Disaster or emergency management encompasses all the arrangements that are put in place to alleviate or reduce the impacts caused by a disastrous event. It can also be conceptualized as a set of all the measures that are designed to reduce the vulnerability that a society might be exposed to in case of disasters or hazards. Disaster management does not seek to eliminate the chances of a catastrophe happening in the first place. Rather, it seeks to minimize the effects that such kind of events might pose to the people living in the area where they are most likely to happen or have happened. The current paper seeks to analyze the concept of disaster management; phases and emergency management planning, as well as important facets of emergency management such as communication.
Significance of Emergency Management
Emergency situations are unwanted circumstances that must be dealt with both through proactive and reactive approaches to reduce the impacts that they may cause to human beings, properties, and the environment. In disaster management, plans are laid out to ascertain that the effects are regulated to cause less harm to the people (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012). In case there are no laid out plans, there could be fatal damages inflicted on properties, people and the environment. Disaster events that can be considered as requiring management include but are not limited to terrorism, fires, landslides, earthquakes, hurricanes and industrial accidents (Rubin, 2007). Effective disaster management calls for elaborate planning that ensures there are proper action plans that have been put in place to make sure that adverse effects of a calamity are mitigated (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012). The development of a disaster management plan is a cyclical process. This comprehensive process is the one that aids the disaster management officers to be able to secure human beings, properties and the environment against excessive losses.
Overview of Emergency Management Process
Disaster management has been taken as a process that requires a diversified approach, depending on how diverse people usually view it. For example, some people take disaster management as having four phases that include; preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. Some will hold the notion that disaster management consists of all the processes that are geared towards reducing the vulnerability of the people who are likely to experience any type of disaster. Minimizing vulnerability can also be termed as making the people and the vulnerable items accident resistant (Rubin, 2007). Through making people and properties disaster-resistant, losses that can be incurred from them will ultimately be reduced.
The protection of citizens, properties and the environment against disasters requires proper coordination of elaborate measures. All these plans brought together encompass the management process of a disaster (Bumgarner, 2008). There are certain principles that are expected when carrying out emergency management procedures. For instance, emergency management officers should be very comprehensive. This means that he/she should put into account all the aspects that are to be integrated into disaster management operations. There will be a need to assess all the potential hazards and their impacts (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012). In addition, the phases of the management process need to be evaluated so that the activities involved are able to contribute towards the alleviation of the negative effects. A comprehensive plan also ensures that there are minimal or no conflicts that will arise in the processes of dealing with the confrontation with the disaster events (Bumgarner, 2008). Secondly, management processes should be risk-driven. In this case, the disaster management processes are supposed to carry out impact analysis and the identification of hazards so that the rightful resources are prepared that correctly match the disaster events (Bumgarner, 2008).
Disaster management processes encompass a variety of activities and people, who must be well integrated so that they are able to come up with an extremely efficient plan. With this in mind, a disaster management team is supposed to ensure that the whole society has been trained on how they can be able to tackle disasters in case they happen. However, during such unfortunate events, the people involved in dealing with the consequences are normally confused due to the prevailing chaos. In such instances, the management team is supposed to make sure that they are able to think beyond the apparent conditions, harness their collective thoughts and work towards establishing a solution despite the prevailing pressure from the disaster events (Fagel, 2012).
Disaster management structure also includes multifaceted activities that are usually followed. The first step involved in developing policies towards minimizing the effects that disasters might have. The second step is assessing the susceptibilities of people, properties and the environment. In assessing these vulnerabilities, managers plan for emergencies and aim to alleviate the occurrence of an extreme event that might make people despair. In addition, the concerned members of society are trained and educated on how they will equip themselves to handle the undesired occurrence (Rubin, 2007). In this case, people can be taught how to use locally available resources for their benefit. The available resources can be used to overcome some of the minor events’ impact that might prevail. The last measure is monitoring and evaluation (Gallant, 2008).
