Over the past few years, emergency management or preparedness has become a prominent topic all over the world. Emergency management has become essential for every sector including, business, health, education, technology and security among other sectors. Emergency preparedness has become essential for not only organizations and countries alone but also for individual persons. The world today encounters a lot of threatening situations that require that all countries and organizations prepare themselves for any form of disaster. With development and advancement in technology and the ever-changing world in terms of social, political and economic structures emergency management has become a significant subject that all people have to explore. This paper looks at emergency management and its importance.
Planning for unexpected emergency has not started recently. It has existed in the world for a long time. People who lived in ancient times had their ways of planning for emergencies. They had their own emergency management practices. They experienced some forms of emergency in their daily lives that made them explore ways of shielding themselves from such emergencies. Just like in the modern world, ancient people experienced natural calamities and other disasters that required them to explore certain emergency management practices. In the modern world, emergences have increased considerably. This can be attributed to the fact that the modern world has progressed in terms of technology and procedures of doing things. Today people use more machinery in doing different things even simple tasks.
Technology has helped people come up with more complicated machines that help to reduce the effort and energy used in doing tasks in industries, factories, offices, farms and at home. Technology has also helped people come up with new types of dangerous armory that they can use in wars and battles. All these pose a threat to people and could lead to emergencies. Today, new diseases have come into existence. People face new outbreaks of diseases that kill many people. Old diseases also come up in new forms. All these issues call for emergency management and preparedness in order to protect the lives of people, agricultural output and business output (Haddow & Et.al, 2007).
Traditionally most organizations acknowledged the importance of preparing for emergencies. In fact, most organizations had put emergency plans on paper and had a general idea of what the whole process and procedure would entail. However, most of them did not put those plans into action. Most organizations went down in times of emergencies and disasters because they had put emergency management plans in paper but did not do anything to ensure that those plans would help in times when the organization needed them most. With the increase of disasters, organizations have tried to come up with emergency management plans that can help them in times of emergencies and disasters.
In recent years, in the wake of terrorist attacks, such as the September 11 attack, hurricane Katrina, BP oil spill and tornadoes among other disastrous events many organizations realized the importance of emergency management and preparedness. The society in general has become aware of the importance of emergency preparedness. Nowadays, private homes have fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, and other equipments that can help in times of disaster and emergencies. The potential devastation and risk on personal life has become a consideration, particularly, in an organizational context. Decision makers in organizations now take emergency management and preparedness as a priority (Bumgarner, 2008).
Emergency management and preparedness entails a number of activities. Emergency management requires that organizations explore different ways that can help them in case of emergency. Not all organizations can use similar ways to manage emergencies because they experience different forms of emergencies. However, some emergency management plans can apply in different organizations. Emergency management requires the application of essential practices.
First, organizations must plan for emergency management. Organizations cannot achieve reliable emergency management practices if it does not involve planning. Planning plays a significant role in ensuring that organizations adopt reliable emergency management practices. Planning enables organizations to know specific areas that require emergency management and practices. Planning will help organizations identify the requirements that must be provided so that it becomes secure. Emergency management requires strategic planning. Planning will help organizations avoid spending funds and time on things that will not help the organization in time of emergencies (McEntire, 2007).
Emergency management requires exploration of mitigation measures. Mitigation involves efforts done to prevent risks from developing in to disasters and serve to reduce the effects of disasters and calamities. Mitigation measures help organizations to engage in long-term plans for reducing risks that come with emergencies. Mitigation measures involve those practices that help organizations identify potential risks and come up with ways of preventing those risks from happening. Mitigation offers organization a cost-efficient method of emergency management because it helps predict emergencies, and thus help avoid them.
Emergency management involves preparedness. Preparedness entails planning, organization, training and all other practices that help to ensure that organizations prevent disasters, respond effectively to emergencies, carry out recovery efforts and help the organization rise to normalcy. Preparedness requires that organizations develop plans that aim at preventing, managing and countering the effects of emergencies and disasters. It ensures that communications take place in all areas of the organization that help people contribute in terms of their views of things that the organization should plan for, to help manage emergencies. Preparedness involves carrying out healthy communications, and responding to the views of all people in the organization that might be helpful in managing disasters (Rines, 2011).
In this sense, organizations must include training in the process. Training helps organizations to have personnel that understand the ways of handling emergencies. Many organizations go down in times of disasters and emergencies because they do not understand how to handle cases of emergencies. Before they plan to respond, the disaster runs them down. Therefore, training offers organizations a chance to make their personnel aware of the ways that they can use to prevent and respond to emergencies. This helps in a significant way because training helps organizations avoid loss of property and lives. Preparedness also ensures that organizations acquire equipments that may help in times of emergencies. Preparedness means being armed to respond to any eventuality.
It allows organizations carry out assessment and analysis to ascertain the equipments that will help in times of emergencies. Some organizations make mistakes because they acquire equipment to help them during emergencies without ensuring that the equipments can help. Because of that, they have trouble when emergencies happen because the equipments cannot help. Therefore, preparedness helps organizations from engaging in such practices, and helps them make proper decisions when deciding to acquire emergency response equipments. Preparedness helps organizations become flexible when planning for emergency management. Flexibility has importance because trends in the world change every day and require organizations to change because of new challenges and dynamics in emergency management (McEntire, 2007).
Emergency management involves adequate response practices. Emergency management requires that organizations understand the ways that they can use to respond to disasters and emergencies. Adequate and reliable response has its own advantages. It entails the mobilization of resources, both physical and human resource and services to reduce the effect of the disaster or ensure that the disaster does not affect the organization negatively. Response activities might include firefighter services, first-aid services, ambulance services and the police among other services.
