City Emergency Plan

An Emergency Operations Plan describes actions to be taken in response to natural, manmade, or national security hazards, detailing the tasks to be performed by specific agencies at projected times and places based on established objectives, assumptions, and assessment of capabilities. Simply put, it is a document describing how people, property, and the environment will be protected in a disaster or emergency.

In New Bedford, as in other cities and towns in Massachusetts, this local government emergency plan is called the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP or CEM Plan). The Emergency Management Department is responsible for maintaining and updating this plan in cooperation with the city’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Planning Committee. See Plan Participants for more information.

The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is:

Comprehensive – it addresses mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery phases of emergency management:

  • Mitigation – Activities which reduce or eliminate loss or life, injuries, and damage to property or the environment resulting from an emergency or disaster.
  • Preparedness – Actions taken (such as the development and maintenance of the emergency plan) to facilitate disaster response and recovery.
  • Response – Utilizing all systems, plans and resources available in the community to save lives, reduce damage to property and the environment, and to aid in recovery.
  • Recovery – Actions taken, both short and long term, to return a community to pre-disaster or improved conditions.

All-hazard in approach and, therefore, flexible enough to use in all emergencies—even unforeseen events.

Risk-based – it includes hazard-specific information based on a local risk analysis.

Plan Format – The current CEM Plan consists of introductory material and seven sections:

Introductory Material. The introductory section includes a listing of plan development and review participants, table on contents and a Promulgation Latter from the Mayor formally placing the emergency plan into effect. (Introductory Section)

Part 1 – Basic Plan. This section provides an overview of the city’s emergency response organization and policies. It includes a summary of the local risk analysis, summarizes the situations addressed by the EOP, explains the general concept of operations, and cites the legal authority for emergency operations. (Part 1)

Part 2 – Emergency Management Response Organizations deals with basic job descriptions and generally accepted and recognized responsibilities of all local individuals and departments that are involved in emergency response and coordination. (Part 2)

Part 3 – Emergency Management Processes and Protective Actions. This section addresses the generally recognized critical emergency management functions the city may need to implement in response to an emergency. These functions include evacuation, mass care sheltering, and emergency public information. (Part 3)

Part 4 – Natural and Technological Hazards. Included in this section is detailed information on the various potential emergencies or disasters identified in the city’s risk analysis. (Part 4)

Part 5 – Hazardous Materials Emergency Plan. This is a stand-alone document.

Part 6 – Terrorism Incident Response Plan

Part 7 – Resource Manual

Although the structure and format of CEM Plans in Massachusetts communities are fairly uniform, our Planning Committee has done extensive work on the city’s plan to tailor its content to the unique response organizational structure in, and hazard vulnerabilities faced by, the City of New Bedford.