Natural disasters or wars can strike at any time. These hazards either come with a warning or may occur with no warning. A crisis like an earthquake, hurricane, or flood is not only dangerous to deal with but also causes mayhem in its path. At the same time, war leads to the loss of human lives, tremendous destruction, and massive population displacement. Without the proper guidance and help, the population ends up suffering heavily.
This is where an emergency management leader comes into play. Your role as a manager is all about keeping the people safe and mitigating risks with minimum casualties. Therefore, to complete your job, you need to design emergency response plans, develop procedures, and coordinate with regulating authorities like nonprofit organizations and government agencies. So what are the fundamentals of your job that make it such a pivotal profession in averting a crisis? Here’s what you need to know:
1. Doing A Deep Seated Assessment of The Situation
As an emergency manager, you need to conduct a hazard assessment to gauge where your department stands and the situation the population will face. This includes researching the potential natural disaster that will strike the area by following reports generated by Seismologists, volcanologists, and meteorologists.
In addition, you also need to inspect the supplies your department has, the current budget your team can use, and calculate the number of resources like helicopters, boats, and jeeps to prevent casualties from escalating. Since your job is highly technical, the training and education you go through prepares you for the role and makes you eligible for a high-earning emergency management salary which is no less than an accomplishment. It is not easy to put your life selflessly on the line to protect a crisis from getting out of control.
2. Creating A Crisis Management Plan
Before an emergency strikes, you need to implement a management plan. This will help you deploy the resources promptly without wasting fuel, manpower, or miscalculating the situation’s intensity. A crisis management plan starts with mapping out your region or the city. You need to take note of areas that the disaster may highly impact. This can be because the region is near a large water body, has tall buildings built on unsteady ground, or has an abundance of trees and greenery which may get ripped out during a hurricane.
Once the map is laid out, you need to highlight the routes your team will take to bring the population to safety. Suppose you’re dealing with a case of a tsunami or a severe earthquake such as those with a magnitude of 6.0 on a Richter scale. In that case, you have to set up an evacuation plan. This includes evacuating people from their houses, relocating them, and figuring out what to do when shelter homes fall short.
Along with these details, you need to compile a budget, an emergency fund, and contacts of other rescue teams and organizations that can help out when your department cannot handle the situation on limited support.
3. Meet With Government Agencies and Nonprofit Organizations
Emergency management is a collaborative process. You alone cannot handle an entire population without the intervention of government agencies. You can suggest ways these authorities can lend you a hand and inform them of your crisis management plan by talking to officials. This includes switching off the primary power grid during a natural disaster such as a tsunami to prevent live wires from electrocuting people.
The government officials may set up more shelter homes with rations such as first aid kits, food, water, and survival kits. They may also allow access to radio frequency towers so that you and your team can use radios to communicate without relying on devices powered by electricity. These government bodies may also provide your department with safety equipment to rescue victims without hurting them further.
Nonprofit organizations can provide support in the form of volunteers to look after victims of the hazard. They may also have nurses who can carry out essential medical exams and treat the victim’s wounds. In extreme injuries, you may use a helicopter to transport the victim to the hospital.
4. Train Rescuers
Rescuing a victim is a multi-layered process. As an emergency manager, you cannot expect your team to charge into any situation without paying attention to their surroundings and bringing a victim to safety. Without adequate training, rescuers may act hastily and cause more collateral damage, resulting in higher casualties. So, to prepare your team to manage any crises, chronologically train them.
You should educate your team on the safety gear they need to wear in a time-effective manner. They should get ready to tackle a situation in under a minute. Inform them to pay attention to the surroundings, like exposed manholes due to an explosion that causes lethal gases to leak out. Guide them on the types of fires and how to cool them down.
If a victim is injured, how to safely carry the victim to safety without aggravating the wounds further. You may also walk them through how to enter a house during a hurricane, what areas to avoid and how to keep the structure from collapsing. With these notions, you can set up a recovery plan and dispatch your team to deal with the crisis in an informed manner.
5. Keep The Population Informed
The people need to know what kind of emergency they may be facing soon. This helps in eradicating panic and subsides fear to a minimal level. Unprecedented natural disasters can be shocking, often leaving the population in turmoil. By utilizing media channels and social media, you can discuss the potential hazards such as a predicted earthquake, a possible tsunami, and if you have information on a terrorist attack. While this may send the population into a frenzy, it also informs them about what to do.
You may guide the people on how to care for their loved ones and themselves if a disaster strikes, facilitate their evacuation, and guide them towards the nearest recovery shelters. Through social media pages, you can demonstrate how the population can minimize risks by staying away from windows during a hurricane, shutting off their gas supply, and using furniture to bolt the doors. During a crisis recovery, you will need to keep the people in the loop and account for lost lives and injured victims to report to regulating authorities. While you cannot stop a hazard from causing havoc, you can control how the local population reacts.
An emergency like a natural disaster, wars, and even terrorist attacks are not situations anyone wishes to deal with. However, these are unfortunate realities of life and occur more often than the average civilian thinks. Therefore, an emergency management leader needs to take control of the situation and prevent widespread panic from ensuing. Your role includes assessing what’s to come and planning a road map to safety accordingly. You should not try to contain an entire population on your own.
This is where government bodies come into the picture, and through their collaboration, you can facilitate your job. Nonprofit organizations can also provide you with the support you need. In addition, spend time training rescuers and guiding the local population on how to handle all types of emergencies.