What Does Emergency Management Do?
Emergency Preparedness is responsible for
- Developing and maintaining an all hazards plan for disaster response
- Coordinating response to emergencies of all sizes, be it a local response or an incident requiring state or federal assistance
- Managing long term mitigation and recovery efforts before and after any incident
- Establishing and maintaining inter and intra-jurisdictional agreements
- Preparing and conducting emergency response exercises twice a year
Phases of Emergency Management
Mitigation refers to the actions taken before an event occurs to prevent or lessen the impact the event has to life and property. Examples of mitigation activities are:
- Establish building codes
- Grant funding
Preparedness involves activities, actions, procurements, planning, training and inter jurisdictional cooperation designed to increase response readiness to identified hazards the community faces.
Response involves the mobilization of resources to meet the needs of the community in response to the nature of the disaster, including local, county, state and federal resources as necessary. Response is usually associated with the period of time immediately after the event and necessary to ensure life safety issues are handled. Examples of response activities include:
- Fire and EMS services
- Search and Rescue
- Debris removal
- Public works activities
- Law enforcement
Recovery is the long-term mobilization of support operations that work toward returning the community to its pre-event condition. This period is usually when social services and volunteer organizations tasked with relief effort gear up. The greater the magnitude of the disaster, the greater the recovery effort.
Family Disaster Plan
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do in different situations.
Family Emergency Supply Kit
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross recommend families stock their homes with six basics: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container, such as a covered trash container, a camping backpack or a duffle bag.
- Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.
- Store one gallon of water per person per day.
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Your selections should include ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables; canned juices; staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.); high energy foods and vitamins. Remember food for family members with special needs, such as infants or people with dietary restrictions.
First Aid Supplies
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car that includes:
- 20 adhesive bandages in various sizes
- 5″ x 9″ sterile dressing
- Conforming roller gauze bandage
- 2 triangular bandages
- Sterile gauze pads
- Roll of 3″ cohesive bandage
- Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Antiseptic wipes
- Large medical grade non-latex gloves
- Adhesive tape, 2″ width
- Anti-bacterial ointment
- Cold pack
- Scissors (small, personal)
- CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield
- Non-prescription drugs, such as aspirin or non aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid (for stomach upset), syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person. Consider including sturdy shoes or work boots, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags, hat and gloves, thermal underwear and sunglasses.
Tools and supplies
Your emergency supplies should include a battery-operated radio and flashlight with extra batteries, matches in a waterproof container, a non-electric can opener, eating utensils, a fire extinguisher, plastic sheeting and tape. Also remember to have cash on hand because banks may not be open and ATMs may not be operating. Other items to consider include signal flares, sewing supplies, basic tools, maps, a whistle and sanitation supplies (such as toilet paper, a plastic bucket, disinfectant and soap).
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants, the elderly, or people with disabilities. Make sure your supply kit includes diapers, formula, prescription medications, contact lens supplies, extra eyeglasses or other special items your family may need. Also include games and books for children.
For more information on creating your own emergency supply kit, click here.