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There four phases of emergence planning including mitigation, preparedness, response and reconstruction. Mitigation phase involves efforts made by the charged management and the community in general to prevent any known and foreseeable hazard from developing into a destructive disaster. It also involves reducing the effects associated with the occurrence of a disaster. As such, this phase is different from all others as it involves development of long term measures and strategies useful for avoiding and reducing risks in a society.
When mitigation measures are applied after a disaster has occurred, they can be considered as a part of the recovery process. Mitigation strategies can be structural in the sense that they make use of the existing technology or they can be non-structural such as legislation, insurance or land use planning. It is this phase that most of the efforts of emergence managers should be concentrated as this can help in avoiding most types of disasters.
Another important phase of emergence planning is the preparedness phase in which emergency managers strive to develop action plans to counter the occurrence of a disaster. Most of the emergence planners spend much time and resources in this stage in an effort to prepare themselves and organize resources needed. The common measures undertaken in this phase include effective communication plans, training and maintenance of emergence services inclusive of enough human resources to deal with any disaster that may occur (Krischenbaum, 2004, p. 21).
Other measures include the exercise and development of effective methods of warning the population about the occurrence of an emergency coupled with evacuation plans and emergence shelters, maintenance of enough disaster equipments and supply besides the necessary inventory and finally, the development of emergence organizations of properly trained volunteers among the population in an area. Another important aspect of this phase is the prediction of the casualties that can be expected from a given disaster which helps the planners to estimate the amount and type of resources needed to respond to an emergence.
In the response phase, emergence managers are charged with the role of mobilizing all the required resources to deal with a disaster. Resources such as firefighters, police and ambulance among others forms the first wave of responders to a disaster to help save and put to a safe place those hit by the disaster. The planners mobilize all the resources inclusive of human resources and other type of resources such as evacuation cars and ladders, medical supplies among others.
The effectiveness of this phase is based on how well the planners had organized and rehearsed the preparedness phase (Krischenbaum, 2004, p. 43). The final phase is that of recovery or reconstruction of the affected area in an effort to restore it to its previous status. Here, planners would organize the reconstruction of infrastructure, and offering aid to the affected individuals to help recover and reconstruct their lives. 2. The process of risk analysis A risk can be defined as a quantifiable probability of specific eventualities.
In regard to disasters, a risk can be seen as the probability of negative outcomes of a disaster. Risk analysis involves the application of various strategies and methods in assessing the possible impact of a disaster occurrence in a society. It involves the application of various tools such as cost benefit analysis in an effort to have an idea regarding the potential impact of a disaster. As such, risk analysis is an important step in emergence management as it helps emergence managers to better organize resources for effective mitigation and response to a disaster.
Risk analysis help in determining the situations likely to occur and which needs most of the attention in planning process. It involves the identification of threats posed by a disaster inclusive of the economic and social risks. As such, disaster managers should assess the risks in terms of loss of lives, property among other resources in the society. After such identification, the managers should try and quantify the risk through the application of various tools such as socio-economic cost benefit analysis.
Whether faced with a shortage of resources or not, managers should undertake risk analysis as this will help them have a clear picture of what they would expect if a given disaster occurs. They will be able to effectively allocate resources during the planning period and effectively respond to a given disaster with the required speed, resources and preciseness (Sundra, 1995, p. 98). An actual assessment of possible risks through the available tools of analysis is thus important if emergence planning process is to be effective as a whole.
Managers should therefore conduct risk analysis for better allocation of resources besides better planning. 3. The importance of emergence plan to a community or urgency? There are various types of disasters that can face any given community. Some disasters are easy to mitigate while others cannot be mitigated nor can they be prevented from occurring. For example, while it is possible to mitigate the consequences of flooding, it is not possible to stop the rain from falling.
Still, measures can be put in place to avoid certain consequences associated with hurricanes by it is practically impossible to prevent a hurricane from occurring. An emergency plan is important while dealing with disasters as it enables a community or an agency charged with the role of managing emergencies to better respond to any occurrence of such a disaster. For one, an emergence plan helps in mitigating the occurrence of disasters and the risks associated.
