BASIC EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN (EOP)
Instructions for Developing your Emergency Operations Plans
An emergency is an unplanned event that can disrupt your residence's normal operations, and/or
cause physical or environmental damage and significant injury or death to persons.
Planning is everything. If you plan ahead, you will be better prepared to proceed effectively when a
disaster strikes. Staff will be calmer when dealing with residents because they will know what to do
because they have practiced the scenarios. Emergency Operations Plans contain the critical details
that could be forgotten during times of emergency. Write the details down!
1. Start with a team of people from your residence who will develop your plan. Get input from your
staff and experts from your community. Then, share the finished plan with residents' families.
2. Identify critical decision-makers and back-ups for each shift. The person or persons you leave in
charge during the night shift will direct your staff, interface with emergency responders, and
make decisions until and if the administrator or owner arrives.
3. Embrace an “all hazards” planning approach when drafting your plan, meaning that all hazards
evoke the same general responses from the residence. Your basic plan explains in general terms
what the residence hopes to accomplish. Your standard operating procedures explain how to
accomplish the goals, or specifically what to do. Job Action Sheets give individuals specific tasks
4. Draft written instructions for office procedures, including how to pay bills, issue payroll, track
employee hours, track incoming and outgoing bills, etc. Some Incident Command System (ICS)
forms can be used to track these procedures once policies are written. See Resources.
5. Include the name of your assisted living residence with address, city, county, phone number, fax
and email address. Also include the year your building was built.
6. Inform staff of their roles in a disaster, as required by Colorado's assisted living regulations
Describe essential functions, such as providing vital services, maintaining the safety and well-
being of the residents and staff, and sustaining the residence during an emergency.
7. In response to these threats, your residence has two basic options: either shelter-in-place
(SHIP), or evacuate. Depending on your residence's population and the nature of the
emergency, evaluation by local fire department authorities, evacuating may be the last resort.
The person in charge of your residence the residence decides the response.
8. Early in the EOP, state whether or not your residence will be using the ICS (Incident Command
System). This residence understands the basic fundamental concepts of the Incident Command
System and will use that system during an emergency or disaster. See the Incident Command
9. Checklists and standard operating procedures for these functions during a disaster may be found
in this EOP. State what other documents you are including in this EOP.
10. Identify and protect vital records, including resident care plans, face sheets, banking information,
11. Train and practice your residence's emergency plan and fire escape procedures within your staff
at least every two months, as required in state regulations. Develop new rules or systems if
necessary. Make sure employee procedures are clear.
12. Standard incident command forms can save time during a disaster, and help your staff to record
and document disaster details. The forms are used by all response and emergency management
personnel. Facilities are urged to use them to increase information sharing with the community
and other agencies and facilities during a disaster. The forms can be adapted to your specific
needs, and can be found at
13. In addition to the five required hazards for which you are required by state regulations to prepare
for, analyze any other hazards that could affect your residence. Talk with your local and county
emergency managers to determine additional situations that might pose problems for your
14. As part of your planning process, make sure your staff have family emergency plans. During an
emergency, your staff may not come to work because they haven't planned for emergencies with
15. Make certain you will be able to communicate with critical contacts during an emergency by
developing a workable communications plan for communicating with staff, residents and their
families, as well as communicating with residents' families, the public, and the media during
disasters. Develop a plan that works for you and your staff, with tools that work and are easy to
follow! Practice everything in your plan. Sometimes the simplest thing (like a call-down list)
doesn’t work as you thought it would, and from there it is downhill. Keep in mind that finding
something that doesn’t work in a practice stage is an opportunity to make changes so that it will
go right during a true emergency. Remember that you cannot fail at emergency planning, you can
only get better!
16. Keep documents (like contact sheets with phone numbers) current!
17. In addition to maintaining identical copies of your plan available for easy access at designated
places in the residence, maintain identical copies of the plan at several places outside of the
residence, including electronically off-site, either on a thumb or flash drive, or on a computer not
on the premises. Don’t forget to revise all plan copies, both onsite and offsite, each time you make
a plan change.
18. If your residence has pets, be sure to include standard operating procedures for dealing with your
pets. Plan for your pets when contemplating a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an
alternate location, and ensure that they will allow your pets. Determine how to handle your pets'
transportation, food, water, shot records and other details. (Should you be evacuating to a mass
care shelter, they will NOT take pets, except for service animals.) You may want to keep a "Go-Kit"
ready for residence pet(s).
19. Depending on when your residence was built and where it is located, the number of residents, the
number of floors you have, as well as other building specifics, your fire department may have
given you instructions on whether or not you are considered an evacuation-capable residence.
Your local fire chief, in conjunction with your local emergency manager, can help you determine
your response to fire. Check with them when developing your Facility Fire Standard Operating
Procedure and the Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure.
Remember that EOPs are living documents; this means you will change your plan when you use or
practice it, and if you determine some part of the plan doesn’t work as it should. Don't be discouraged if
you try something and it doesn’t work. Fix it.