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FEMA's Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101 challenges local government to establish effective Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs) which provide rapid and rigorous coordination, integration and synchronization of incident response. Concepts of Operation are required to illustrate the flow of the emergency management strategy for accomplishing a mission or set of objectives in order to reach a desired end-state.

FEMA Comprehensive Preparedness Guide CPG

Function based planning identifies the common functions that a jurisdiction must perform during such emergencies. Standard Operation Procedures & Guidelines (SOP/SOG) are required to outline the purpose, authority, duration and details of performing functions in a uniform manner. As outline in Chapter 4-13, course of action development encourages planners to establish a timeline to cover all mission areas in relation to the speed of incident onset (i.e. a major HAZMAT incident's speed of onset is minutes, while a hurricane's speed onset might be hours). Time is critical, and the protective action decision-making process is greatly compressed. To ensure an effective response with minimal confusion, the assigned mission and critical tasks should be completed within the time contemplated by the plan.

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