Principles of Emergency Management Essay
Principles of Emergency Management
Disaster risk emergencies are inevitable in this world. The number of disasters occurring has risen over the years. Majority of these disasters are climatic in nature. Many people get affected by these tragedies; some parts of the world are immensely hit and there massive loss of lives and property is the order of the day. It is always advisable to protect yourself, family and the entire community by getting prepared. Disasters can strike anytime without giving any prior warning. It is always important to be prepared. Disasters provide a major impediment to the general growth of people as well as the economic development of any country. The United Nations governs majority of countries in the world and has been in the forefront seeking support from people, organizations, governments and non-governmental organizations for disaster preparedness and risk reductions initiatives. Without proper mitigation efforts, the much-awaited millennium development goals will only remain a dream.
In an effort to deal with the menace, The United Nations convened a conference in Kobe Japan in 2005 and came up with a ten- year framework action plan for change. The plan was called the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). It was the first initiative to show, elaborate and explain the requirements of all stakeholders in a given sector in dealing with disasters. It was deliberated and agreed upon by governments, experts in disaster management as well as international agencies. The action plan is has been operational since 2005 and is expected to last till 2015. It states five action plan priorities that are expected to be achieved within that time.
Hyogo Framework for actions aims at making disaster risk reduction a top priority. It emphasizes that disaster hazard reduction is an issue that needs a holistic approach by all stakeholders in a given country. Disaster risk management should not be left to environmentalists and humanitarian agencies only but also needs a collective effort by international agencies, governments, non-governmental agencies and the general public. The governments should put up legislative measures and friendly policies that support disaster risk reduction. They should be prepared any time for any eventualities as disasters can strike unexpectedly. If sustainable development is to be achieved, states should guard the lives and property of their citizens. They should adequately train and equip them with necessary skills and knowledge on how to deal with different situations in the case of occurrence of a national disaster. States should equip them with skills on necessary precautionary measures and in helping those deeply in need of evacuation. In making various decisions, they should pay close attention to cultural and gender inclinations of the society. By uniting, people can tackle different problems arising from a disaster.
The Hyogo framework also stresses on the need to identify, assess and monitor risks and therefore give early warnings. The governments and the relevant international agencies should put up institutions that are well equipped with modern technological gadgets that can detect disasters early in advance before they occur. They should also encourage international collaborations in terms of training of staff since there are nations that are more developed in terms of disaster preparedness. Capacity development is a key area for developing nations. Once they are trained, it now possible for them to identify the likelihood of a certain disaster happening, assess its impact to a given country and the world at large. Then they can be in a position to take relevant steps in order to salvage the lives and property of citizens. For example, people living in low areas that are likely to be affected by floods can be advised to move to higher areas.
The framework supports the use of education, knowledge, creativity and innovation to reduce and amicably deal with national disasters. States are encouraged to invest in educating and training the masses on different subjects. Education and training creates a large pool of professionals in different areas of disaster management and through their combined efforts; they can deal with different disasters that are likely to affect their country. State governments should also be keen to support innovation in the areas of disaster preparedness and management. They should be keen to support private firms specializing in disaster management. They should also be ready to release funds in support of implementation of strategies to reduce disaster risks.
The framework pointed out on the need to reduce the underlying factors. It is critical to evaluate disaster risks associated to different social, economic, environmental, and climatic conditions of a given country. Data should be collected on different disasters and stored for future reference. There are certain trends that occur over and again in a given duration of time. The trends can serve as indicators for certain occurrences hence enable the relevant authorities to take preventive measures in reducing risks.
The framework was very keen on strengthening disaster preparedness to enhance effective responses to emergencies. The repercussions of disasters can be greatly reduced if all the parties involved in areas prone to disasters are adequately prepared and equipped with skills and knowledge on disaster management. Disaster preparedness implies having a standby team ready to tackle different situations that may in a country or region. A contingency plan helps in analyzing actions to be taken in response of a disaster.
The United Nations through its efforts to create awareness and consequently lead to a reduction in disaster hazards formulated and sought the implementation of the Yokohama strategy and plan for action initiative for a safer world. The world meeting was convened in Yokohama Japan in May 1994. It spelt out guidelines for Preventing Natural disasters, getting prepared and the mitigation factors. The plan expressed deep and heartfelt concern for the vulnerable people going through hard time as a result of natural disasters and the widespread disruption in economic growth and development of the world.
In unison, they noted that the majority of those badly hit by natural calamities are the poor and less privileged people since they lack the knowledge and skills to deal with such risks. Most of these people live in deplorable and squalid habitats that are prone to disasters. It is evident especially in developing countries that natural disasters will continue to hurt people and the economic stability of any given country.
It was suggested that countries should try as much as possible to adopt elements of disaster prevention, mitigation, environmental protection and care, preparedness and relief. These factors go a long way in contributing towards the economic development and sustainability of the state. They went further to state that disaster mitigation and prevention are better off than emergency responses. It is that it is better to prevent the occurrence of a certain event than reacting after it has happened. States should ensure that they put solid preventive measures as they eventually lead to lasting and more improved safety.
They also stressed on the need for global partnerships in the field of disaster management. Based on common goals and interests, countries should form regional and also international co-operations that will have long lasting impact in mitigating natural disasters. Partnerships occur through joint disaster preventive and mitigating efforts. The world will be different and better since states can share information, transfer technology and come up with diverse solutions to world disasters. Donations should be made to developing countries to help them prepare and deal with disasters.
It was also proposed that knowledge and information concerning natural disasters should be made accessible to all nations. It should be offered at low cost. Regular training is encouraged to ensure skills remain relevant and are not outdated by technology. Appropriate technology should also be made available to developing states.
Community participation is encouraged in order to gain understanding and insights on the perception of risks. Their participation is important so as to understand the underlying cultural or religious factors that may hinder prevention or mitigating measures against disasters. How they interact with the natural environment is important so as to know how and when to enlighten them.
Time and again we have witnessed the US come up with measures to prevent loss of lives and property to its citizens. For instance, The National Fire Protection Agency has been working closely with the American National Standards Institute and together they have been developing and maintaining Fire Fighting and Safety standards. National fire protection Agency has all along been setting standards in accordance to response, preparation and recovery from risks.
Most countries are so willing to implement all these strategies and measures against catastrophes. Financial constraint is a major factor that affects most of them. Funds are needed to train staff, acquire modern technologies, set up institutions to educate the masses. Most developing countries cannot afford to raise such huge amounts.
To conclude, disaster management is a subject that cannot be ignored, for as long we live disaster risks will be with us. The United Nations is making strides in educating different countries on the need to be always prepared for disasters. It has gone to the extent of funding most disaster oriented projects with the aim of seeing a better world in terms of preparedness, mitigation and prevention of these fatal hazards.