What Emergency Management Does

Before a disaster

Preparing for long-term disaster recovery demands as much attention as preparing for short-term response.

  1. Identify stakeholders within the Whole Community Construct that will help develop and facilitate the Recovery Plan. 
  2. Develop a Recovery Plan to Work with the local Government officials, Businesses, Organizations, and Agencies and ask:
  • What needs to be done? 
  • Who needs to do it?
  • When does it need to be done?
  • Where does it need to be done?
  • How does it need to be done?
  • Why does it need to be done?
  • What else is being done?
  • Who else could do it?
  • What else could be done?
  • Why that way?
  1. Sign MOU with Agencies, Organizations, and Businesses for needed supplies, buildings, equipment, etc. for sheltering and many other activities. 
  2. Preposition supplies; cots, blankets, toiletries and other equipment. 
  3. Hold shelter and other types of training for partner agencies and volunteers. 
  4. Develop a written Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) Plan that can be implemented with local and state agencies and organizations.
  5. Closely work with the State Emergency Agency Liaison to understand the scope of state and Federal Involvement should the need arise.
  6. When a disaster happens agencies have specific roles. Local emergency management immediately works to protect life and property. Work with departments and agencies and organizations to understand their response and recovery roles and hold exercises so that everyone will know their responsibilities and know the equipment they will work with. 
  7. Have cell numbers of key stakeholders within the community and beyond to communicate quickly and effectively with all who should be involved with response and recovery.
  8. Understand the intricacies of Pet Sheltering. Develop a plan with local Veterinarians, Animal control, and others to be able to set up a local animal shelter near a shelter.
  9. Develop a Volunteer Management Plan – Develop Ways for people to volunteer in response and recovery.
  10. Share resources and personnel with other area and state agencies when they need assistance. The same will be most likely available to your own agency. Stay informed on the emergencies and disasters and lessons learned around the region, state, and nation. Give responders access to this information also. 
  11. Stay connected with the community by having activities and preparedness events where the public can view the efforts of Emergency Management towards mitigation, planning, preparedness, response, and recovery.
  12. Work with agencies and departments to anticipate needs of the community to be able to respond as quickly as possible. 
  13. Connect COAD and City government so we work in tandem and have strong communication. Train all members of the COAD about the Long-term Recovery Committee and Disaster Case management before the disaster. Be intentional in involving local faith-based and civic organizations as well as business leaders.
  14. Teach the community about whole community Resilience and Recovery. The ability to withstand (survive) the disaster, quickly adapt, and recover.

During Recovery

Unlike the response function, where all efforts have a singular focus, the recovery function or process is characterized by a complex set of issues and decisions that must be made by individuals and communities. Recovery involves decisions and actions relative to rebuilding homes, replacing property, resuming employment, restoring businesses, and permanently repairing and rebuilding infrastructure. The recovery process requires balancing the more immediate need to return the community to normalcy with the longer-term goal of reducing future vulnerability. Because the recovery function has such long-lasting effects and usually high costs, the participants in the process are numerous. They include all levels of government, the business community, political leadership, community activists, and individuals. Each of these groups plays a role in determining how the recovery will progress. (Introduction to Emergency Management, Haddow, 2008)

FEMA’s guidelines for state and local emergency plans, Developing and Maintaining State, Territorial, Tribal, and Local Government Emergency Plans, Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101, defines “recovery” as including all of the following:

  • The development, coordination, and execution of service- and site-restoration plans
  • the reconstitution of government operations and services
  • individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public assistance programs to provide housing and to promote restoration
  • long-term care and treatment of affected persons
  • additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration
  • evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned
  • post incident reporting
  • development of initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents. (FEMA 2009)