This paper introduces a multi-criteria method for solving classification problems, called TODIM-FSE. This name was chosen because its structure merges characteristics from two different methods: TODIM and FSE. In order to demonstrate TODIM-FSE, a model was constructed aimed at helping potential users to decide upon suitable contingency plans for oil spill situations. The model is envisaged as embedded within SISNOLEO (a Portuguese acronym for An Information System for Oil Spill Planning) which is subsequently described in the article. The fundamentals of this method, several key references and a case study are also provided. & 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.