Preparedness takes the form of plans or procedures designed to save lives and to minimize damage when an emergency occurs. This is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluation and improvement activities to ensure effective coordination and the enhancement of capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate the effects of natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters. These activities ensure that when a disaster strikes, emergency managers will be able to provide the best response possible.
In the preparedness phase, emergency managers develop plans of action to manage and counter their risks and take action to build the necessary capabilities needed to implement such plans. Common preparedness measures include:
- Communication plans with easily understandable terminology and methods
- Proper maintenance and training of emergency services
- Development and exercise of emergency population warning methods
- Preparing shelters and evacuation plans
- Stockpiling, inventory, and maintain disaster supplies and equipment (including PPE)
Emergency Managers in the planning phase should be flexible and all encompassing – carefully recognizing the risks and exposures of their respective regions and employing unconventional and atypical means of support. Depending on the region – municipal or private sector emergency services can rapidly be depleted and heavily taxed.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that each person should be prepared to be self-sufficient - able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones - for at least three days following a disaster.
These tools can help you get started
- FEMA emergency response plan (PDF worksheet)
- Crisis communication planning (more info at ready.gov)
- Full Business Continuity Planning Suite (for PC only - from ready.gov)
Now that you’re on this Disaster Planning journey, be sure to read the rest of the posts in this series:
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