The APELL Process



How does APELL work? (ten-step process)

The APELL Handbook provides the elements for local communities to prepare emergency response plans in co-operation with industry and other leading groups. It has been translated into many languages by local groups.

It is often useful to bring into the community someone who already has direct experience in starting such a programme. Such an outsider is also more easily seen as "neutral" by local interest groups. The exchange of information and guidance based on experience elsewhere is generally arranged through national or regional APELL seminars and workshops. It is important that these seminars and workshops be locally generated, using the outside experience if and when requested.

The APELL process consists of ten steps:

  1. Identify the emergency response participants and establish their roles, resources, and concerns.

  2. Evaluate the hazards and risks that may result in emergency situations in the community.

  3. Have participants review their own emergency response plans to ensure a co-ordinated response.

  4. Identify the required response tasks not covered by existing plans.

  5. Match these tasks to the resources of the identified participants.

  6. Make the changes necessary to improve existing plans, integrate them into an overall community plan, and gain agreement.

  7. Commit the integrated community plan to writing and obtain approval from local governments.

  8. Educate participating groups about the integrated plan and ensure that all emergency responders are trained.

  9. Establish procedures for periodic testing, review, and updating of the plan.

  10. Educate the community about the integrated plan.

The APELL process is designed to build on any and all existing emergency plans to create a single co-ordinated local plan. There may be national government emergency plans in place but there is always the need for an effective structure at the local level. Industrial facilities should already have on-site emergency plans. Local authorities and rescue services should have plans to deal with the consequences of major emergencies. Local hospitals should certainly have their own "major accident plans" for dealing with large numbers of seriously injured people. The APELL process ensures that all existing plans contribute to the overall integrated, co-operative plan.