The following diagram illustrates the relationship between the four phases of emergency management. One of the most instructive lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic is that disasters can happen in any community, at any time. While infectious diseases represent a form of disaster, they could also be a hurricane, flood, or chemical spill. According to the United Nations, a disaster is any event that seriously alters the capacity of a community or society to function; the impact of a disaster can be human, economic or ecological.
Specifically, disaster management consists of organizing and directing resources to deal with a disaster and coordinating the roles and responsibilities of first responders, private sector organizations, public sector agencies, non-profit and religious organizations, volunteers, donations, etc. The ultimate goal of the leader in disaster management is to minimize the impact of the event, which involves preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. Mitigation aims to minimize the loss of human life that would result from a disaster. Both structural and non-structural measures can be adopted.
Preparedness is an ongoing process in which people, communities, businesses and organizations can plan and train themselves for what they will do in the event of a disaster. Preparedness is defined by ongoing training, evaluation and corrective action, ensuring the highest level of preparedness. Fire drills, active fire drills and evacuation tests are good examples of the preparation phase. The answer is what happens after the disaster occurs.
It involves both short- and long-term responses. During the response phase, any ongoing hazards are eliminated from the area; for example, after a wildfire, any persistent fire will be extinguished and areas that pose a high risk of flammability will be stabilized. During the prevention phase, strong analytical skills help leaders identify potential threats, hazards and high-risk areas. Problem solving skills are also invaluable in identifying the best ways to avoid or decrease the likelihood of catastrophic events.
Planning is an important skill during the mitigation phase; the disaster management leader will need to develop strategies and structural changes that can help mediate potential threats. Awareness-raising is also essential, as community members should be aware of the steps they can take to prepare for all contingencies. The ability to make decisions quickly is crucial here, since the response phase is urgent. Another valuable skill is delegating essential tasks to other volunteers or first responders.
As disaster management leaders help their communities recover, the most essential skills are empathy, understanding and building relationships; in fact, if you don't gain community trust, any recovery effort is likely to fall short. The COVID-19 pandemic has truly brought you home, as many business owners have faced the current crisis. To ensure the safety of both customers and employees, business leaders have opted for remote work environments, implemented new communication infrastructures, and adopted new office hygiene and disinfection standards. While no business leader could have accurately predicted the effects of the coronavirus, companies that had a disaster plan are probably a step or two ahead of others.
Ultimately, disaster management is about preparedness, and formal training is the best way to achieve that. UCF's online Master in Emergency and Crisis Management (MECM) program is designed to cultivate the strong leadership skills needed to lead a community or organization through a crisis and help it rebuild after a crisis. During the preparation phase, governments, organizations and individuals develop plans to save lives, minimize damage caused by disasters, and improve disaster response operations. Disaster helpline staff are available to talk to callers or texters before, during and after a natural disaster.
As a disaster occurs, disaster management actors, in particular humanitarian organizations, are involved in the phases of immediate response and long-term recovery. When disasters strike, there is always a great deal of goodwill on the part of rehabilitation professionals around the world who want to use their skills to support those affected. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction characterizes natural disasters in relation to their magnitude or intensity, speed of onset, duration and area of extent and. The WCPT provides advice on how physical therapists can contribute more effectively in disaster situations, highlighting the role of the profession in the aspects of disaster management described above.
The model helps to frame issues related to disaster preparedness, as well as economic and business recovery after a disaster. The mitigation phase and, in fact, the entire disaster management cycle, includes the development of public policies and plans that modify the causes of disasters or mitigate their effects on people, property and infrastructure. Disaster preparedness activities integrated into risk reduction measures can prevent disaster situations and also save maximum lives and livelihoods during any disaster situation, allowing the affected population to return to normal within a short period of time. The SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) also helps states, territories, tribes and local entities provide an effective mental health and substance abuse (behavioral health) response to disasters and traumatic events.
It is not uncommon for disasters to reveal a weakened economic development landscape, with significant gaps in the organization's capacity, staff and resources. The organization's primary objective is to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of disasters (such as property damage, injuries and loss of life). A good place to start a debate on disaster management is to consider what constitutes a disaster. This manual is designed for physical and occupational therapists who provide rehabilitation immediately after a sudden disaster.
Ultimately, this stage consists of helping individuals, communities, businesses and organizations to return to normal or to a new normal, depending on the impact of the disaster. . .