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.