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    ISO 22320: 2011 - Societal Security - Emergency Management

ISO 22320, emergency management is the overall approach for preventing and managing emergencies. emergency management consists of all three phases of a disruptive event (before, during and after) and vary- ous activities.Incident response comprises actions to stop the causes of an imminent hazard, and/ or mitigate the consequences of destabilizing or disruptive events, and/or recover. These events include natural disasters, terrorist threats, poor IT security or an industrial fire disrupting the product chain.

Key Areas

  Command and Control System during Crisis
  Planning of Operational Information process
  Cooperation and Coordination during Crisis

Why ISO 22320

In recent years there have been many disasters, terrorist attacks and other major incidents which have shown the importance of effective incident response in order to save lives, mitigate harm and damage, and to ensure a base level of continuity of essential societal functions. Such functions include health and rescue services, water and food supply, and electricity and fuel delivery. While in the past the focus of incident response has been national, regional or within single organizations, today and for the future there is a need for a multinational and multi-organizational approach. This is a result of worldwide governmental, non-governmental, commercial and industrial relationships and dependencies.

Emergency ManagementThis International Standard enables public and private incident response organizations to improve their capabilities in handling all types of emergencies (for example, crisis, disruptions and disasters). The multiple functions of incident response are shared between organizations and agencies, with the private sector and the government having different levels of responsibility. Thus there is a need to guide all involved parties in how to prepare and implement effective incident responses. This International Standard will, based on minimum requirements, enable organizations involved to operate with joint optimum efficiency.

Effective incident response needs structured command and control, and coordination and cooperation, in order to establish coordination and cooperation, carry out command processes and facilitate information flow amongst the involved organizations, agencies and other parties.

Cross-organization, -region or -border assistance during incident response is expected to be appropriate to the needs of the affected population and also to be culturally acceptable. Therefore community participation in the development and implementation of incident response measures is essential. Involved organizations require the ability to share a common approach across geographical and organizational boundaries.

Information requirements, as well as requirements pertaining to the information management process and structure, may enable industry to develop technical solutions which will provide maximal interoperability according to information and communication exchange needs during incident response.


  • Organize decision making and individual performanace responsibility in crises when normal hierarchical decision making is interrupted.
  • Effective collaboration between organizations, companies or governments is based on coordination, cooperation and public-private partnership.
  • In many countries, the hierarchical structure is still the only way of handling incident response in emergency management. For them, this standard presents a wider view for preparedness in incident response.
  • Document for planning and implementing a complete, well-structured incident response system.
  • Opportunity for transborder collaboration. It also facilitates good incident response coordination between governmental organizations and industry.

ISO/PAS 22399:2007 provides general guidance for an organization - private, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations - to develop its own specific performance criteria for incident preparedness and operational continuity, and design an appropriate management system. It provides a basis for understanding, developing, and implementing continuity of operations and services within an organization and to provide confidence in business, community, customer, first responder, and organizational interactions. It also enables the organization to measure its resilience in a consistent and recognized manner.

ISO/PAS 22399:2007 is applicable to all sizes of public or private organizations engaged in providing products, processes, or services that wishes to:

  • Understand the overall context within which the organization operates
  • Identify critical objectives;understand barriers, risks, and disruptions that may impede critical objectives;evaluate residual risk and risk tolerance to understand outcomes of controls and mitigation strategies;plan how an organization can continue to achieve its objectives should a disruptive incident occur
  • Develop incident and emergency response, continuity response and recovery response procedures;define roles and responsibilities, and resources to respond to an incident
  • Meet compliance with applicable legal, regulatory, and other requirements;provide mutual and community assistance
  • Interface with first responders and the media
  • Promote a cultural change within the organization that recognizes that risk is inherent in every decision and activity and must be effectively managed.

ISO/PAS 22399:2007 presents the general principles and elements for incident preparedness and operational continuity of an organization. The extent of the application will depend on factors such as the policy of the organization, the nature of its activities, products and services, and the location where and the conditions under which it functions.

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