Emergency Management Resources
Correct resources assigned during the disaster process ensure that there will be minimal conflicting activities that are likely to bring further consequences in the midst of the rescue operations (Fagel, 2012). Integration is another factor that needs to be checked when dealing with possible debacles. For instance, the leaders in the disaster management activities are supposed to make sure that all the people are well incorporated into the management activities so that there is a reduced confusion among the people as they carry out their processes (Fagel, 2012). Disaster management officials are also supposed to coordinate the activities in a sound manner that will ensure that all the processes flow smoothly and confusion is prevented. From another insightful perspective, disaster managers should be endowed with high levels of creativity and innovation in their carrying out of activities. They are supposed to have high flexibility so as to be able to make the necessary amends when the need arises especially when they are dealing with the disaster events (Bumgarner, 2008).
To safeguard that a disaster management plan is going to be effective during the actual disaster events, there is always a need to carry out a simulation (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014). Holding rehearsals or exercises warrants that integrated parts of the emergency management processes will be successful. Rehearsals should be seen as a cycle and not as separate occasions, given that they are very meaningful to assist in the success of the management of disasters (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014).
If emergency management is expected to be effective, it should always be rooted in the realization of the fact that there are a set of complex interactions with the resources that support the whole management process. The way the reserves are handled is usually determined by the four phases of the disaster management cycle which involve mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery (Fagel, 2012).
Vulnerability and Capabilities Analysis
Effective management of disasters will also mean that the concerned parties are supposed to analyze the capabilities that they have, along with the potential hazards. The disaster managers are to carry out a vulnerability analysis that will make sure that the concerned community or society will be prepared enough to deal with the probable disasters that may arise in the aftermath. The analysis is vital so as to determine the extent to which the available resources are able to handle any upcoming emergencies (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014). Disaster management must have clear directions and control mechanisms. In this case, there must be a person who is in charge, checking the workability of all the planned issues and the efficiency of the activities being undertaken (Fagel, 2012).
In the modern world, there are diverse mechanisms that are applied to aid people in preparing for emergencies. For instance, society must ensure that it has considered all the possible disaster events that are likely to arise within the environment in which they live. Secondly, they need to plan for these situations that have the highest possibility of causing the greatest harm to them, property and the environment. In case there are any unique events that have a high probability of occurring, unique resources and techniques of dealing with them are devised. There is also a necessity to help the members of the society recover and restore from the event (Gallant, 2008). The disaster management process involves a cyclic process that aims to contribute to dealing with disaster events holistically. The processes include; preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation & prevention (Gallant, 2008).
Role of Disaster Managers
Because disaster management is an overall plan that is used to minimize the outcomes of a disaster event, there are different pertinent questions that an emergency manager is supposed to ask himself/herself. For instance, what are some of the possible unwanted events that are likely to occur within a specific society or region? What are some of the approaches that can be used to mitigate the effects that can be brought about by the disaster event? How could the needs of the people, properties and the environment be met? Are there any facilities or apparatuses within the environment that are likely to predispose the community into facing extreme outcomes as a result of the disaster happening? Both the internal and external tragedies need to be identified, as well as the resources have to be designed to make sure that they are capable of dealing with the potential problems (Fagel, 2012).
While planning for the disaster management team, the manager needs to plan for the magnitude of the expected disaster and must know very well that when the magnitude of the disaster increases, the number of resources required to avert extreme outcomes will be more (Rubin, 2007). The expansion of the number of agencies required and the number of resources must be planned for in advance. From an insightful perspective, the tired members who aid, more specifically the rescue team should be replaced with new staff that can be very vigilant on the tasks that they are given (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014).
The overall picture regarding the kind of event that is likely to affect people in society needs to be checked all the time. For instance, the disaster managers or experts are expected to check the severity that certain disaster events might have on the people before they lay down strategies that are aimed at minimizing the damage that such events might cause on the people (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014). Another factor to be considered in such situations involves the degree of the efforts that will be needed in order to deal with the disaster. From a wider scope also, disaster managers are supposed to assess the extent to which disasters are likely to affect the surrounding community (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014).
