Disaster management (or emergency management) is the discipline of avoiding and dealing with both natural and man-made disasters. It involves preparedness, response and recovery plans made in order to lessen the impact of disasters.
Preparedness training may be done by private citizens, as by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the United States.
All aspects of disaster management deal with the processes used to protect populations or organizations from the consequences of disasters, wars and acts of terrorism. This can be seen through government publications such as the National Strategy for Homeland Security which detail how individuals and varying levels of government respond during the different phases of a disaster.
Emergency management can be further defined as “the discipline and profession of applying science, technology, planning and management to deal with extreme events that can injure or kill large numbers of people, do extensive damage to property, and disrupt community life” (Drabek, 1991a, p. xvii).
An ‘emergency’ is ‘an unplanned event that can cause deaths or significant injuries to employees, customers or the public; or that can shut down your business, disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the facility’s financial standing or public image’ (FEMA, 1993).
Emergency events can include terrorist attacks, industrial sabotage, fire, natural disasters (such as earthquakes, severe weather, etc.), public disorder, industrial accident, communications failure and loss, or corruption of critical information. Some examples of catastrophic incidents are:
- The 1995 Kobe, Japan, earthquake, which killed more than 6000 people and left another 30,000 injured.
- The 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake, which resulted in approximately $33 billion in damages.
These individual events are significant enough, but the losses are even more dramatic when accumulated over time. Between 1989 and 1999, the average natural disaster loss in the US was $1 billion each week.
Disaster management does not necessarily avert or eliminate the threats themselves, although the study and prediction of the threats is an important part of the field. The basic levels of emergency management also include the various kinds of search and rescue activity.
- 1 Emergency planning ideals
- 2 Implementation ideals
- 3 Phases and personal activities
- 4 As a profession
- 5 Within other professions
- 6 International organizations
- 7 National organizations
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Emergency planning ideals
‘Emergency planning should aim where possible to prevent emergencies occurring, and when they do occur, good planning should reduce, control or mitigate the effects of the emergency. It is the systematic and ongoing process which should evolve as lessons are learnt and circumstances change’ (Office, 2013).
‘Emergency planning should be viewed as part of a cycle of activities beginning with establishing a risk profile to help determine what should be the priorities for developing plans and ending with review and revision, which then restarts the whole cycle’ (Office, 2013). The cyclical process is common to many risk management disciplines, such as Business Continuity and Security Risk Management, as set out below:
- Recognition or identification of risks
- Ranking or evaluation of risks
- Responding to significant risks
- Resourcing controls
- Reaction Planning
- Reporting & monitoring risk performance
- Reviewing the Risk Management framework
There are a number of guidelines, or publications in respect of Emergency Planning, published by various professional organisations such as ASIS, FEMA and the Emergency Planning College. There are very few Emergency Management specific standards (CWA 15931-1:2009 Disaster and emergency management). Emergency Management as a discipline tends to fall under business resilience standards (ISO/PAS22399:2007 Societal security - Guideline for incident preparedness and operational continuity management).
In order to avoid, or reduce significant losses to a business, it is essential that emergency managers identify, anticipate and implement processes to respond to critical risks, in order to reduce the probability of their occurrence, or the magnitude and duration of impact. It is essential for them to not only have controls in place to handle the emergency, but they should also have plans to ensure Business Continuity of critical operations post-incident.
It is essential for an organisation to include procedures for determining whether an emergency situation has occurred and at what point an emergency management plan should be activated.
The implementation of an emergency plan involves much more than just its preparation. It must be regularly maintained, in a structured and methodical manner, to ensure it remains up to date and fit for purpose in the event of an emergency. Emergency managers will generally follow a common process to anticipate, assess, prevent, prepare, respond and recover from an incident.
Pre-incident training and testing
Emergency management plans and procedures should include the identification of appropriately trained member/s of staff responsible for decision making, perhaps in consultation with others, when an emergency has occurred. Training plans should not only consider internal people who have a role in the emergency plans, but it should also ensure contractors and civil protection partners are involved. The plans themselves should explicitly identify the nature and frequency of training and testing required.
An organisation should regularly test the effectiveness of their emergency plans by carrying out test exercises, ensuring all key staff involved in the planning, or response. It may be necessary for multiple organisations to develop a joint emergency plan, with a formal set of instructions to govern them all, in order for a successful combined response. An example would be for the occupants of a multi-let building, within a business estate. Not only will a coordinated response be necessary for the multi-let building, it might also involve the other buildings within the estate and emergency services.
