Emergency Management Director in XYZ Town
Being the emergency managing director of XYZ town, I have prepared an emergency plan that can be used in case of a disaster. To start with, an emergency plan can be defined as “pre-impact accomplishments that institute a state of enthusiasm to retort to extreme events that could affect the public” (FEMA, 2012). An emergency plan enables the communities living in the town as well as organizations to minimize negative outcomes of emergencies by actively responding to ensure the safety of individuals and physical structures. Adverse outcomes involve loss of life and destruction of property. I actually understand that preparation for an emergency is completed through effective planning, training, equipping, and conducting drills to test the plan. I have made sure that the community is always prepared and informed in the event of an emergency or a disaster.
The emergency plan specifies procedures for handling unexpected and sudden situations. The plan’s main objective is to prevent injuries and fatalities. The plan also helps to reduce damage to equipment, stock, and building as well to protect the environment and the town’s community. With the plan in place, acceleration of resuming normal operations is guaranteed in case of an emergency. In my plan, I have introduced an emergency support number. The emergency support function number is very important and can be used in several ways in helping with risk situations. It can facilitate understanding of the logic leading to urgency or an undesired state. It is used on many occasions to determine what causes the undesired state. It also depicts the way in which a particular system failure might occur (Dorge, Jones, & Institute, 2009).
Aims of the Plan
The main aim of an emergency plan is to protect safety and health of communities and emergency responders. Moreover, an emergency plan should protect both public and private property and the environment while minimizing disruption of day-to-day activities in the community. The resources available during an emergency refer to facilities, equipment, trained personnel, and others. Planning is central to the whole exercise of developing an emergency response plan. One of the main aims of planning is to come up with a method of an emergency response that all involved stakeholders have agreed upon. This plan should be implementable, and resources should be dedicated to it (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2008). Planning is ready when the response to a disaster strike involves having an agreement among the relevant stakeholders in terms of who will provide services when an emergency occurs, and who will be in charge of coordinating the response.
In my plan, I have done what is called vulnerability assessment. The emergency plan involves rehearsals. The emergency response plan should also include simulation exercises, although the simulation exercises never capture the real dynamics of a disaster and the related chaos. I know that rehearsing an emergency response plan is still important because it will test the entire response plan and emphasize on ideas generated in different disaster training programs. Emergency response rehearsals must be carried out in a manner that examines the effectiveness of the entire system.
In coming up with the emergency plan, I have considered all the possible threats, calamities, and disasters that may come. A vulnerability analysis entails a continuous dynamic process where organizations and people assess risks and hazards they face and come up with a plan of what they are willing to do about these perils. During vulnerability assessment, data that helps in understanding the potential threat a community faces is also gathered, and the available emergency response resources are evaluated (Stringfield, 2000).
Resources for an Emergency Plan
In my capacity as an emergency management director in the town, I understand that successful and disaster preparedness involves dealing with sequences of undesirable events. With regard to the resources, the local government has tried to partner with me as I have the personnel required in case of an emergency. There is a local planning committee that evaluates the need for resources necessary to develop, implement, and exercise the plan (FEMA, 2012). The recommendations made by the committee should concern additional resources that may be required and the means of providing such resources.
In developing an effective emergency response, available resources must be taken into consideration. The resource requirement will depend on the type of the disaster the plan is designed to respond to. The resources that are needed to deal with a disaster should be clearly stipulated in the plan, and they should address all areas of disaster relief and recovery. Arrangements should also be made to enable all the involved stakeholders to secure resources as they will need to execute their functions during a disaster. Regarding this, some of the important issues that the plan should address regard how emergency response funds will be acquired and disbursed. It should also address the creation of policies that will determine how emergency response equipment and funds will be used and the strategies for acquiring emergency funds.
In my town, the community has been supported well by the government both locally and nationally in terms of resources. According to FEMA (2012), an emergency plan needs to have some form of public education for people who are likely to face a disaster. Emergency response education can be conducted in different ways. An effective emergency response plan should be able to predict the things that will be needed during an emergency response. The emergency response plan will only be effective if beneficiaries know exactly what to do when a disaster strikes and what to expect (Dorge, Jones, & Institute, 2009).