Therefore, response programs require adequate organization. Response services might require help from secondary sources. Therefore, organizations must make all efforts to know all secondary places that they can sought assistance in cases of emergency. Response requires an interdisciplinary approach where different departments work together to alleviate negative effects that come from emergencies. Adequate response planning and preparation helps organizations quicken plans and procedures in response to emergencies. In so doing, they reduce the effects of disaster emergencies.
Emergency management provides a comprehensive way of dealing with emergencies and disasters. Emergency management practices and options ensure that organizations apply a wholesome technique and style when dealing with emergencies it. Managers consider all viewpoints that enable the organization come up with effective emergency management plans. Emergency management offers a reliable way that does not allow organizations create shoddy emergency management options. It ensures that managers consider everything that will help the organization in case of an emergency. It becomes comprehensive in terms of training, preparedness, planning and other considerations.
Another importance of emergency management involves its progressive nature. Emergency management involves anticipation in to the future. It requires that organizations look in to the future and foresee risks that could rise in the future. With that, the organization comes up with ways that can help it in times of disasters and emergencies, not only in the present condition of the organization but also over the years to come, in the future. Emergency management is progressive in the sense that it puts the organization to task to ensure that it maintains an emergency mitigation and management plan that responds to future challenges.
This means that the organization must involve itself in a constant review process that updates the emergency management plan of the organization. New forms of disaster and emergencies come up because of the changes that happen in the world in terms of technology, climatic changes and other changes. Emergency management considers these changes. It ensures that managers carry out assessments and reviews that modernize the emergency management plan of the organization. In so doing, organizations remain secure and have the capacity and capability to respond effectively to emergencies (Coppola, 2011).
Emergency management happens in a risk-driven manner. All plans of emergency management occur as a form of response to an expected risk. In this sense, managers use effective risk management skills to assign priorities. Organizations carry out assessment to know the areas that need emergency management. With this information, they come up with specific emergency management plans meant to respond to certain departmental emergency options. This provides an advantage to organizations because it enables them to come up with effective and efficient emergency response programs useful to specific areas of concern.
Emergency management has importance in terms of its integrated approach. Emergency management involves the inclusion of several aspects that range from resources, training, leadership and departmental considerations among other issues. Emergency management explores the integration of different risk prevalent areas in organizations and societies. It enables organizations and the society brings different tools, resources and viewpoints together to form a concrete emergency management and response plan.
In this way, it enables organizations capture areas that see subordinate but significant in terms of the risk that they pose to the organization in cases of disasters and emergencies. This enables organizations plan a complete, adequate and efficient emergency management program that ensures that organizations remain risk free and operate in safe environments. Integration ensures that all spheres of risk management are met and addressed, in the most efficient manner. Therefore, emergency management has a lot of significance in organizations and society.
Emergency management has a collaborative advantage. It requires that people from different departments participate in coming up with an effective emergency management practice. For instance, people from the police department can come together with, people from the hospital department, telephony department and the transport department to come up with an emergency management plan. This calls for a highly collaborative relationship between these people so that they come up with an effective plan. Collaboration has an advantage because it takes into account different views from different people. People bring up different perspectives that address issues in a different way. Different viewpoints help bring new ideas that can help contribute to emergency management plans (Bumgarner, 2008).
Emergency management plans help alleviate the fear that come with emergencies. Emergencies create a lot of fear because people worry for their lives and the possibility of losing their investment that may have taken a long time in their lives. Most people encounter fear of unknown because they do not know what can happen when disasters and emergencies strike. When people have emergency management programs, they maintain their calm when emergencies strike, and deal with them in the most effective way because of prior planning. When people know that they have necessary resources and plan to respond to emergencies, they acquire confidence when emergencies strike.
This helps people save time and property because they respond quickly. Organizations that do not have emergency management practices or those that have them, but do not implement emergency management practices suffer the risk of failure. This could happen because they would not have resources or plans that could help them when disasters strike. Therefore, this fact illuminates the need for organizations to have emergency management plans that could help them in times of need (Alexander D. , 2003).
Emergency management options offer a professional viewpoint and consideration when dealing with emergency preparation and emergencies. The creation of emergency management plan requires the inclusion of professionals in the whole process from development to implementation. This has an advantage because it alleviates the possibility of guesswork and unprofessionalism when dealing with emergency management issues. This helps organizations come up with emergency management options that can offer assistance in times of disasters. Professionalism in emergency management helps the society and organizations make concrete and reliable investments when coming up with emergency management plans (Bullock & Et.al, 2008).
Emergency management helps bring in the public to learn the ways that they can contribute to the prevention, management and response to emergencies. Emergency management can help educate and enlighten the public on ways that could help them deal with disasters. This can be done through training of employees or through public awareness programs. Once the public understand ways of dealing with emergencies, they can help reduce the effect of emergencies while they wait for professionals to come in and take responsibility. Therefore, emergency management has benefits for organizations, as well as, the public. Therefore, organizations and the society should make heist in developing emergency management plans (Alexander D. , 2006.).
In the world today, many events take place which pose a threat to the environment, property and the lives of people. Natural calamities have increased because of changes in the climate and human activities. Terrorism, violence, wars, diseases and accidents happen every day. All these require the intervention of emergency management plans. Emergency management helps reduce destruction of property, losses and deaths that come with disasters. Emergency management ensures that people plan, prepare, respond and recover from emergencies and disasters in the most efficient way. Emergency management ensures that relevant bodies in organizations, society and the public become aware and take responsibility in cases of emergencies. Therefore, societies and organizations should develop concrete management practices.