Communicating and assessing incidents
One of the most important stages of any emergency management plan is recognised to be the communication of an incident. Miscommunication can easily result in events escalating unnecessarily. The method and content of communication should always be carefully considered. Pre-planning of communications is critical and can be created in advance for the threats identified in the risk assessment.
Once an emergency has been identified a comprehensive assessment should be undertaken to evaluate the level of crisis and the financial implications, or impact. Following assessment, the appropriate plan or response to be activated will depend on the specific pre-set criteria within the emergency plan. The risk treatment steps necessary should be prioritised to ensure critical functions are operational as soon as possible.
Phases and personal activities
Prevention was recently added to the phases of emergency management. It focuses on preventing the human hazard, primarily from potential natural disasters or terrorist (both physical and biological) attacks. Preventive measures are taken on both the domestic and international levels. These are activities designed to provide permanent protection from disasters. Not all disasters,like particularly natural disasters, can be prevented, but the risk of loss of life and injury can be mitigated with good evacuation plans, environmental planning and design standards. In January 2005, 168 Governments adopted a 10-year global plan for natural disaster risk reduction called the Hyogo Framework. It offers guiding principles, priorities for action, and practical means for achieving disaster resilience for vulnerable communities.
Personal mitigation is a key to national preparedness. Individuals and families train to avoid unnecessary risks. This includes an assessment of possible risks to personal/family health and to personal property. For instance, in a flood plain, home owners might not be aware of a property being exposed to a hazard until trouble strikes. Specialists can be hired to conduct risk identification and assessment surveys. Professionals in risk management typically recommend that residents hold insurance to protect them against consequences of hazards.
In earthquake prone areas, people might also make structural changes such as the installation of an Earthquake Valve to instantly shut off the natural gas supply, seismic retrofits of property, and the securing of items inside a building to enhance household seismic safety. The latter may include the mounting of furniture, refrigerators, water heaters and breakables to the walls, and the addition of cabinet latches.
In flood prone areas, houses can be built on poles/stilts. In areas prone to prolonged electricity black-outs installation of a generator would be an example of an optimal structural mitigation measure. The construction of storm cellars and fallout shelters are further examples of personal mitigative actions.
Mitigation involves Structural and Non-structural measures taken to limit the impact of disasters. Structural mitigation are actions that change the characteristics of a building or its surrounding, examples include shelters, window shutters, clearing forest around the house. Non-structural mitigation on personal level mainly takes the form of insurance or simply moving house to a safer area.
Personal preparedness focuses on preparing equipment and procedures for use when a disaster occurs, i.e., planning. Preparedness measures can take many forms including the construction of shelters, implementation of an emergency communication system, installation of warning devices, creation of back-up life-line services (e.g., power, water, sewage), and rehearsing evacuation plans. Being properly prepared can save time, money and lives. Planning for all different types of events, at all magnitudes in at utmost importance. Proper planning is instrumental during times of chaos to make situations less stressful. With proper planning duties will be pre-assigned to different agencies, therefore when disaster does occur responders can jump right into action.
Two simple measures can help prepare the individual for sitting out the event or evacuating, as necessary. For evacuation, a disaster supplies kit may be prepared and for sheltering purposes a stockpile of supplies may be created. The preparation of a survival kit such as a "72-hour kit", is often advocated by authorities. These kits may include food, medicine, flashlights, candles and money. Also, putting valuable items in safe area is also recommended.
The response phase of an emergency may commence with Search and Rescue but in all cases the focus will quickly turn to fulfilling the basic humanitarian needs of the affected population. This assistance may be provided by national or international agencies and organizations. Effective coordination of disaster assistance is often crucial, particularly when many organizations respond and local emergency management agency (LEMA) capacity has been exceeded by the demand or diminished by the disaster itself. The National Response Framework is a United States government publication that explains responsibilities and expectations of government officials at the local, state, federal, and tribal levels. It provides guidance on Emergency Support Functions which may be integrated in whole or parts to aid in the response and recovery process.
On a personal level the response can take the shape either of a shelter in place or an evacuation. In a shelter-in-place scenario, a family would be prepared to fend for themselves in their home for many days without any form of outside support. In an evacuation, a family leaves the area by automobile or other mode of transportation, taking with them the maximum amount of supplies they can carry, possibly including a tent for shelter. If mechanical transportation is not available, evacuation on foot would ideally include carrying at least three days of supplies and rain-tight bedding, a tarpaulin and a bedroll of blankets being the minimum.
