Data center operations and maintenance teams should always be prepared to act swiftly and surely without warning. Unforeseen problems, failures, and dangers can lead to injury or downtime. Good preparation and process, however, can quickly and safely mitigate the impact of emergencies, and help prevent them from happening again. This paper describes a framework for an effective emergency preparedness and response strategy for mission critical facilities. This strategy is composed of 7 elements arranged across 3 categories: Emergency Response Procedures, Emergency Drills, and Incident Management. The paper describes each element and offers practical advice to assist in implementing this strategy.