What’s the difference between emergency preparedness and emergency response?

Emergency preparedness refers to actions which can and  should be performed prior to an emergency, such as  planning and coordination meetings, procedure writing,  team training, emergency drills and exercises, and  prepositioning of emergency equipment. Emergency response  refers to actions taken in response to an actual, ongoing  event.

What are some of the challenges of rural emergency management?

There are several challenges in rural communities  regarding emergency preparedness and response. These  include lack of or low funding of rural volunteer fire  stations and emergency departments, long travel distances  between residents and emergency personnel resulting in  longer response times, and out-migration of young people  resulting in workforce and staffing issues. Additional  rural emergency management challenges are discussed in   “Challenges of Rural Emergency Management”, by Dianna  Bryant.

What does shelter in place mean?

Sheltering in place is one of several response options  available to emergency management directors to provide an  additional level of protection in the event of an  emergency. Shelter in place is a protective action  designed to use an indoor facility, such as a person’s home  or a public building, and its indoor atmosphere to shield  people from a hazardous outdoor environment. Sheltering  in place means persons will remain in a building until  emergency management officials issue additional  instructions or declare that the emergency condition has  ended. It is a short-term option for limiting the  potential exposure of persons to hazards that may be  present in the outdoor environment. It will most likely  be a matter of hours, not days.

Information can be found on websites dealing with  preparedness, such as Ready.gov.

What is CERT?

The  Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program  educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards  that may impact their area and trains them in basic  disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light  search and rescue, team organization, and disaster  medical operations. Using the training learned in the  classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist  others in their neighborhood or workplace following an  event when professional responders are not immediately  available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to  support emergency response agencies by taking a more  active role in emergency preparedness projects in their  community.

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