Emergency Management Exam 2

Commonly refers to activities undertaken prior to the onset of a disaster to enhance the response capacities of individuals and households, organizations, communities, states, and nations.
Enhanced Response Capacity
Refers to the ability of social units to accurately assess a hazard, realistically anticipate likely problems in he event of an actual disaster, and appropriately take precautionary measures to reduce impacts and ensure an efficient and effective response.
General Point
We can dramatically improve our ability to respond to disasters by taking appropriate actions before they ever strike.
Disasters Will Occur
The reality of modern living and encouraging appropriate protective actions. Disasters seem to be increasing in frequency, scale, and complexity.
1. Levels of Analysis
Individuals and households can take protective measures such as storing first aid kits to ensure personal safety during a disaster while nations of the world can enter into agreements to provide disaster relief to impoverished countries.
2. Degrees of Preparedness
Preparedness is a matter of degree, ranging from low to high, with some social units engaging in a few or no preparedness activities and others taking many precautionary measures as possible.
3. Standardized Measure of Disaster Preparedness
Households and organizational levels of analysis, researchers typically use checklists to measure disaster preparedness. High levels of analysis like communities, states, and nations are more difficult to measure due to strength and legitimacy of political institutions, intergovernmental relationships, locations and priorities of emergency management functions, social and financial capital, and other factors.
4. Cultural Context
Central feature of every society that exerts powerful influence over individual behavior.
Material Culture
Includes the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, the tools we use, the stories we write, the monuments we build, and other physical objects produced by societies.
Non-material Culture
Covers shared values, our moral beliefs about right and wrong, the norms and rules governing our behavior, traditions, and the sense of collective identity that bind us together.
Mitigation or Preparing for Future Disaster
Must first believe they can do something about the threat. Not all societies believe they control their own destinies and can prevent disasters and other events from happening. “Acts of God”
Wealthy and Most Developed Countries
Preparedness levels are generally low, risks maybe ignored or underestimated, and dangerous decisions are made, laying the groundwork for future disasters.
Cultural Beliefs
Are firmly entrenched, slow to change, and strongly resistant to outside influence.
All-Hazards Approach to Emergency Management
Households, organizations, and communities can maximize the effectiveness of their preparedness efforts and make the most of limited resources by embracing the all-hazards approach. Basic provisions such as non-perishable food items, water, radios, flashlights, and batteries are needed after any natural or technological disaster.
Individual and Household Preparedness Activities
Preparedness activities are often measured using checklists of actions people take prior to a disaster such as:
-Obtaining disaster-related information.
-Attending meetings to learn about disaster preparedness.
-Purchasing food and water.
-Storing a flashlight, radio, batteries, and a first aid kit.
-Learning first aid.
-Developing and practicing a family emergency plan.
-Bracing furniture (in earthquake prone areas).
-Installing shutters (in hurricane prone areas). or a safe room or storm cellar (in tornado prone areas).
-Purchasing hazard-specific insurance.
FEMA Advises Individuals and Households
1. Get a disaster kit.
2. Make a plan
3. Be informed (www.ready.gov)
Organizational Preparedness Activities
Public (government) and private (business) sectors’ preparedness checklists include many of the same activities that apply to households and some additional measures such as:
-Talking to employees about disaster preparedness.
-Conducting drills and exercises.
-Receiving specialized training.
-Developing relocation plans.
-Obtaining an emergency generator.
-Purchasing business interruption insurance.
FEMA Advises Organizations
Preparedness cycle of five key elements: planning, organizing and equipping, training, exercising, and evaluating and improving by applying lessons learned.
Plan->Organize Equip->Train->Exercise->Evaluate Improve
Community Preparedness Activities
-Testing sirens, emergency alert, and other warning systems
-Conducting educational programs and distributing disaster related information.
-Conducting multi-organizational drills and exercises.
-Establishing mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities.
-Maintaining an emergency operations center.
-Conducting a hazard identification and risk analysis.
However, disaster drills and exercises are most effective as preparedness tools when they are based on:
-Realistic scenarios, including accurate assumptions about disaster-induced demands, resource shortages, and communication difficulties.
-Accurate assumptions about how people and organizations respond to disasters, rather than myths of disaster.
-Meaningful involvement rather than ritualistic, symbolic, or mandated participation.
-Integration of multiple organizations and levels of government with citizen participants.
-Recognition that disasters do not always follow plans and often require participants to think creatively and improvise to solve unanticipated problems.
Dimensions of Preparedness
1. Preparedness activities can be grouped in terms of their primary objectives. Life safety, protecting property, knowledge acquisition and dissemination, and contain losses and ensure continuity of operations.
2. Preparedness activities vary it terms of their degree of coordination. Community-wide drills involving multiple organizations are more complex and require extensive coordination as compared tasks on a smaller scale.
3. Preparedness activities obviously vary on financial cost. Preparedness levels remain uneven in society and leave some segments of the population at much greater risk when disaster strikes.
Gillespie and Streeter (1987)
Suggest that disaster preparedness entails planning, establishing resources, developing warning systems, skills in training and practicing, and almost any pre-disaster action which is assumed to improve the safety or effectiveness of disaster response.
Tierney et al. (2001)
Broadly speaking, the objective of emergency preparedness is to enhance the ability of social units to respond when a disaster occurs. The goal of preparedness is to develop appropriate strategies for responding ensuring that resources necessary to carrying out an effective response are in place prior to the onset of a disaster or that they can e obtained promptly when needed.
Mileti (1999)
The purpose of preparedness is to anticipate problems in disasters so that ways can be devised to address the problems effectively and so that resources needed for an effective response are in place beforehand.
Drabek (1986)
States that preparedness and mitigation are very similar, and describes the line between as “blurry.” He defines mitigation as purposive acts designed toward the elimination of, reduction in probability of, or reduction of the effects of potential disasters.” Preparedness activities are predicated on the assumption that disasters of various forms will occur, but that their negative consequences may be reduced-mitigated, if you will, but in this special sense.
Combined Goals of Mitigation and Preparedness
1. Preventing disasters from occurring in the first place via measures such as stricter building codes and land-use ordinances banning development in flood prone areas.
2. Reducing the impacts of disasters primarily by adequately preparing for them ahead of time.
Recovery Phase
Relevant to preparedness, Hurricane Katrina shows us that our nation lacks effective plans for dealing with a massive displacement of people from their homes for a prolonged period of time.
LoP Individuals and Household
Higher socioeconomic status and levels of education, the presence of children, and home ownership all contribute to higher levels of readiness. Conversely, the poor, racial and ethnic minorities, and those who do not own their homes ted to be far les prepared. Preparedness levels are also affected by previous disaster experience and risk perception