Since there are some challenges like funding, I have even tried to get an non-governmental organization to partner with us in the emergency management plan. When there is an effective emergency response plan in place, the process of warning, evacuating, and sheltering victims becomes much easier.
Emergency response plans normally emphasize on the ways of dealing with specific disasters. However, this does not mean that emergency response plans completely negate other aspects of disaster management like recovery and mitigation. For instance, an emergency response plan can be specifically designed to address floods, hurricanes, and manmade disasters like terrorist attacks. This has prompted an effective local emergency response to be tailored to address a specific disaster rather than to be left broad. One of the dilemmas that have been faced in developing emergency response plans is to determine who should take part in the planning process. According to experts, local people, grassroots organizations, and local law enforcement agencies should be included in the planning process. This can be explained by the fact that local people in disaster prone areas normally have a form of a coping mechanism that they have developed over time.
Being the director of disaster management, I understand the importance of response mechanisms to be used in case of an emergency. The response mechanisms that will be used during an emergency are the most important part of developing an emergency response system. There are types of responses that should be considered before settling on one or before allocating different stakeholders a specific type of the response. Some of the typical responses used during emergencies include evacuation, search, and rescue, securing affected areas, and assessment teams. Others include activation of special emergency installations, for example emergency hospital facilities, distribution systems, preparation of emergency shelters and reception centers (Stringfield, 2000). The response mechanism used during an emergency should be familiar to all the parties involved in the emergency response.
I have prepared the emergency plans that includes some aspects of recovery. The emergency response plan briefly stipulates the procedures that will be used in impact assessment, carrying out repairs and restorations, creating alternative solutions, conducting post-incident analysis, and updating the emergency response plan.
Partners in Large Scale Emergency
Our emergency plan involves law enforcement entities. An emergency plan that involves local law enforcement officers will be effective if the responsibility for coordinating emergency response is left to the police. On the other hand, service provision is left to other government agencies and non-governmental organizations like the police. The agreements between different stakeholders regarding who will provide services and coordinate the process can be in the form of master plans, a mutual aid agreement, and a memorandum of understanding. During the planning stage of creating an emergency response plan, the main aim is not just to come up with a plan but to stimulate interaction between the involved stakeholders and come up with relevant ideas. The written plan is often considered a by-product of the consultation process and not the main objective of the planning process. In developing an emergency response plan, the stakeholders consider four important points. These include ensuring that the plan has a clear goal or sets of goals and coming up with a systematic sequence of activities in a clear and a logical manner. It also includes assigning specific responsibilities and tasks and integrating responsibilities, tasks, and activities (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2008).
For the emergency development plan that includes local law enforcement agencies to be effective, there must be coordination. There are no prescribed ways of making sure that there is coordination because it depends on the type of the used plan (FEMA, 2012). However, even plans meant to address emergencies at the local level will be ineffective if there is no horizontal coordination with other government agencies at the national level. In developing emergency response plans that include local law enforcement agencies, new institutional frameworks should not be created instead; local authorities should work within the structure established by the federal government.
All the stakeholders involved in the emergency response in the town know their roles and responsibilities they need to undertake before, during, and after an emergency. Regarding this, meetings are held at least once a year, and these meetings are tailored towards educating the parties involved in the plan.
Summary of our Success
It is evident that during the development of an emergency response plan many factors should be taken into consideration. However, the most crucial factors that should be given more emphasis are the availability of resources; the assessment that should determine the magnitude and extent of the disaster, and the identification of the type of response that should be employed. The evaluation of the magnitude of the disaster should also identify the communities that are likely to experience these disasters and give them special attention.
To my emergency management plan, our town has always been ready and prepared for disasters like fire, which has been dealt with in a civilized way, thus reducing casualties. All the disasters that have occurred in the town has not caught the community unaware, and I am happy to lead the team that makes sure that all are safe. We have been able to prevent disasters in our town before they happen.