Emergency Management Plan Requirements
In 1999, North Carolina passed a rule requiring applicants for water systems to complete an Emergency Management Plan (EM Plan) and to certify that this plan is in place before placing any new construction in service. For community water systems this plan:
- Identifies personnel responsible for emergency management,
- Identifies foreseeable natural and human-caused emergency events including water shortages and outages,
- Describes the emergency response plan for each identified event,
- Describes notification procedures, and
- Indentifies and evaluates all facilities and equipment whose failure would result in a water outage or water quality violations
An emergency management plan for non-transient non-community systems contains the positions and phone numbers of responsible persons to contact in the event of an emergency. The emergency management plan must be available to the operators of the water system at all times and must be made available to the Public Water Supply Section for inspection at any time (See 15A NCAC 18C.0303; 15A NCAC 18C.0304; 15A NCAC 18C.0305; 15A NCAC 18C.0306; 15A NCAC 18C.0307; N.C.G.S. 130A 315; 130A 317; P.L. 93 523).
The main points to remember about an Emergency Management Plan (EM Plan) are:
- Your EM Plan is always a work in progress. New phone numbers, new scenarios, and new people should be added on an on-going basis. At a minimum, it should be completely checked when:
- You are submitting an Applicant's Certification for a modification to the water system (before placing any project in service you must submit this document to re-certify your EM Plan),
- Whenever there are changes to personnel, equipment, contact information or anything that would affect the accuracy of information in the EM Plan, and/or
- Once per year (recommendation: check your plan in September which has been designated as National Emergency Preparedness Month).
- The EM Plan should be in an easily modifiable format - such as a three ring binder - so that it can be easily updated.
- The EM Plan should be easy to use. It should contain tabs with different types of events with tear-out pages that would guide anyone faced with a particular event.
- The EM Plan should be distributed to several locations where an operator, administrative contact or a system owner could consult it at a moment's notice.
Tools for Emergency Management Plan Development
NOTE: Do not wait until an emergency to access these links. Develop your plan in advance so that it is available to guide you during an emergency.
- Incident-Specific Action Plans
- Advisories and Notices
- Emergency Plan Review and Revision Logs
- EPA's Emergency/Disaster Response Plan for Very Small Water Systems Template
Emergency Planning Guidance
Below are some ideas about items that you should include in your Emergency Management Plan. Use the Emergency Management Plan Checklist for Completeness to guide you in your plan's development.
- A review and revision log that you maintain.
- Logs of when you last checked emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and personal protective equipment.
- Directions for how to do rescue from confined spaces.
- Use the guidance and templates from this Web site to be system specific. For instance, modify Emergency Notices and Tier 1 Public Notices so that your system-specific information is on them. Keep them in a printed format that is ready to tear out and copy to get the job done quickly.