Step 3: Determine Goals and Objectives
In Step 3, the planning team decides which of the threats and hazards identified
in Step 2 will be addressed in the higher ed EOP. The planning team may decide to
address only those threats and hazards that rank “high” in risk priority, or they
may decide to also address some of the threats and hazards that rank “medium.” It
is recommended that the team address more than just the “high” risk priority threats
Once the planning team has decided which threats and hazards will be addressed in
the higher ed EOP, it will develop goals and objectives for each.
Develop Goals and Objectives
Goals are broad, general statements that indicate the desired outcome in
response to the threat or hazard identified by planners in the previous step. They
are what personnel and other resources are supposed to achieve. They also help identify
when major activities are complete and what defines a successful outcome.
The planning team should develop at least three goals for addressing each
threat or hazard (though the planning team may want to identify more). Those three
goals should indicate the desired outcome for (1) before; (2) during, and (3) after
the threat or hazard. For a fire, for instance, three possible goals include
- Hazard Goal Example 1 (before): Prevent a fire from occurring in IHE-governed student
- Hazard Goal Example 2 (during): Protect all persons from injury and property from
damage by the fire.
- Hazard Goal Example 3 (after): Provide necessary medical attention to those in need.
Objectives are specific, measurable actions that are necessary to achieve
the goals. Often, planners will need to identify multiple objectives in support
of a single goal.
Using the goal in Example 1 of preventing a fire in IHE-governed student housing
facilities, possible objectives include
- Objective 1.1: Provide fire prevention training to all students and resident advisors
who use combustible materials or equipment.
- Objective 1.2: Store combustible materials in fireproof containers or rooms.
Using the goal in Example 2 of protecting all persons from injury by the fire, possible
- Objective 2.1: Evacuate all persons from the building immediately.
- Objective 2.2: Account for all persons.
Using the goal in Example 3 of providing necessary medical attention to those in
need, possible objectives include
- Objective 3.1: Immediately notify fire department and EMS personnel of any fire
in a student housing facility.
- Objective 3.2: Immediately begin to provide first aid.
After the team has finished compiling the objectives for the prioritized threats
and hazards, it will find that certain critical “functions” or activities,
apply to more than one threat or hazard. Examples of these cross-cutting functions
include evacuating, providing medical care, and accounting for all students, faculty,
staff, and visitors.
After identifying these functions, the planning team should develop three goals
for each function. As with the goals already identified for threats and hazards,
the three goals should indicate the desired outcome for (1) before, (2) during,
and (3) after the function has been executed. These commonly occurring functions
will be contained in a Functional Annex section within the higher ed EOP. More
details on these functions are included in the
Plan Content section, including issues to consider as you develop goals
and objectives for these functions.
For an evacuation function, three possible goals are
- Function Goal Example 1 (before): Ensure all students, faculty, and staff know the
evacuation routes for the chemistry building.
- Function Goal Example 2 (during): Evacuate the chemistry building immediately.
- Function Goal Example 3 (after): Confirm that all individuals have left the chemistry
Once the goals for a function are identified, possible supporting objectives are
identified. For the evacuation goals above, objectives could include
- Objective 1.1 (before): Assess, identify, and communicate the location of rally
points to be used during an evacuation of the chemistry building.
- Objective 2.1 (during): Evacuate the chemistry building using assigned routes.
- Objective 3.1 (after): Safely sweep the chemistry building.
Step 3 Outcome
After completing Step 3, the planning team has at least three goals (i.e., before,
during, and after) for each threat or hazard and function, as well as objectives
for each goal.