BP’s Lesson: Take Emergency Plans Seriously

BP’s oil drilling fiasco is a prime example of why disaster plans must be complete and current

Thanks to British Petroleum’s current oil drilling fiasco, campuses can see firsthand how BP’s response plan for a Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which is woefully and tragically inadequate, is wreaking havoc on both the nation and BP itself.

Just some of the problems with BP’s 2009 plan include unrealistically optimistic assumptions about the amount of resources available for the cleanup; listing of animals needing protection that don’t even live in the Gulf; wrong phone numbers; incorrect Web links; and referring to a wildlife specialist who died in 2005 as one of BP’s go-to environmental experts, reports the Associated Press.

Because so many campuses have environmentally hazardous materials on site (such as in their labs) or nearby (at local plants or being transported by trucks or trains), universities, hospitals and schools can’t afford to make BP’s mistakes.

If a major disaster happens at your campus and your plans are in bad shape (or non-existent in some cases), your institution could very well not be prepared to respond appropriately. To add insult to injury, the media and government officials would most likely have a field day at your expense. Worst case scenario: The very life of your institution could be in jeopardy.

Below are several articles we’ve run in the past that will help you create appropriate disaster plans for your institution.

It should be noted that once a plan is completed, it shouldn’t be left on the shelf to collect dust. It must be updated regularly with current contact information, such as phone numbers, Web sites, addresses and the names of responsible parties… who preferably haven’t been dead for five years.

Emergency Planning Articles:

 To view BP’s emergency operation center, watch this video:


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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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