Pre-Plan: What to Do Before an Incident

Pre-Planning

It's good to hope for the best, but it is important to prepare for the worst. Pre-planning requires strategic, deliberate thought about how to use a community's support system to respond to the needs of individuals in moments of crisis. Every community is different. Every community and individual has different needs, different resources, and different organizational structures to consider. This section of the Toolkit should serve as a guide for the development of a community pre-plan. 

Elements of Pre-Planning

  • Key Partners: To ensure a coordinated, professional response to an incident, it is critical to have collaborative training in Crisis Intervention, Incident Command, and protocols specific to that community. Some potential partners in the community might include: Fire and police departments, emergency management departments, local mental health teams, the DA's Office and crime victims compensation units, the coroner's office, the faith based community, school districts, community companies, and local hospitals. To learn more, download the Pre-plan for Crisis Response Partners document (pdf, 241 KB).

  • Understanding the Need for Victim Services: Every emergency management plan should include an Emergency Support Function (ESF) for responding to the needs of individuals impacted by an event.
    These needs could include shelter services, medical needs, mental health, financial resources and others.
    To learn more, download the Victim Service Needs document (pdf, 76.8 KB).

  • Review of Current Capabilities: Develop support from the jurisdiction surrounding your county or city. To learn more, download the Victim Service Needs document (pdf, 95.8 KB) 

  • Identification of Lead Victim Service Providers: Identify who will take the lead in response to the emotional needs of an incident. To identify the lead victim services provider, it is imperative that you work with local emergency management prior to an incident. To learn more, download the Lead Victim Services Providers document (pdf, 12.1 KB).

  • Team Readiness: In building a team, consider what criteria will be used to maintain the validity of membership of responders. To learn more, download the Team Readiness document (pdf, 85.2 KB).

  • Transfer of information to District Attorney's Office: Advocates should be sure to take victim names and contact information and their relationship to the event to pass on for follow up by the host agency as well as the District Attorney's Office staff. It could take weeks before a witness list is finalized by investigators. Consider a Victim Information Form in tear-off tablet format to be made in bulk prior to an incident. 

  • Specific Planning Tools
  • American Disabilities Act: Crisis affects all individuals regardless of disability. State and local governments must adhere to ADA compliance; even and especially in the midst of a crisis. Please refer to Title II regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Please download the Comprehensive Pre-Planning Considerations document (pdf, 639 KB) if you would like a single download. 

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