An action plan does not need to be written, but when search and rescue operations are required, the situation is probably complex enough that a written plan of some type will be important. A plan should:
Help focus the operation on established priorities and decisions
Provide for documentation to be given to responding agencies when they arrive on scene – Provide for documentation that will become part of the record of the CERT’s overall operation
Keep notes as you develop your action plan. Any changes made to the initial plan based on new information that comes in should also be documented.