Emergency Management Plans

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). Templates on this page will assist you in developing your system's plan.

Important Points

The main points to remember about an Emergency Management Plan (EM Plan) are:

  1. 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:
    1. 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),
    2. Whenever there are changes to personnel, equipment, contact information or anything that would affect the accuracy of information in the EM Plan, and/or
    3. Once per year (recommendation: check your plan in September which has been designated as National Emergency Preparedness Month).
  2. The EM Plan should be in an easily modifiable format - such as a three ring binder - so that it can be easily updated.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Templates and Tear-outs

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.

  1. A review and revision log that you maintain.
  2. Logs of when you last checked emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and personal protective equipment.
  3. Directions for how to do rescue from confined spaces.
  4. 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.

Helpful Resources

In 2002, the U.S. Congress passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. It required water systems with more than 3,300 population at that time to complete Vulnerability Assessments and Emergency Response Plans. The information in the following links was developed for the federal requirement and also provides sufficient guidance to write a complete Emergency Management Plan.