Donations are often sought during this period, especially for large disasters that overwhelm local capacity. Due to efficiencies of scale, money is often the most cost-effective donation if fraud is avoided. Money is also the most flexible, and if goods are sourced locally then transportation is minimized and the local economy is boosted. Donors often prefer to send gifts in kind, which can be helpful if well matched to real needs. However, due to poor communication some donations are poorly matched to needs, are sent to the wrong places, or are simply more appropriate for a thrift store than disaster relief. These items can end up imposing more of a burden while real needs go unmet, and can also flood local markets and economically hurt local producers. One innovation by Occupy Sandy volunteers is to use a sort of gift registry for disasters; families and businesses impacted by the storm make specific requests, which remote donors can purchase directly via a web site.
Medical considerations will vary greatly based on the type of disaster and secondary effects. Survivors may sustain a multitude of injuries to include lacerations, burns, near drowning, or crush syndrome.
The recovery phase starts after the immediate threat to human life has subsided. The immediate goal of the recovery phase is to bring the affected area back to some degree of normalcy.
During reconstruction it is recommended to consider the location or construction material of the property.
The most extreme home confinement scenarios include war, famine and severe epidemics and may last a year or more. Then recovery will take place inside the home. Planners for these events usually buy bulk foods and appropriate storage and preparation equipment, and eat the food as part of normal life. A simple balanced diet can be constructed from vitamin pills, whole-meal wheat, beans, dried milk, corn, and cooking oil. One should add vegetables, fruits, spices and meats, both prepared and fresh-gardened, when possible.
As a profession
Emergency managers also are trained in a wide variety of disciplines that support them throughout the emergency life-cycle. Professional emergency managers can focus on government and community preparedness (Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government Planning), or private business preparedness (Business Continuity Management Planning). Training is provided by local, state, federal and private organizations and ranges from public information and media relations to high-level incident command and tactical skills such as studying a terrorist bombing site or controlling an emergency scene.
In the past, the field of emergency management has been populated mostly by people with a military or first responder background. Currently, the population in the field has become more diverse, with many experts coming from a variety of backgrounds without military or first responder history. Educational opportunities are increasing for those seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees in emergency management or a related field. There are over 180 schools in the US with emergency management-related programs, but only one doctoral program specifically in emergency management.
Professional certifications such as Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) are becoming more common as the need for high professional standards is recognized by the emergency management community, especially in the United States. Professional emergency management organizations should also be utilized by professional in this field. These organizations allow for professional networking and the sharing of information related to emergency management. The National Emergency Management Association and the International Association of Emergency Managers are two examples of these professional organizations.
In 2007, Dr. Wayne Blanchard of FEMA’s Emergency Management Higher Education Project, at the direction of Dr. Cortez Lawrence, Superintendent of FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute, convened a working group of emergency management practitioners and academics to consider principles of emergency management. This project was prompted by the realization that while numerous books, articles and papers referred to “principles of emergency management,” nowhere in the vast array of literature on the subject was there an agreed-upon definition of what these principles were. The group agreed on eight principles that will be used to guide the development of a doctrine of emergency management. The summary provided below lists these eight principles and provides a brief description of each.
Principles: Emergency management must be:
- Comprehensive – emergency managers consider and take into account all hazards, all phases, all stakeholders and all impacts relevant to disasters.
- Progressive – emergency managers anticipate future disasters and take preventive and preparatory measures to build disaster-resistant and disaster-resilient communities.
- Risk-driven – emergency managers use sound risk management principles (hazard identification, risk analysis, and impact analysis) in assigning priorities and resources.
- Integrated – emergency managers ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of a community.
- Collaborative – emergency managers create and sustain broad and sincere relationships among individuals and organizations to encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build consensus, and facilitate communication.
- Coordinated – emergency managers synchronize the activities of all relevant stakeholders to achieve a common purpose.
- Flexible – emergency managers use creative and innovative approaches in solving disaster challenges.
- Professional – emergency managers value a science and knowledge-based approach; based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship and continuous improvement.
