice.
  • Provide enough detail to convey an easily understood plan that is actionable.
  • Format the plan and present its contents so readers can quickly find information.
  • Avoid discussing policy and regulations.
  • Ensure the plan provides guidance for carrying out common tasks.
  • Stay out of the weeds.
    • Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines will provide specific details.
  • Summarize important information with checklists, maps, and flowcharts.

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) EOP templates include annotations to assist the planning team in documenting its efforts using the characteristics of a high-quality multi-hazard plan. An additional resource, the “Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans,” published by the Readiness in Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center, also discusses the planning process.

Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans

Review of the EOP

Reviewing the EOP is essential to ensure that the written plan remains in compliance with board policy and applicable local and state mandates. The rough draft should be reviewed by all members that have responsibilities for implementing the plan before a final draft is completed. The review process is focused on a systematic evaluation of the EOP contents. Review the plan to ensure it:

  • Provides guidance to the district on identified hazards.
  • Outlines activities that are achievable utilizing the identified resources.
  • Integrates the needs of the whole community.
  • Includes success criteria and the desired outcome.
  • Complies with all policy, rules, and regulations.

EOP Approval

The approval of the EOP is the culmination of planning efforts that demonstrate the completion of the planning team’s primary goal – a high-quality multi-hazard EOP for the district. The planning team should present the EOP to appropriate leadership, including the school safety committee, and obtain final approval of the plan. The finalized EOP should be distributed to everyone who has responsibilities and roles in the plan.

EOP approval is reflected in the plan’s Promulgation Statement, a section of the Basic Plan that gives the plan official status, ensures that it supersedes any previous plan, and gives both the authority and responsibility for employees to perform assigned tasks identified within the plan. The Promulgation Statement should also briefly outline the organization and content of the plan and describe what it is, who it affects, and the circumstances in which it should be executed. A sample Promulgation Statement is included in the EOP templates.

At the end of the statement, key district officials with the designated roles for emergency management should sign the document to demonstrate acceptance and approval of the plan in its entirety. Typical signatories include the district superintendent, district emergency management coordinator, and the school safety committee coordinator.

A district’s EOP is a “living” document in which changes are commonly made based on the findings of evaluations and the identification of best practices. As these changes are made, the EOP must be reviewed and approved once again to ensure ongoing compliance throughout the district.