Emergency Preparedness

Does Your Plan Address Pipelines?

Emergency response planning is an important responsibility at all levels of government. Public officials plan for many different types of events that could affect the safety of their communities. Local utilities and other critical infrastructure should be addressed in emergency planning efforts so that your community has a comprehensive plan in place for local emergency response needs.

The Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program (HMCRP) Report 14, a “Guide for Communicating Emergency Response Information for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipelines” released in November, 2014 addresses the primary components of pre-incident emergency response planning.

The report also identifies that taking action in the first few minutes is critical. Pipeline operators and 911 emergency communication centers have the biggest impact on emergency response times.

“The findings from the pipeline incident reports showed that delays in the initial notification to both emergency responders and/or pipeline operators are dominant, but that on-scene issues of coordination or proper action on the part of pipeline operators or emergency services also occurred at over 20 percent of incidents. Improved communications, both during the planning and response phase of incidents, would influence nearly all of the deficiencies noted.”

It is important that your community is identifying important resources, establishing communication roles and is putting practices in place so your community is prepared to respond to a pipeline emergency.