UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


IRDR0002 - Emergency and Crisis Planning

Emergency, Crisis, Disaster, Emergency plan, Business continuity planning, Response, Recovery

Module Tutor: Professor David Alexander

Module code: IRDR0002, 15 credits

Department: IRDR

Planning is an essential part of managing risks, crises, emergencies and disasters. This module will teach the methodology and techniques of emergency planning, including the standards, principles, templates and research methods involved. The module will deal with generic emergency planning and specialised planning, including that practised for heritage protection, health service and mass-casualty management, industrial emergencies and business continuity. The module will also address how to plan for recovery and reconstruction after a disaster. Students will learn how to create, utilise and maintain emergency plans in both generic terms and for specific sectors, such as health, industry, commerce and tourism. They will learn how to research, write, implement and verify plans. Students will learn to construct scenarios for different contingencies and use their outcomes as vital ingredients in plans. Students will be encouraged to treat planning as a process rather than an outcome. They will learn about the logistical, organisational, administrative, policy and legal contexts of emergency and crisis planning, and how to utilise plans efficiently in emergency and crisis response and recovery.

The module will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction: definitions, principles, scenarios, structure of a plan
  • Standards in emergency planning
  • Efficiency of civil protection
  • Sustainability of emergency preparedness
  • Industrial emergency planning (including hazardous materials transportation)
  • Business continuity planning
  • Critical infrastructure planning (including water supply networks)
  • Warning and evacuation planning (including school evacuation)
  • Planning for urban hazards and megacities
  • Health service emergency planning
  • Cultural heritage emergency planning (including tourism)
  • Policy and legal aspects