The Phases of Disaster Management
Emergency Management Emergency management is often described in terms of “phases,” using terms such as mitigate, prepare, respond and recover. The main purpose of this assignment is to examine the origins, underlying concepts, variations, limitations, and implications of the “phases of emergency management.” In this paper we will look at definitions and descriptions of each phase or component of emergency management, the importance of understanding interrelationships and responsibilities for each phase, some newer language and associated concepts (e.g., disaster resistance, sustainability, resilience, business continuity, risk management), and the diversity of research perspectives.
The next two phases take place after the disaster/emergency has occurred. In the response phase, emergency actions are taken during both the impact of the disaster and the short-term effects after the disaster. Search and rescue or emergency relief are examples of actions taken during the response phase. The primary goal of during a response to a disaster is to maintain life and help assist those who are injured to become healthier. Primary response teams are normally assigned ahead of time and in most cases, these people will be the first responders (Fire Department, Police Department, Rescue Squads, and Emergency Medical Service). Some jurisdictions may also assign a certain department that will serve as a back-up to help supplement the first responders that are already on the scene. During this phase is where one might see more of the humanitarian organizations like the American Red Cross involved. It is also important that there is an integration and coordination between federal and local agencies (as well as agencies from surrounding communities) during the response phase. In conjunction with this, there has been a suggestion of Disaster Response Teams (DRTs) that should be formed with the responsibility of the coordination, communications, command and control of all federal agencies responding to an event with six teams positioned across the United States. Making up this team would be command and staff functions such as administration, planning, communications, operations, finance, logistics and command. The final stage is the recovery stage. This process involves repairing the damages, restoring basic services, and reconstruction after the disaster has struck.
The environmental aspect of human ecology played a major role in determining the out come of the hurricane. In comparing the urban setting of the two counties, in New Orleans there was congestion in structures coupled with dense populations. Many structures in New Orleans were old and of lower quality in workmanship, in comparison to those in Mississippi. This made them susceptible to disasters and hurricane Katrina did a lot of devastation. Some parts of what is New Orleans today were reclaimed from low lands and levees constructed to prevent high sea water from getting to the land. All this was done to create space for town expansion, and this made people settle on low grounds which contributed to high damage on property and high mortality rates. (LCA 2006).The reality of the matter is that children get affected by disasters just like adults but they postpone their reactions until when they feel it is safe for them to express their feelings which manifests it self in their behaviours. In many situations such children develop erratic behaviours and counselling is required to assist the child regain the normal mental status. Usually the delay lasts until a time when they feel that their parents will be able to cope with them and they explode. In many situations the reactions would be inform of bad behaviours and that way it would be easy to help a child overcome. (Maskrey, A. 1999)
Briefly, 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.
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