Abstract

Emergency preparedness implies all technical and organisational measures which can prevent a hazard from escalating into an accident, or prevent or reduce the damaging effects of accidents. When emergency situations occur it is of vital importance for a company to have access to a system which register, log and track down the status of the situation and the employees involved. Examples of such essential information comprise the exact location of the employees, the number of people situated on each location, the physical and mental state of the employees and their dependents, and whether anyone is missing. The rule is that this information has to be made available in the shortest possible period of time. Another challenge is the amount of information and the number of officers handling the information. Examples of situations where such information was crucial to collect and share; Natural catastrophes as the tsunami that hit South-East Asia at the end of 2004, terror attacks like 9/11 and the bombings in Bali, Madrid and London, epidemics like the SARS and Marnburg (Angola), hostage-situations, major accidents offshore (Alexander Kielland) or onshore (Texas City).

Statoil has developed a group-wide emergency response support tool for use in emergency situations. The tool is called EMMA - EMergency MAnagement. By using EMMA Statoil can collect, log and share the information needed in order to be able to handle situations like those mentioned above. EMMA is a web-based tool, hence communication across the world is made possible in real time, and is independent of mobile telephony communication, which is a great advantage because experience show that telephone connections are likely to break down when major incidents occur. The system keeps a good and organized communication overview during an emergency incident and is of invaluable help when it comes to keeping track of what is done by whom and when. Automatic retrieval of information from other important systems like personal data registers, access control systems and travel data, enables the company to receive necessary information overviews promptly. By establishing these connections it is important to attend to the regulations stated in the Data Protection Act. Other advantages are the high degree of structure and intuitivism and the rigidness regarding altering logged data. EMMA has also proved useful when investigating incidents in retrospective and has contributed to improved learning in the organization from emergency incidents.

This paper will give a short introduction to emergency preparedness; organization, emergency response roles and functions, proactive management, emergency response annunciator systems and the Statoil emergency management tool; EMMA.

Introduction

Companies strive to establish safe operations worldwide both onshore and offshore. Nevertheless, incidents do happen from time to time. Some are "man made" while others are initiated by nature. Common features of such events are the fierceness by which they occur, the number of personnel involved that probably will be in danger, the complex logistics that may be encountered and the state of uncertainty considering the outcome or consequences of the incident. One striking feature comparing similarities between incidents is; "We are not able to realise the severity of the situation".

Whatever the cause of an emergency situation, every company should have contingency plans to be able to handle such incidents. A contingency plan should comprise different emergency response scenarios, and should also describe the necessary emergency response organization and systems needed.

The first part of this paper will deal with strategic emergency response management; How to understand and monitor an emergency situation. Coordinating different actors and assessing possible consequences caused by an incident, both short term and long term, including defining worst case, is of vital importance to the company.

The second part describes a group-wide emergency response support tool for use in emergency situations. The tool has been developed by Statoil and is called EMMA - EMergency MAnagement.

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