Developing an Emergency Response Plan
The response is another stage of disaster management that is very critical in achieving the best results with respect to managing woes. As aforementioned, disasters are often inevitable but individuals must find ways of dealing with them in order to minimize the effects of their aftermath. The kinds of actions that have been designed to be taken during the initial stages of the response phase are very imperative in determining the success of disaster management. For instance, there should be a prompt warning to all people about the occurrence of a specific disaster within the locality. In addition, it will be required that there are persons who can be relied on to dispatch correct and timely and prompt information regarding the way people will manage to cope with the situation as well as informing the people about the magnitude of the disaster. Again, there should be people who will be ready to perform first aid to the people who may be suffering at the time (Bumgarner, 2008).
When developing an emergency response plan, there are several things that are supposed to be considered. For instance, the experts must be capable of conducting a risk assessment to assist them in weighing the magnitude of the damages that are expected. The assessment will also help experts and emergency managers to identify any potential emergency scenarios. When the leaders involved in the management of the disasters are able to predict what is likely to happen when a disaster happens, then they will be able to determine the course of action that they are to take once a disaster event occurs (Gallant, 2008).
Depending on the type of risk issues that are present in the region where a disaster is expected, resources can be prepared and kept aside to help minimize the impact of any damages through prompt response. Disaster management involves many issues. However, when the disaster first occurs, the first priority is usually the safety of the life of the people. Another very crucial process is the stabilization of the situation. There are several actions to be taken to ensure that the situation becomes stable as soon as possible. This will also involve the activities that are aimed at minimizing any potential damage (Gallant, 2008).
There are several activities that can be undertaken in the disaster response phase. One of them is the evacuation and relocation of the people to facilitate their safety (Fagel, 2012). Another one is, if for instance there will be a natural event such as Tornado, people can be requested to move to the strongest parts of buildings. Therefore, the most significant events in the response phase include; sheltering, lockdown, evacuation, and shelter-in-place. The protective actions should be part of the response stage of the disaster management process as well (Fagel, 2012).
Disaster Management Planning
Emergency management planning involves all the actions that are performed to ensure that the people are ready and capable of coping with any disasters taking place in a place or region. In planning for emergency management, the experts are supposed to determine the potential emergency circumstances. It is also imperative to determine the appropriate responses that are likely to be needed for each unfortunate event that has been predicted. Additionally, in the planning stage, there is a need to conduct an impact analysis (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012). In the process of its conduction, the experts need to outline various issues. For instance, they need to understand the risks that can befall the people and the potential damage that it is likely to cause. The required resources are supposed to be identified at this stage of the planning process. They are supposed to match the risks that have been identified (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012).
The identification of risks can be determined by the history of disasters that could have happened in a region and their frequencies (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012). For instance, it is irrelevant to plan for a disaster such as a hurricane where there are no seas and oceans in the region or discuss a possible earthquake occurring in the area that has a very low seismic activity. However, for a territory that experiences heavy rains and sometimes floods, then it will be important for authorities to allocate enough resources to cope with a calamity of such type. Since chances of floods and damages related to an event of this kind, which has been experienced before, authorities and locals ensure that buildings in the area meet the requirements regarding the standing structures’ rigidity that can withstand this woe. Apart from the infrastructure, the locals and the authorities safeguard that there are resources for prevention and preparedness upon when the disaster strikes (Fagel, 2012). The main purpose of this is to ensure that there is a reduced likelihood of damages arising from disaster events in the future.
When the history of the risks is established, the next stage becomes resource allocation. Being prepared for a disaster does not guarantee that when the disaster strikes, the residents will be safe. The next strike may overwhelm the infrastructure put in place (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012). That’s where the resources will be necessary. Most of these resources invested will be inclined to cope with the disaster. More equipment should be bought to resolve the identified issue. Personnel should be trained in order to facilitate management. Finally, the residents must be equipped with knowledge so as to ensure their preparedness when the emergencies occur. All these will need allocated finances in order to secure their successful implementation. It is very important that the budget is not too high to hold money that could have been invested elsewhere or too little to cope with the prevailing disasters (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014).