A fuller description of these principles can be found at Principles of Emergency Management
In recent years the continuity feature of emergency management has resulted in a new concept, Emergency Management Information Systems (EMIS). For continuity and inter-operability between emergency management stakeholders, EMIS supports the emergency management process by providing an infrastructure that integrates emergency plans at all levels of government and non-government involvement and by utilizing the management of all related resources (including human and other resources) for all four phases of emergencies. In the healthcare field, hospitals utilize Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) which provides structure and organization in a clearly defined chain of command with set responsibilities for each division.
Within other professions
Practitioners in emergency management (disaster preparedness) come from an increasing variety of backgrounds as the field matures. Professionals from memory institutions (e.g., museums, historical societies, libraries, and archives) are dedicated to preserving cultural heritage—objects and records contained in their collections. This has been an increasingly major component within these field as a result of the heightened awareness following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the hurricanes in 2005, and the collapse of the Cologne Archives.
To increase the opportunity for a successful recovery of valuable records, a well-established and thoroughly tested plan must be developed. This plan must not be overly complex, but rather emphasize simplicity in order to aid in response and recovery. As an example of the simplicity, employees should perform similar tasks in the response and recovery phase that they perform under normal conditions. It should also include mitigation strategies such as the installation of sprinklers within the institution. This task requires the cooperation of a well-organized committee led by an experienced chairperson. Professional associations schedule regular workshops and hold focus sessions at annual conferences to keep individuals up to date with tools and resources in practice in order to minimize risk and maximize recovery.
Joint efforts of professional associations and cultural heritage institutions have resulted in the development of a variety of different tools to assist professionals in preparing disaster and recovery plans. In many cases, these tools are made available to external users. Also frequently available on websites are plan templates created by existing organizations, which may be helpful to any committee or group preparing a disaster plan or updating an existing plan. While each organization will need to formulate plans and tools which meet their own specific needs, there are some examples of such tools that might represent useful starting points in the planning process.
In 2009, the U.S. Agency for International Development created a web-based tool for estimating populations impacted by disasters. Called Population Explorer the tool uses Land scan population data, developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to distribute population at a resolution 1 km2 for all countries in the world. Used by USAID's FEWS NET Project to estimate populations vulnerable and or impacted by food insecurity, Population Explorer is gaining wide use in a range of emergency analysis and response actions, including estimating populations impacted by floods in Central America and a Pacific Ocean Tsunami event in 2009.
In 2007, a checklist for veterinarians pondering participation in emergency response was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, it had two sections of questions for a professional to ask themselves before assisting with an emergency:
Absolute requirements for participation:
- Have I chosen to participate?
- Have I taken ICS training?
- Have I taken other required background courses?
- Have I made arrangements with my practice to deploy?
- Have I made arrangements with my family?
- Have I been invited to participate
- Are my skill sets a match for the mission?
- Can I access just-in-time training to refresh skills or acquire needed new skills?
- Is this a self-support mission?
- Do I have supplies needed for three to five days of self-support?
While written for veterinarians, this checklist is applicable for any professional to consider before assisting with an emergency.
International Association of Emergency Managers
The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the goals of saving lives and protecting property during emergencies and disasters. The mission of IAEM is to serve its members by providing information, networking and professional opportunities, and to advance the emergency management profession.
The Air Force Emergency Management Association, affiliated by membership with the IAEM, provides emergency management information and networking for US Air Force Emergency Managers.
International Recovery Platform
The International Recovery Platform (IRP) was conceived at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan in January 2005. As a thematic platform of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) system, IRP is a key pillar for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005–2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, a global plan for disaster risk reduction for the decade adopted by 168 governments at the WCDR.
The key role of IRP is to identify gaps and constraints experienced in post disaster recovery and to serve as a catalyst for the development of tools, resources, and capacity for resilient recovery. IRP aims to be an international source of knowledge on good recovery practice.
Red Cross/Red Crescent
National Red Cross/Red Crescent societies often have pivotal roles in responding to emergencies. Additionally, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC, or "The Federation") may deploy assessment teams, e.g. Field Assessment and Coordination Team – (FACT) to the affected country if requested by the national Red Cross or Red Crescent Society. After having assessed the needs Emergency Response Units (ERUs) may be deployed to the affected country or region. They are specialized in the response component of the emergency management framework.
Within the United Nations system responsibility for emergency response rests with the Resident Coordinator within the affected country. However, in practice international response will be coordinated, if requested by the affected country’s government, by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), by deploying a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team.
