Phases of Emergency Management
Emergency management is conducted in four stages, namely mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
In this phase efforts are directed towards the minimization of the hazard potential, so that disasters are not created. This phase involves long term measures to decrease or remove the risks. Mitigation would include prevention of construction in high risk zones, such as areas vulnerable to floods and landslides, and the solicitation of expert opinion, if necessary. Other mitigation measures include creation of storm basements, fitting of generators for electricity failure, legislation related to mandatory evacuation, and purchase of insurance.
Preparedness is the planning phase that involves the preparation of proper procedures for emergency management and ensuring the availability of adequate emergency equipment for use in a disaster. This phase requires extensive efforts over an extended duration, including the utilization of the financial resources for the completion of requisite tasks. Several works would be necessary, such as creation of shelters, provision of early warning equipment, etc.
The response phase represents the actual measures adopted after a disaster has occurred, and its success will be significantly influenced by the extent with which the previous phases were accomplished. This phase involves the rescue operations by the essential emergency services in the affected area, with the aim to ensure an expeditious evacuation and minimum damage. The firefighters, police, and ambulances of several agencies will be active during this phase to save human life and property.
The recovery operation commences when the disaster has subsided, and there is no immediate risk to the human life and property. The emergency management efforts during this phase are aimed at restoration of the affected area to its original condition. The recovery efforts include the reconstruction of buildings, repair of communications, and re-employment. Home confinement for a long duration may be essential for the emergencies like epidemics and war. In such emergencies, it would be necessary to ensure arrangements for the storage of food, medicines, and other essential items.