Emergency management teams are very important in disaster management planning. They are assigned their roles in order to administrate, create strategies and frameworks that will act as preventive measures and as a result reduce any chances of vulnerability and hazardous events during crises and disasters (Owen, 2014). In their office, these teams have their major objectives of existence. Among those is overseeing, coordinate and communicate on behalf of the local authorities any plans and strategies towards risk management. They also employ all hazards and risks related approaches for mitigation, response, recovery procedures, and their preparedness to tackle emergencies (Owen, 2014).
Disaster management teams organize on building local and national partnerships that will be useful in case of a disastrous situation. Another role for this team is to support citizens’ understanding and proper utilization of the local command systems and national disaster management systems according to the proper principles needed (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014). These same teams that make sure that the society is prepared for a disaster, they have undergone proper training and finally they have exercised all preventive measures. The role of communicating, educating and creating awareness of proper directions is solely administered to this squad. This is done so that the society can understand what to do especially before an emergency strikes, during a disaster and most important after the crises or disastrous events (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014).
Finally, they have the role of communicating sustainable yet considerable endeavors and make sure that all strategies put in place are measurable so that they do not go overboard especially on the budget allocated. Without this team, there are chances of ineffective or a failing emergency management plan (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2014). A disaster planning pyramid shown below can be useful in coping with emergency situations.
Figure 1.Diagram showing the emergency management planning
Phases of Emergency Management Planning
There are four major phases of emergency management. This is:
Prevention and Mitigation Phase
The mitigation phase in emergency management is a phase that takes into consideration the activities that can be undertaken in order to prevent any future emergencies or to minimize the effects of those disasters. It is at this stage that certain activities are taken into consideration. These activities are the prevention of a future emergency, reduction of any chances of a disaster happening or necessary measures of reducing the damaging effects of crises that cannot be avoided (Haddow & Haddow, 2013). For instance, when one buys fire equipment or flood insurance for his or her business premises, one undertakes a mitigation activity. It is at this phase that necessary safety standards should be taken into consideration when putting up the infrastructure of any kind. Building codes, land use management, and zone regulation are also proper mitigation measures. The mitigation stage takes place always before and after a disaster has taken place. Deciding which mitigation measure to take differs from regions and locations. Factors to put into consideration are: establishing the objective of the measure and assessing the risk and the possibility of it happening (Haddow & Haddow, 2013). This helps to formulate the right prevention and mitigation.
This is a very important phase in emergency management. It is at this phase that the disaster management team prepares to handle an emergency. It includes all necessary plans and appropriate preparations that are made with the purpose of saving lives. These plans should also incline towards operations of responding to an alarming disaster and rescuing the casualties in case an emergency strikes. At this stage, there emergency accesses and evacuation routes are established, as well as the emergency field teams. Furthermore, appropriate drills are practiced and the necessary special equipment is purchased. Proper plans must be established in order to know what to do in case an event occurs, where to be so that one is safe upon a disaster strike and who are relevant to ask for help. During this phase, any activity involved should be an action that can improve a hundred percent chance of getting an emergency dealt with. Some of the most relevant preparedness measures in this phase are having emergency phone lines, installed smoke detectors, fire assembly points established, emergency exits established and properly signed, holding emergency drills occasionally, having an evacuation plan, storing food and water, just to mention a few. The preparedness phase takes place always before a disaster occurrence (Haddow & Haddow, 2013).
Safety when emergency strikes will depend on how prepared everybody is. The way one responds to a disaster usually determines how safe that person is. When it happens, it is important to act responsibly. The main aim is saving as many lives of people and even animals from the surrounding territory. Examples of response measures are taking cover and holding very tight during an earthquake, moving to the basement with one’s family in case of a tornado, releasing animals to go free when there is a wildfire, turning gas valves when there is an earthquake among others. At this stage, there is rescue relief and salvage, immediate damage assessment and instantaneous protection of damaged heritage (Fagel, 2012). This is phase takes place when a disaster is about to strike and during the process.
