Phases of Emergency Management

by Rivka Saville, May 2015

1200 words

4 pages


Effective emergency management is rooted in appropriate realization of a set of complex interactions amongst the resources necessary to support it. Peculiarities of the four phases of emergency management (mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery) dictate terms of handling of these resources. It is essential to exploit resources within emergency management according to the specific requirements of its phases.

Mitigation Phase

The first phase of emergency management, which initiates management of particular resources, is the mitigation or prevention phase. Its purpose is to prevent such undesirable scenarios as development of a situation into a full-scale disaster and mitigating aftermath of an emergency situation. Thus, in the communities, management of the various resources evolves around these objectives. An important element of this phase of emergency management is assessing risks. Effective use of resources depends on how well this function has been fulfilled. Such analysis should be carried out by the authorities in collaboration with the community. Involving “key private and public stakeholders in advising on strategic planning and operations for any resource management program” is an important component of this process (ASTM International, 2010).

First and foremost, resource management concentrates on creating “hazard-proof” physical objects that would stop and/or prevent a disaster from developing (i.e. flood levees). Secondly, local authorities have to produce legislation that would contain a framework for emergency management and overseeing activities that overlap with mitigation measures. Planning of land-use or development of evacuation plans per facility which have to be incorporated into a unified plan per location are examples of such activities. Another form of input that the authorities can make is developing sustainable construction legislation with an emphasis on prevention of loss and damage resulting from an emergency. It is also important to assess the need for supplies in the long run. It is another critical part of resource handling within this particular stage of emergency management. Effective management of finances during the mitigation phase is essential as well and its important function is to save costs.

From the population’s point of view, an effective measure to mitigate the possible consequences of a disaster is insurance. It is important to have an effective and diversified insurance system with the options known to the citizens. Ordinary people can make a contribution through managing their own property accordingly (i.e. using construction materials that can withstand the destructive natural forces).

Preparedness Phase

Preparedness, as a phase of emergency management, seeks to alter immediate response actions in case of a catastrophe or another hazard in a way that would guarantee the minimal number of victims and the least possible damage to property and infrastructure. It concerns primarily developing plans and guidelines to be followed when an emergency occurs. This phase is crucial to determining how the various resources will be used. After the need for resources has been identified, it is of vital importance to develop “alternative strategies to obtain the needed resources” (ASTM International, 2010). In fact, determining the need for resources and where they would come from is one of the most essential functions that …

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