The new Emergency Operations Manual by NAFA Fleet Management Association can help corporate fleet managers deal crises such as severe weather.

In the past few years, fleets have been hit by powerful thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes; areas have been hit with record heat and buried in blizzards; and this year has added dust storms and extended drought conditions to the mix. Weather conditions can halt business production, cause millions of dollars in structural damages, and even cause fatal injuries.

NAFA's new manual reviews the principles of emergency management as related to fleet operations, while examining how the National Incident Management System is organized and where fleet managers and their companies fit into that. It is essential that private sector fleet departments are included in and have a well-defined role in company and supplier emergency business continuity.

NAFA's Emergency Operations Manual provides step-by-step instructions on how to develop an effective business continuity plan that will help fleets survive both natural and man-made disasters and emergencies. For fleets that do not have a plan in place, this manual will guide them through the process of developing one. Fleets that already have a plan can use the manual as a benchmark to ensure their plan is thorough enough to succeed.

"You can do your job exceptionally well every day, but if your organization fails in an emergency or disaster and people die, get hurt, or become financially burdened, it will define your career," said Walter Burnett, CAFM, retired public works director for the city of Macomb, Ill., who was the project leader for the manual. "You will have failed during that emergency."

Key resources in the manual include:

- Business continuity plan template for private sector fleets developed by FEMA
- Emergency response plan including evacuation and lockdown plans
- Emergency response team assignments
- Mutual aid network activation procedures

Also included in NAFA's Emergency Operations Manual is the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook, courtesy of the United States Department of Transportation and Transport Canada. Provided at no additional cost, this guidebook is for first responders during the initial phase of a dangerous goods/hazardous materials transportation incident.