There is no calamity that lasts forever. When an emergency is over and there is no immediate danger to the public and the surrounding environment, people begin rearranging their lives. There are normal operations awaiting everyone and as a result, everyone takes actions that will enhance their wellbeing and safety. A disaster leaves behind the stress-related financial constraints and some sickness to humans and animals (Bumgarner, 2008). If possible, it is important to deal with this stress as early as possible. It is also in this phase that a catastrophe has been identified and the depth of damages incurred; therefore plans can be made with the purpose of lowering the effects of potential future accidents. One important measure to take during the recovery period is getting enough finances through assistance and well-wishers to help pay for the costs which will be incurred during repairs. In case there were losses of lives then burials and mourning take place at this point in time. Any stresses and trauma experienced then can be dealt with as well, through mentorship and stress management sessions (Bumgarner, 2008). All this can only happen at the recovery phase which takes place after an emergency.
Disaster management cycle
Figure 2.Diagram showing the disaster management cycle.
Figure 3. Comprehensive diagram of a disaster management cycle.
Communication and Disaster Management
Importance of Communication in Disaster Management
Communication is a vital element in disaster management. It is usually used to make sure that there is an efficient flow of information from one party to another. Communication is vital in terms of ensuring that the different agencies involved in the course of managing disasters have outlined how the information will flow from one party to another to achieve the coordination and proper consolidation of activities. One reason why information is significant is that managers or disaster management leaders will want to pass on information to the society members. Sometimes, the family members will be warned in order to escape the adverse effects that can arise from a specific disaster if they might be at great risk. Disaster management coordinators should always aim to keep in touch with all the relevant authorities at all times, making sure that they are dispensing the rightful information to them (Haddow & Haddow, 2013).
When dealing with an emergency, communication is very important in order to have successful mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. It means that accurate information is transparently and swiftly communicated to the public, officials and local authorities, as well as the media. This is a way of reducing any risks that a disaster could cause, save people and animals’ lives, save properties from destruction. Proper communication also plays a great role in securing a faster recovery of society from the woe. Media has evolved and has become a very important part of the society’s life. Media sources include local newspapers, massive radio stations (some communicating in native languages) and unlimited television stations. The widespread and popularization of the Internet has been another factor that cannot be forgotten. The Internet has become available even at our fingertips, especially with phones that can access internets. With these also comes social media, blogs, emails, text messaging and cellphone photos sharing which so far has been rated the fastest means to pass information from one point to another (Haddow & Haddow, 2013). With all these media channels the communication of invaluable information, especially in times of a disaster happening, becomes very easy and fast for any disaster management team.
When tools and the rules of communication are changing, the way disaster management teams pass on information on the disaster ahead should as well change in order to exploit all media opportunities that current trend in media provides. Key features can be taken into consideration when passing the information. The communication channels must be effective, transparent, accessible, trustworthy and most of all very reliable (Haddow & Haddow, 2013). Partnership with the relevant media sources can be a way of making sure these are accomplished. Communication can be either pre-disaster, during or post-disaster.
There have been catastrophes in recent years worldwide that have posted a concern about whether people were well prepared and communicated before the accidents arise. Efficient communication before a disaster is crucial and can save many lives and properties if people are well informed about a tragedy. The September 11, tsunamis, hurricanes and other large scale disasters have raised concerns about whether communities affected were aware of the necessary measures to take when the events unfolded (Coppola & Maloney, 2009). These tragedies give a good background on the importance of communication in the preparedness phase in disaster management.
When passing the information on a disaster underway, all the risk factors, plans to respond and all emergency procedures must be communicated in a manner that will not facilitate panic or paranoia. The public awareness and campaigns to information of a foreseen disaster are critical tools that should help any society to prepare itself and to mitigate all human and also economic impacts of a disaster ahead. Passing relevant information before an emergency is the first role of a risk management strategy towards the overall safety of the citizens. There is also a possibility when risk is communicated in advance, to receive government grants, as well as volunteers, donors, well-wishers and institutional donations, funds from which need to be channeled towards improving the safety of everyone during the disaster (Haddow & Haddow, 2013). Public awareness campaigns become a key feature in communication before a disaster.