Measures such as ensuring all the buildings comply with architectural rules and regulations helps in reducing the risk of such buildings collapsing in case of an earthquake. Further, an emergency plan helps the community to be completely prepared in terms of types and the amount of resources that would be needed if a disaster occurs (Alexander, 2007, p. 47). Here, the community or the agency will have the resources ready and this will help the emergence team to respond fast and effectively. It will help in ensuring that all the required resources are available and effectively allocated when responding to a disaster.
Such a plan should therefore include all the resources needed besides outlining the various steps to be followed while dealing with a disaster. It should include a cost analysis or a budget covering all the resources required. Still, all actors should be well informed of the plan so as to ensure a smooth flow of all the phases and steps required to deal with a disaster. 4. Roles played by emergence managers in planning medical emergence for mass-casualty incident Disasters which results in mass casualties demand a lot of resource allocation and efforts on the side of disaster managers.
When there are mass casualties, medical care can pose a big problem and thus managers need to be well informed and knowledgeable of the steps that need to be taken if such a situation occurs. As such, managers should be able to organize all the resources inclusive of medical crew and medical suppliers at least to deal with the minor incidence of injuries. Further, disaster managers should be able to communicate with the existing hospital managements about the casualties and organize with such hospitals to offer space to the casualties.
On the other hand, to facilitate medical care to mass casualties, disaster managers can request medical staff from available hospitals besides organizing for transportation methods such as helicopters to air lift those affected and ambulances to take the injured to the hospitals. The managers should fully cooperate with other actors to ensure that the causalities are taken care of. Evacuation and rescue teams should be mobilized to un-trap those who may be trapped in various places and to bring these people into safety (Terry, 2003, p. 56).
Moreover, a disaster manager can cooperate with the community for a camp site where mobile hospitals can be erected to help save the situation. Medical help should be sought from various directions including organizations such as the Red Cross among others. A complete and continuous supply of medical resources should be maintained to ensure that all the medical staff are fully supplied and equipped with the necessary supplies. Every effort and measures should be taken to ensure that all the relevant actors are involved and all the casualties attended to. 5.
What makes for a good emergency manager or disaster manager? For one to be a good disaster or emergency manager, there are a lot of considerations that need to be put into consideration. Other that the professional qualifications needed of such a manager, other behavioral and character traits are needed to ensure the effectiveness of the manager. A manager can be fully educated about ways and means of dealing with a disaster or an emergency besides all the strategies needed in such a situation but may still be ineffective in his or her leadership. To start with, a manager needs to be a self propelling person.
When faced with an emergency, many decisions need to be made and fast. The manager should be able to make quick and effective decisions with minimal reliance on others if the various steps involved are to be successful. Still, the manager should be able to work under harsh conditions as is typical with most of the disasters. He or she should be able to flexible to work at odd hours and be prepared to do all that it takes to save the situation. In general, the manager should be a team leader, self propelling, flexible in terms of space and time and also be innovative (Cahill, 2003, p.
103). Despite the existence of emergency agencies and organizations, there is shortage of resources to many of these agencies. Resources such as ambulances, human resources, tents and other resources are limited thus jeopardizing the whole process of emergence planning and action. Evacuation tools and machinery are today rare to many emergency agencies besides lack of enough man power. In essence, this has resulted to slow response in some situations and foreign aid to fill the resource gap.
Alexander E. (2007).Moving beyond “special needs”: A function-based framework for emergency management and planning. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Vol. 17, pp. 47 Cahill K. M. (2003). Emergency relief operations. Mahwah NJ. Quorum Books, pp. 103 Krischenbaum A. (2004). Chaos organization and disaster management. Westport CT, Praeger Publishers, pp. 21, 43 Saundra K. (1995). Flirting with disaster: Public management in crisis situations. London, Routledge, pp. 98 Terry Cannon (2003). At risk: Natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters. Routledge, pp. 56