A checklist for building an Emergency Action Plan

By Stephen Spiewak | Posted 7/26/2017

With August less than a week away, athletic directors around the country are continuing to prepare for the upcoming sports season.

Any athletic director will tell you that there’s no shortage of things that need to get done between now and the start of the season to lay the groundwork for a positive fall sports experience for players, coaches, and parents.

One of the items on the athletic director’s checklist this time of year is creating, reviewing and sharing an Emergency Action Plan.

No team wants to experience an emergency, but it’s better to be prepared in case situations do arise, whether that be on the field or off the field, since emergencies can take place anywhere in your facility or could result from extreme weather affecting an entire region.

Here are things to consider when forming your Emergency Action Plan. This list is non-comprehensive but provides a good starting point for items to think about when building an Emergency Action Plan:


  • EMS personnel access and entry/exit routes
  • Location of rescue and first aid equipment
  • Location of telephones with emergency telephone numbers posted
  • Location of keys to reach telephones or equipment
  • Exits and evacuation routes


  • Rescue equipment
  • Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
  • First aid supplies
  • Emergency equipment (flashlights, fire extinguishers, etc.)

External support

  • Police
  • EMS personnel
  • Fire
  • Hazardous materials (HazMat) team
  • Poison Control Center
  • Hospitals
  • Power and gas companies
  • Health department
  • Weather bureau

How and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number

  • Chain of command
  • Person to contact-parents or guardians
  • Person to deal with media

Support personnel within facility

  • Coaches
  • Athletic trainers
  • Athletic officials and referees
  • Facility administrators
  • Management personnel
  • Teachers
  • School nurse/physician
  • Athletic Director
  • Clerical personnel
  • Maintenance personnel

External support (provide telephone numbers)

  • EMS personnel
  • Police
  • Fire
  • Hazardous materials (HazMat) team
  • Poison Control Center
  • Hospitals
  • Power and gas companies
  • Health department
  • Weather bureau

Staff responsibilities (Assign each staff member a duty)

  • Person to provide care
  • Person to control bystanders and supervise other athletes
  • Person to meet EMS personnel
  • Person to transport injured athlete when appropriate


  • Complete appropriate documentation (incident report, accident report, etc.)
  • Replace equipment and supplies
  • Emergency Action Plan evaluation
  • Staff debriefing
  • Critical Incident Stress debriefing (if necessary)
  • Check on condition of injured athlete


Learn how you can obtain an AED for your program from Physio-Control