Disaster preparedness is critical for every country because it provides an opportunity to secure the population and prevent enormous losses. Mainly, it is discussed in the limited framework of particular counties. Professionals develop the measures that need to be undertaken to ensure that the county can identify the upcoming disaster and mitigate its influence. Being prepared beforehand, they can act consistently, avoiding errors and misunderstandings.
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Emergency services staff can also try to prevent the disaster even though it is not always possible. Still, having realistic and coordinated planning, they can reduce adverse influences and save community members’ lives. Disaster preparedness is a complicated process. It is maintained continuously and consists of a vast amount of risk reduction activities. Moreover, various professionals need to be involved in it to reach the best outcomes.
Cumberland County and Oklahoma are also preparing to manage possible disasters. The emergency management coordinator, Woodson “Gene” Booth (personal communication, July 27, 2016) was interviewed regarding those disasters his county is likely to face and ready to deal with. Considering this question, he mentioned that Cumberland County Emergency Services tend to pay the majority of their attention to such issues as the severe weather, technological hazards, and human threat.
Cumberland County Emergency Services align their actions with other facilities that are involved in the disaster management and follow the peculiarities of emergency preparedness and response highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). It is emphasized that communities, providers of emergency services and healthcare systems need to cooperate when they are willing to improve the situation as quickly and effectively as possible.
Of course, they all have their personal plans of actions that are developed on the basis of facility’s purpose and goals. However, some procedures in the range of their tasks coincide. The coordinator underlined that particular actions are to be maintained before, during, and after the disaster but not only on a single stage. Thus, it can be concluded that that the process of management is rather long-lasting. When maintaining it, professionals need to develop both long-term and short-term goals and to consider the order, in which they will be undertaken. Still, first of all, it is critical to ensure that the local warning system is working decently (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
When dealing with severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, professionals are to pay attention to the cleanup of water, which is not required when other disasters happen. This step is critical because the representatives of the general public can be injured while moving in the water. Moreover, it can serve as a vector of infectious diseases and chemical hazards. In the framework of technological hazards, Woodson Booth (personal communication, July 27, 2016) paid attention to the hazard materials release.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016) mention that waste may cause additional complications, as it can be corrosive, reactive, ignitable, or toxic. Finally, a human threat may be seen as threat provided by an active violent assailant, which is critical because one can injure many representatives of the county, making it unsafely.
Booth claimed that he and his team learned a wide range of lessons about managing a disaster (personal communication, July 27, 2016). Still, the coordinator was able to identify those three that are on the top of the list.
First of all, McLain (2010) emphasizes that the emergency plan plays the key role in the whole process of disease preparedness. Professionals also considered that it is important to continuously prepare, update, and protect the emergency plan (W. Booth, personal communication, July 27, 2016). It is critical not to underestimate the significance of this plan because it ensures that effective measures will be undertaken. Moreover, such things as sensitive issues that are not published publicly are mentioned in it. Thus, when referring to the plan, professional can minimize vulnerabilities.
The coordinator also mentioned that technologies can affect the situation greatly and provide the professionals with the opportunity to ensure safety for more people (personal communication, July 27, 2016). Technological development enters various areas, including disaster management. Providers of the emergency services can obtain more effective devices needed to prevent hazards and to deal with them if they stay up-to-date with technology.
Professionals may use search cameras to see if there are people under the rubble, or special lift bags to put it up and save people who are trapped. Still, it is also critical for them to be able to perform the same tasks without such technologies. In some cases, all these devices may be not available, which means that the representatives of the general public can die if these professionals are cannot work without particular technology in alternative ways.
Finally, Booth (personal communication, July 27, 2016) stated that all facilities engaged in the disaster preparedness and management should be able to meet the needs of all of the individuals within the community where they work. All people should be equally protected regardless of their characteristics. In this way, professionals should be able to reach all people of society. To achieve this goal they can cooperate with other facilities, phone companies, and the media (McLain, 2010).
In this way, they can spread information about the hazard and actions that are to be maintained very quickly. Moreover, it is also possible to look for people who are missing in this way and to receive community’s assistance. Professionals should be able to communicate with everyone. Non-English speaking people may also be in danger, but they are not able to understand what others are saying. Thus, the emergency services providers should cooperate with interpreters. It would be also beneficial if they learn basic phrases in the languages that are spread in the community, such as Spanish.
In this way, disaster preparedness is critical for the whole community because it ensures that it is ready to cope with possible hazards, created by both nature and human beings. All steps that should be undertaken to secure the general public are to be reflected in planning.
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Emergency services should be provided timely, because the lives of the citizens can be affected adversely. It is critical for the professionals to minimize not only the amount of deaths but also the property damage, as there will be a necessity to restore the county and to make it appropriate for living as soon as possible. Those who survive but have no place to go will not be able to return to their previous lives. Moreover, paying attention to the property, professionals can ensure rapid recovery after the disaster. The amount of restoration will be minimalized so that people can get back to normal community life.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Office of public health preparedness and response. Web.
McLain, S. (2010). The Oklahoma City bombing: Lessons learned by hospitals. Web.