Since 1980, the World Bank has approved more than 500 operations related to disaster management, amounting to more than US$40 billion. These include post-disaster reconstruction projects, as well as projects with components aimed at preventing and mitigating disaster impacts, in countries such as Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Haiti, India, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam to name only a few.
Common areas of focus for prevention and mitigation projects include forest fire prevention measures, such as early warning measures and education campaigns to discourage farmers from slash and burn agriculture that ignites forest fires; early-warning systems for hurricanes; flood prevention mechanisms, ranging from shore protection and terracing in rural areas to adaptation of production; and earthquake-prone construction.
In June 2006, the World Bank established the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a longer term partnership with other aid donors to reduce disaster losses by mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in development, in support of the Hyogo Framework of Action. The facility helps developing countries fund development projects and programs that enhance local capacities for disaster prevention and emergency preparedness.
Since 2001, the EU adopted Community Mechanism for Civil Protection, which started to play a significant role on the global scene. Mechanism's main role is to facilitate co-operation in civil protection assistance interventions in the event of major emergencies which may require urgent response actions. This applies also to situations where there may be an imminent threat of such major emergencies.
The heart of the Mechanism is the Monitoring and Information Center. It is part of Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection of the European Commission and accessible 24 hours a day. It gives countries access to a platform, to a one-stop-shop of civil protection means available amongst the all the participating states. Any country inside or outside the Union affected by a major disaster can make an appeal for assistance through the MIC. It acts as a communication hub at headquarters level between participating states, the affected country and dispatched field experts. It also provides useful and updated information on the actual status of an ongoing emergency.
Natural disasters are part of life in Australia. Drought occurs on average every 3 out of 10 years and associated heatwaves have killed more Australians than any other type of natural disaster in the 20th century.
Australia’s emergency management processes embrace the concept of the prepared community. The principal government agency in achieving this is Emergency Management Australia.
Public Safety Canada is Canada’s national emergency management agency. Each province is required to have legislature in place for dealing with emergencies, as well as establish their own emergency management agencies, typically called an "Emergency Measures Organization" (EMO), which functions as the primalization with the municipal and federal level.
Public Safety Canada coordinates and supports the efforts of federal organizations ensuring national security and the safety of Canadians. They also work with other levels of government, first responders, community groups, the private sector (operators of critical infrastructure) and other nations.
Public Safety Canada’s work is based on a wide range of policies and legislation through the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act which defines the powers, duties and functions of PS are outlined. Other acts are specific to fields such as corrections, emergency management, law enforcement, and national security.
In Germany the Federal Government controls the German Katastrophenschutz (disaster relief) and Zivilschutz (civil protection) programs. The local units of German fire department and the Technisches Hilfswerk (Federal Agency for Technical Relief, THW) are part of these programs.& The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), the German Federal Police and the 16 state police forces (Länderpolizei) all have been deployed for disaster relief operations.
Besides the German Red Cross, humanitarian help is dispensed by the Johanniter-Unfallhilfe, the German equivalent of the St. John Ambulance, the Malteser-Hilfsdienst, the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, and other private Organization, to cite the largest relief organisation that are equipped for large-scale emergencies. As of 2006, there is a joint course at the University of Bonn leading to the degree "Master in Disaster Prevention and Risk Governance"
The role of emergency management in India falls to National Disaster Management Authority of India, a government agency subordinate to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In recent years there has been a shift in emphasis from response and recovery to strategic risk management and reduction, and from a government-centered approach to decentralized community participation. The Ministry of Science and Technology.headed by Dr Karan Rawat, supports an internal agency that facilitates research by bringing the academic knowledge and expertise of earth scientists to emergency management.
A group representing a public/private has been formed by the Government of India. It is funded primarily by a large India-based computer company and aimed at improving the general response of communities to emergencies, in addition to those incidents which might be described as disasters. Some of the groups' early efforts involve the provision of emergency management training for first responders (a first in India), the creation of a single emergency telephone number, and the establishment of standards for EMS staff, equipment, and training. It operates in three states, though efforts are being made in making this a nation-wide effective group. The Indian Army too plays an important role in most of the rescue operation caused by a disaster
Aniruddha's Academy of Disaster Management
Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management (AADM) is a non-profit organization in Mumbai, India with 'disaster management' as its principal objective.
