Flood Emergency Response Planning Project

5 Stages of Emergency Management

The five stages of Emergency Management


The objective of the Flood Emergency Response Planning (FERP) Project is to assist the development and implementation of effective flood emergency response and recovery plans by the local authorities so as to minimise the impacts and damages caused by flood events. A Flood Emergency Response Plan (FERP) is designed to bring the user to the point of knowing what is to be done, and who is to do it prior to, during and after a flood. It will include information relative to when and where the response will be effective and why it will be done.

The FERP outlines the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved and communication channels to be used prior to, during and after a flood event. The parties involved are the local authority, emergency services, support services and local communities. The purpose of the response plan is to reduce risk to health and life and damage caused by flooding.

The project is also aimed at assisting local authorities in meeting their responsibilities under the Framework for Major Emergency Management, and to deliver on the responsibilities of the OPW with respect to emergency planning as set out in the Report of the Flood Policy Review Group. The FERP Project focuses on the non-structural measures required to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from flood emergency situations.

The Project was divided into three stages, as set out below:

  • Stage I: This stage concentrated on the preparation of an inception report that included a review of International and Irish best practice. The report describes the proposed recommendations for drafting a Flood Emergency Response Plan.
  • Stage II: Subsequent to the findings of the Stage I report, pilot projects were undertaken in the preparation of flood emergency response plans, in order to test, refine and validate the application of best practice in the Irish context. The towns that were used for the pilot projects in Stage II were Mallow, Fermoy and Clonmel. These towns were chosen because of their history of flooding and in light of planned flood relief schemes.
  • Stage III: After Stage II, the next step was to develop template documents and guidance documentation for the preparation of flood emergency response plans to assist local authorities in producing their own flood response plans.

The OPW and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government collaborated through developing the outputs from their respective work to formulate a Guidance Document (including Flood Response Plan Template) and a Protocol Document (outlining roles and responsibilities) to be used in relation to implementing the National Framework for Major Emergency Management. These documents are available in draft format for consultation on the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Major Emergency Management website (www.mem.ie) and via the links under Further Information on this page.

The FERP Project began in late 2006 and all three Stages were completed by the end of 2007. During 2008 the OPW collaborated with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in relation to implementing the Framework for Major Emergency Management and the implementation of the national document 'Guide to Flood Emergencies'.

OPW’s involvement in the promotion of the FERP project is ongoing, providing advice and assistance to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, if required, and to local authorities, when requested, in reviewing their flood emergency response plans. 

For further information about the Flood Emergency Response Project, please contact: oliver.nicholson@opw.ie

The Research Team for this project was:

Tom Bolger (Project Director, OPW)
Judith Landheer (Project Manager, Royal Haskoning)
Oliver Nicholson (Project Engineer, OPW)

Further Information