Especially since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, governments worldwide have invested considerable resources in the writing of terrorism emergency response plans. Particularly in the United States, the federal government has created new homeland security organisations and urged state and local governments to draw up plans. This emphasis on the written plan tends to draw attention away from the process of planning itself and the original objective of achieving community emergency preparedness. This paper reviews the concepts of community preparedness and emergency planning, and their relationships with training, exercises and the written plan. A series of 10 planning process guidelines are presented that draw upon the preparedness literature for natural and technological disasters, and can be applied to any environmental threat.
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