In New Zealand, responsibility for emergency management moves from local to national depending on the nature of the emergency or risk reduction programme. A severe storm may be manageable within a particular area, whereas a national public education campaign will be directed by central government. Within each region, local governments are unified into 16 Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups (CDEMGs).
Every CDEMG is responsible for ensuring that local emergency management is robust as possible. As local arrangements are overwhelmed by an emergency, pre-existing mutual-support arrangements are activated. As warranted, central government has the authority to coordinate the response through the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC), operated by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM). These structures are defined by regulation, and best explained in The Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2006, roughly equivalent to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Framework.
New Zealand uses unique terminology for emergency management to the rest of the English-speaking world.
- 4Rs is the local emergency management cycle. In New Zealand, the four phases are known as:
- Reduction = Mitigation
- Readiness = Preparedness
- Emergency management is rarely used locally; many government publications retain usage of the term civil defence. For example, the Minister of Civil Defence is responsible for central government's emergency management agency, MCDEM.
- Civil Defence Emergency Management is a term in its own right. Often abbreviated as CDEM, it is defined by statute as the application of knowledge to prevent harm from disasters.
- Disaster very rarely appears in official publications. In a New Zealand context, the terms emergency and incident usually appear when speaking about disasters in general. When describing an emergency that has had a response from the authorities, the term event is also used. For example, publications refer to the “Canterbury Snow Event 2002”
Disaster management in Pakistan basically revolves around flood disasters with a primary focus on rescue and relief. After each disaster episode the government incurs considerable expenditure directed at rescue, relief and rehabilitation. Within disaster management bodies in Pakistan, there is a dearth of knowledge and information about hazard identification, risk assessment and management, and linkages between livelihoods and disaster preparedness. Disaster management policy responses are not generally influenced by methods and tools for cost-effective and sustainable interventions. There are no long-term, inclusive and coherent institutional arrangements to address disaster issues with a long-term vision. Disasters are viewed in isolation from the processes of mainstream development and poverty alleviation planning. For example, disaster management, development planning and environmental management institutions operate in isolation and integrated planning between these sectors is almost lacking. Absence of a central authority for integrated disaster management and lack of coordination within and between disaster related organizations is responsible for effective and efficient disaster management in the country. State-level disaster preparedness and mitigation measures are heavily tilted towards structural aspects and undermine non-structural elements such as the knowledge and capacities of local people, and the related livelihood protection issues.
In Somalia, the Federal Government announced in May 2013 that the Cabinet had approved draft legislation on a new Somali Disaster Management Agency (SDMA), which had originally been proposed by the Ministry of Interior. According to the Prime Minister's Media Office, the SDMA will lead and coordinate the government's response to various natural disasters. It is part of a broader effort by the federal authorities to re-establish national institutions. The Federal Parliament is now expected to deliberate on the proposed bill for endorsement after any amendments.
In the Netherlands the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for emergency preparedness and emergency management on national level and operates a national crisis centre (NCC). The country is divided in 25 safety regions (veiligheidsregio). Each safety region is covered by three emergency services: police, fire and ambulance. All regions operate according to the Coordinated Regional Incident Management system. Other services, such as the Ministry of Defence, water board(s) and Rijkswaterstaat, can have an active role in the emergency management process.
The United Kingdom adjusted its focus on emergency management following the 2000 UK fuel protests, severe flooding in the same year and the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth crisis. This resulted in the creation of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) which defined some organisations as Category 1 and 2 Responders. These responders have responsibilities under the legislation regarding emergency preparedness and response. The CCA is managed by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat through Regional Resilience Forums and at the local authority level.
Disaster Management training is generally conducted at the local level by the organisations involved in any response. This is consolidated through professional courses that can be undertaken at the Emergency Planning College. Furthermore diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications can be gained at Universities throughout the country. The Institute of Emergency Management is a charity, established in 1996, providing consulting services for the government, media and commercial sectors.
One of the largest emergency exercises in the UK was carried out on 20 May 2007 near Belfast, Northern Ireland, and involved the scenario of a plane crash landing at Belfast International Airport. Staff from five hospitals and three airports participated in the drill, and almost 150 international observers assessed its effectiveness.
Disaster and catastrophe planning in the United States has utilized the functional All-Hazards approach for over 20 years, in which emergency managers develop processes (such as communication & warning or sheltering) rather than developing single-hazard/threat focused plans (e.g., a tornado plan). Processes then are mapped to the hazards/threats, with the emergency manager looking for gaps, overlaps, and conflicts between processes.
