Maritime facilities have taken essential action and quickly applied their know-how in the face of COVID-19 impacts faster than other sectors.

However, Emergency Response Plans (ERP), the crisis management discipline and business continuity planning will ever look the same again.COVID-19 is a dummy run for what we might expect from climate risks, although while the pandemic hit was immediate, physical impacts from heat, rain, fog and water stress will affect us more regularly over one to two decades.

We’ve seen ports react quickly to construct temporary physical structures and modify terminals to cope with the need to increase storage capacity, safely store cargoes and dedicate space for emergency arrivals. In some cases, those were humans, in the form of infected holidaymakers on unscheduled Code Blue cruise ship visits.

That was when the ERP was triggered, catalysing emergency service, immigration and medical specialists into action.

What value a robust ERP, and those invaluable yard workers, stevedores and supervisors who so often go unseen by the public.