Knowledge is the best defense. Every stakeholder of emergency management must embrace prompt communication. Various groups must be very vibrant in pre-disaster informative cooperation. The groups can be public officials, emergency managers, all evacuation teams and, most importantly, the community leaders. Not only should they be alert, but also be quick in partnering with one another so as to establish harmonized communication channels with the public (Haddow & Haddow, 2013).
During Disaster Communication
Communication does not end at the pre-disaster and is also needed during an emergency. Any country’s information transmitting systems are very important. They can either be wired or wireless, in the form of telephones, television and broadcasting cables, radios, public safety radio calls, satellite systems, as well as mostly the internet. For example, the availability of shortcodes like 911 can be of good use when disaster comes. These codes must be very short and easy to remember, even when in a panic mood. Many countries use them for the purpose of calling rescue teams because they are easy to remember. Once an emergency call has been made, it is decisive to call close relatives to know whether they are safe and also warn them of the tragedy. While doing this, it is very important to also switch on televisions or radio within reach so that to get real-time news on the progress (Haddow & Haddow, 2013).
The moment one notices a disaster, immediate action to reporting may save lives before disconnections of mobile phones. This is because, although there are efforts of improving and modernizing the communication in the whole world, even with most modern technologies, there can be a high possibility of them experiencing an unbearable strain, especially during a disaster. Even with that, local authorities must ensure that emergency communication channels have been upgraded and can withstand a calamity and remain operational (Haddow & Haddow, 2013). There should also be centers that give automatic feedback, especially when a natural disaster happens. For instance, if there is an earthquake, there should be special gadgets that predict the major upcoming earthquake and send signals to the science department that deals with them. Then, scientists should make an alarm call to relevant people including fire brigades and the media houses.
Media, in its turn, must immediately warn the people within the epicenter to act depending on the magnitude of the earthquake. The responding system to a disaster must take into consideration communicating the emergency to all people including the disabled, especially with speech and hearing disability. Any means to pass communication when a disaster is on the way or strike is very important. One can distribute random phone messages and ask others to pass them on. When one receives a message of alarming information then pass that message even to the rest and if possible contact the authorities and media with the information.
If a disaster is over, whether a natural or manmade one, it causes serious injuries, damages and even death. Buildings, roads, transportation systems, utilities such as electricity, which are important as necessities for effective operations, are also affected and this is a blow to every community in the affected region (Clarke, Fanany, & Kenny, 2010). The most important infrastructure to recover after a disaster is communication-related. These are vital because they shall assist the post-disaster activities like rescuing and recovery.
Effective rescuing and recovery mean minimized injuries and deaths on the survivors and victims of the risk. Some damages caused by a woe become so intense that recovering a communication channel on the ground becomes a bit trivial. It is at this stage when wireless communications are applied. These include satellite communications, communication, and band radios, which can be alternative choices to deploy (Haddow & Haddow, 2013). Therefore, when a tragedy strikes and normal communication operations have been affected, the alternative channels can be adapted, depending on the durability of the communication network, time and money and the availability of the required service. Communication after a disaster will not only be helpful during the rescuing mission but also when dealing with traumas and stress management. There should be established means to send and receive instructions on how to deal with the aftermath of a catastrophe. Some may need counseling and guidance to recover from losses of properties, friends, and relatives. Proper channels to get proper directions will be very useful at this stage.
Human Challenges during Disaster Management
Regardless of a disaster type, it leads to most deaths when they happen. There are also damages and wreckages of homes, buildings and also environments. For any community to remain strong they have to stand together and work towards coping with anticipated future threats, limiting negative effects and, most importantly, restoring normal functionality after a crisis (Owen, 2014). Following some evidence from the past research, there is proof that when private and public sectors come together, they can strengthen the community through the preparation of responding and recovering from a disaster. They should work side by side in order to meet the necessary standards for the community within the surrounding area. They implement things like building codes, improving community education, retrofitting buildings and issuing extreme warnings before a disaster strikes. Local authorities and the government in most affected regions also emphasize the importance of collaboration between these two sectors towards responding to a disaster and ensuring preparedness. Establishing private and public cooperation is a means of investigating an already existing one. The results form a channel for enhancing it or creating a new and better collaboration. This is very important to the community since they help in the development of a better, sustainable and most effective community resilience.