This has the advantage of creating a plan more resilient to novel events (because all common processes are defined), encourages planning done by the process owners who are the subject matter experts (e.g., the traffic management plan written by public works director, rather than the emergency manager), and focuses on processes (which are real, can be measured, ranked in importance, and are under our control). This key planning distinction often comes in conflict with non-emergency management regulatory bodies which require development of hazard/threat specific plans, such as development of specific H1N1 flu plans and terrorism-specific plans.
In the United States, all disastrous events are initially considered as local, with a local authorities usually a law enforcement agency (LEA) having charge. Law enforcement agencies, typically have situational responsibility as disasters may lead to the normal tenants for lawful instruction (infrastructure, signage, etc.) being destroyed or in need of extraneous enforcement. Most disasters do not exceed the capacity of the local jurisdiction or the capacity that they have put in place to compensate such as memorandum of understandings with adjacent localities. However, if the event becomes overwhelming to local government, state emergency management (the primary government structure of the United States) becomes the controlling emergency management agency. Under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is lead federal agency for emergency management and supports, but does not override, state authority. The United States and its territories are covered by one of ten regions for FEMA’s emergency management purposes.
If, during mitigation it is determined that a disaster or emergency is terror related or if declared an "Incident of National Significance", the Secretary of Homeland Security will initiate the National Response Framework (NRF). Under this plan the involvement of federal resources will be made possible, integrating in with the local, county, state, or tribal entities. Management will continue to be handled at the lowest possible level utilizing the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
The Citizen Corps is an organization of volunteer service programs, administered locally and coordinated nationally by DHS, which seek to mitigate disaster and prepare the population for emergency response through public education, training, and outreach. [Community Emergency Response Team]s are a Citizen Corps program focused on disaster preparedness and teaching basic disaster response skills. These volunteer teams are utilized to provide emergency support when disaster overwhelms the conventional emergency services.
The US Congress established the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (COE) as the principal agency to promote disaster preparedness and societal resiliency in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of its mandate, COE facilitates education and training in disaster preparedness, consequence management and health security to develop domestic, foreign and international capability and capacity.
Most secondary or long-term disaster response is carried out by volunteer organizations. In the US, the Red Cross is chartered by Congress to coordinate disaster response services, including typically being the lead or largest agency handling sheltering and feeding of evacuees. For large events, religious organizations are able to mount volunteers quickly. The largest partners are the Salvation Army and Southern Baptists. The Salvation Army is usually primary chaplaincy and rebuild services; the Baptists' 82,000+ volunteers do bulk food preparation (90% of the meals in a major disaster) for Salvation Army distribution and homeowner services such as debris and downed limb removal, mold abatement, hot showers and laundry, child care and chaplaincy. Similar services are also provided by Methodist Relief Services, the Lutherans, and Samaritan's Purse.
Unaffiliated volunteers can be counted on to show up at most large disasters. To prevent abuse by criminals and for the safety of the volunteers, procedures have been implemented within most response agencies to manage and effectively use these 'SUVs' (Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers).
National Tribal Emergency Management Council
The National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC) is a non-profit educational organization developed for the purpose of bringing Tribal emergency management organizations from around the Nation together to share information and best practices and to discuss public safety, public health, emergency management and homeland security issues affecting those in Indian Country. NTEMC facilitates networking and professional capacity building opportunities for our member Tribal organizations.
To best facilitate the formation and foundation of this organization, NTEMC is organized into Regions, based on the FEMA system of 10 Regions. This organization was founded by the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council (NWTEMC), a consortium of 29 Tribal Nations and Villages in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.
- Disaster medicine
- Water security and emergency preparedness
- Rohn Emergency Scale
- Public health emergency (United States)
- Emergency Communication System
- Mass fatality incident
- Liquidator (Chernobyl)
- Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies
- Disaster Accountability Project (DAP)
- Humanitarian International Services Group (HISG)
- International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES)
- Médecins Sans Frontières
- "Federal Emergency Management Agency". FEMA.gov. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
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|Wikiversity has learning materials about Fire_and_emergency_management|
- Public Health Management after Natural Disasters: Preparation, Response & Recovery – video, presentations, and summary of event held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, June 2008
- Emergency Response Resources The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- FAO in emergencies
- Resilient Livelihoods: Disaster Risk Reduction for Food and Nutrition Security - 2013 edition - published by FAO