Phases & Activities of Emergency Management

The nature of management depends on local economic and social conditions. Some disaster relief experts have noted that in a sense the only real disasters are economic. Experts have long noted that the cycle of emergency management must include long-term work on infrastructure, public awareness, and even human justice issues.

The process of emergency management involves four phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

EMA

Mitigation

Mitigation efforts attempt to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether, or to reduce the effects of disasters when they occur. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases because it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk. Mitigative measures can be structural or non-structural. Structural measures use technological solutions, like flood levees. Non-structural measures include legislation, land-use planning (e.g. the designation of nonessential land like parks to be used as flood zones), and insurance. Mitigation is the most cost-efficient method for reducing the impact of hazards, however it is not always suitable. Mitigation does include providing regulations regarding evacuation, sanctions against those who refuse to obey the regulations (such as mandatory evacuations), and communication of potential risks to the public. Some structural mitigation measures may have adverse effects on the ecosystem.

Preparedness

In the preparedness phase, emergency managers develop plans of action for when the disaster strikes. Common preparedness measures include:

Another aspect of preparedness is casualty prediction, the study of how many deaths or injuries to expect for a given kind of event. This gives planners an idea of what resources need to be in place to respond to a particular kind of event.

Response

The respose phase includes the mobilization of the necessary emergency services and first responders in the disaster area. This is likely to include a first wave of core emergency services, such as firefighters, police and ambulance crews.

Organizational response to any significant disaster - natural or terrorist-borne - is based on existing emergency management organizational systems and processes: the Federal Response Plan (FRP) and the Incident Command System (ICS). These systems are solidified through the principles of Unified Command (UC) and Mutual Aid (MA)

Recovery

The aim of the recovery phase is to restore the affected area to its previous state. It differs from the response phase in its focus; recovery efforts are concerned with issues and decisions that must be made after immediate needs are addressed. Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, re-employment, and the repair of other essential infrastructure. An important aspect of effective recovery efforts is taking advantage of a 'window of opportunity'for the implementation of mitigative measures that might otherwise be unpopular. Citizens of the affected area are more likely to accept more mitigative changes when a recent disaster is in fresh memory.




Functions and Services

Toll Free County Contacts

Related Sites of Interest

Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security