Emergency preparedness is a critical aspect of ship management. It is required to establish strict procedures including drill and exercise programs to response emergency situations at any time. This study develops an approach to identify and quantify the influence factors to ship emergency preparedness demonstrated in drills on-board. A fuzzy Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method is considered as a suitable method for the problem. As a case study, the affecting factors to predefined steps of an operational firefighting drill organisation are analysed in oil/product tanker at Sarkoy anchorage area. Five homogeneous experts were asked to evaluate relationship among the generic factors affecting firefighting drills on-board ship with respect to the linguistic scale. While the factors insufficient firefighting practice and training, missing crew and missing supervisor, incorrect placement of portable tools, equipment or material in firefighting system are found as cause factors; lack of safety culture and discipline about the use of personnel protective/firefighting equipment and firefighting, crew reliability and fatigues of crews on board are found as effect factors. The study is expected to contribute to the forthcoming studies on prediction of ship emergency preparedness level on-board ships.