Don’t Fail To Plan, Or You Will Surely Plan To Fail

In January of 2006, I was deployed with one other officer from pour department to Hancock County Mississippi to manage the planning section of the emergency operations center (EOC) for ten days. Although Hurricane Katrina had made landfall four months earlier on August 29, 2014, Hancock County was so severely damaged that the EOC was still operating out of necessity. Certainly volumes could be written on the damage Katrina inflicted on Hancock County, this is more about the Planning section of the EOC. Two days into deployment there, we were asked to develop a 30/60/90 day plan to present to the Emergency Manager before we left.

For those of you unfamiliar with this term, as I was in 2006, A 30/60/90 day plan simply provides a timeline and breakdown of actions and objectives that should be achieved within 90 days. It is a fluid plan, and flexible enough to be altered as needed.

For Hancock County I needed to provide objectives that should be reached within 90 days. These areas included;

  • Medical Facilities
  • What is and what will be the bed capacity
  • Ambulance Service
  • What are current and predicted response times
  • Temporary Housing
  • Work to get families from emergency housing (trailers) to temporary housing
  • Businesses: Retail, Grocery, Fuel
  • Department stores, groceries, gas stations
  • Transportation
  • Debris removal from roads, restoring traffic lights
  • Debris Removal
  • From roads, driveways, parking lots
  • Hazardous Materials Removal
  • Provide emergency response to Hazardous Materials issues
  • Government Services: Staff, Offices, Equipment
  • Provide computerized access to county records, plan for long term recovery of county complex

These are only the highlights of what the report included. For the plan to be useful, I visited almost all of the places mentioned above, met with FEMA, Army Corps of Engineers, County ambulance personnel, and the county sheriff.

In the end the plan turned out well and the Emergency Manage felt he had a better idea of what to expect within 90 days. I am sure at the end of the first 30 days, he had another 30/60/90 day plan developed.

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What can this type of plan do for you in your current capacity? It can be adapted to any process. If you are just starting budget preparation, do a quick 30/60/90 day plan to put your objectives on paper that others in the organization can follow and they will also know what needs to be done by when and by whom. If you have a big event in your community, you can use this plan along with the Incident Command System to make your event go as smooth as possible.

I have used this concept on a job interview. After researching the community and the department, I developed a 30/60/90 day plan to graphically show what my plans would be for the first 90 days. This usually makes an impression on the interviewer and you will also leave a good first impression.

You don’t have to be the chief to use this tool. Anyone can use it to set goals and objectives. And it can be altered to fit changes as needed. Give it a try if you haven’t already used one.

Stay Safe – Everyone Goes Home

William Jolley has 37 years of experience in the fire service with 20 of those years in a management position. William was the Fire Chief of Haines City, Florida, a city of Approximately 20,000. Prior to that William was the Assistant Chief of Saint Petersburg, Florida, where he worked for 35 years.

Posted in Chief William Jolley, Command, Fire Service, Firefighting, Leadership.