Frequently Asked Questions

Everyone has questions about all kinds of issues related to fire safety and disaster resilience. We’ve organized some of the most common questions into separate categories – all available here. If you cannot find answers to your questions, please contact us directly below. We’ll do our best to get you the answers you need promptly.

The Safe Community Project is a non-profit, public benefit organization focused on community resilience and public safety. We develop emergency response plans, create training content for firefighters and the public, teach safety in schools and to older adults, and generally work to collaborate with local first responders – doing things they can no longer do, mainly as a result of being busy, lacking appropriate staffing or budget. We act as a “force multiplier.”

Programs that reduce risk to the community are becoming know as “Community Risk Reduction,” or “CRR” initiatives. Typically developed and executed by fire/rescue agencies, the most common program involves home visits, including delivery of education and home inspection. The Safe Community Project is actively involved in CRR within the State of California. Our organization is careful to ensure we follow baseline standards as defined by the NFPA, USFA, as well as an independent fire/safety program called Vision 20/20. Our home safety educators utilize high technology software and other means to achieve measurable results. In addition, our educators will support CRR via distribution and installation of free smoke alarms to those in need.

Emergency response plans are designed for exactly what the title suggests: to respond to an emergency. Corporations, museums, and any venue with lots of employees or where the public congregate is in need of an emergency response plan. These plans help identify to the organization’s management what to do in order to protect people, assets, buildings, and the surrounding community in the event of a  disaster – such as an earthquake, a flood, a fire, or even an active shooter. FEMA explains emergency response plans very well. You can read about their position here:

An Emergency Operating Center, or EOC, is where leaders and partner liaisons gather to oversee and manage the many details involved in a significant disaster. If a car is burning in the parking lot, there is no need for an EOC. If the city has just suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, it’s likely that an EOC will be activated.

The Safe Community Project develops EOC plans for entities that feel they may need to manage multiple activities in the event of a disaster.

When an emergency occurs or there is a disruption to the business, organized teams will respond in accordance with established plans. Public emergency services may be called to assist. Contractors may be engaged and other resources may be needed. Inquiries from the news media, the community, employees and their families and local officials may overwhelm telephone lines. How should a business manage all of these activities and resources? Businesses should have an incident management system (IMS). An IMS is “the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents” [NFPA 1600].

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was established by FEMA and includes the Incident Command System (ICS). NIMS is used as the standard for emergency management by all public agencies in the United States for both planned and emergency events. Businesses with organized emergency response teams that interface with public emergency services can benefit from using the ICS. ICS is also well suited for managing disruptions of business operations. Public information and crisis communications are an integral part of the ICS structure.

When an incident occurs, incident stabilization activities (e.g. firefighting, damage assessment, property conservation) may be underway at the scene of the incident. Others assigned to support incident stabilization, business continuity or crisis communications activities will report to an emergency operations center (EOC). The emergency operations center is a physical or virtual location from which coordination and support of incident management activities is directed.

The Incident Command System and the use of an Emergency Operations Center supports incident management.

We offer a wide range of training options. Those include collaborating with a local fire department to create educational content for the department’s firefighters, teaching CPR and AED use to a city’s employees, to high school students, to Junior Life Guards, or to older adults. We teach basic life support (BLS) first aid, and overall engage with organizations, school districts, and the general public to create a more resilient and prepared community.

ERPs take time and expertise. As such, there’s no fixed price on development. Each situation is unique, and plans must be built to ensure your organization’s safety and ability to take appropriate action. Our organization has worked with some very complicated situations, where historic art, assets, and hundreds of thousands of visitors were involved. Check out our management section to learn more about our expertise. If this is of any interest, let’s connect. Discussing your situation is free.

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