Emergency Management Specialist
Every community must have a way of overcoming an emergency, whether it is natural or manmade. To do this, there should be a dedicated emergency management team. Anyone who qualifies to work in this squad must-have skills that are related to dealing with a disaster. However, a team is not complete without its leader. This is where an emergency management specialist comes in. His job is to facilitate proper coordination in disaster response and all crisis management activities of the team. They also make sure that everybody involved is well-trained and prepared for an unfortunate event, as well as prepare plans and procedures to tackle an emergency. It does not matter whether it is a natural, wartime or technological disaster, including any emergency that is hostage related (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012).
Emergency management specialist plays a vital role before, during and after disastrous events. First, he/she collaborates with officials for better preparations and analyses of damages assessments when there is a disaster or an emergency. Secondly, they help in designing a survey that should determine necessary emergency-related requirements, which should be considered when discussing emergency planning. It is the manager’s role to provide support to the team conducting the abovementioned survey. Thirdly, he has a mandate of consulting the local government, educational and medical institutions in order to establish whether they have the capacity to withstand pressures when a disaster strikes. Fourthly, the emergency team leader coordinates activities needed to be undertaken in a hazardous situation such as evacuation, the creation of necessary shelters, and making sure those who need special attention are treated accordingly. Fifthly, he/she carries out disaster management training, the main purpose of which is to enable the team to be effective in responding to an emergency when it comes. Additionally, such a person ensures that there is a liaison with other municipalities, institutions and government departments in order to get funds that will enable the success of the efforts to coordinate the team’s activities. These are the assets used to purchase equipment and gadgets for the squad’s role (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012).
The specialists also come up with tests that make sure the designed emergency management plans are appropriate and follow the standard set by the authorities and legal regulations. Furthermore, they undertake inspections of certain equipment and facilities dedicated to providing a response to the ongoing disaster. He makes sure that they operate and function according to their capability in the event of a catastrophe. Finally, he keeps records and information about the potential or active emergency, in order to make necessary changes and process the newly received information (Phillips, Neal & Webb, 2012).
Without a qualified and experienced emergency management specialist, the community does not stand a chance to be stable, since the team assigned to do the job of responding will most probably fail to undertake to play their roles as stipulated. In this case, there is a possibility of incurring greater losses during a disaster, which could have been avoided if there was a specialist in disaster management team (Gallant, 2008).
Emergency management can also be referred to as disaster management. This managerial technique entails putting up plans that should be implemented during an emergency and eliminate or reduce the impacts of any disaster. A society that is exposed to dangers of a disaster attempts to implement these measures so as to remain protected from threatening dangers. For emergency management to be effective, proper planning should be made, and everything should have a particular structure. This involves four phases; mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The first one, mitigation and preparedness phases, include actions needed to be taken before an emergency has occurred, then preparedness comes in during a disaster, while the recovery phase, logically, happens after a disaster. For effective emergency response, financial resources and necessary activities need to be present in order to make sure that the response to a disaster does not cause more harm. Developing an emergency response plan is imperative for the purpose of making prior plans that enhance the way a society responds to disasters.
A team must be assigned for this role so as to facilitate proper planning for major phases of the emergency management. This team cannot function properly until proper communication procedures are in place. Communication is important before a disaster strikes, during, and even more after a disaster. Effective communication enhances alertness when calamity strikes. When tackling an emergency, the team and the local government play a vital role in saving and helping the community, especially during recovery from a disaster. Their main objectives include trying return residents of the community to their initial or better state, in comparison to their previous economic, financial and mostly environmental status. For an emergency management team to be competent, it must have trained and equipped personnel, as well as the specialist – an emergency management leader, whose main purpose is to foresee the functions of an emergency management team. The specialist must be intelligent and more educated than the rest of his subordinates and give the mandate to undertake and foresee various duties and tasks for the team. Well, operating emergency management in society is an advantage in terms of coping with risks and dangers that befall on the affected community when a disaster strikes.