How Communities Get Prepared for Emergencies

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Emergencies that can impact a community come in many forms. They can be natural disasters, like tornadoes or hurricanes. They can also be health related, like epidemics. In today’s world, they also can be terrorist related. While nobody wants to see their community threatened in any way, the best defense is always a good offense. That is why communities need to have solid emergency preparedness plans in place.

Focused Planning
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all emergency plan. Every area has its own specific needs. For example, communities in California may need to ensure they have a plan in case of an earthquake, but communities in Ohio would have no need for this type of plan. Each community needs to assess its own risks and develop a plan that is suited to its specific needs and circumstances, as suggested by USC.

Identify Resources
Communities need to look over their abilities and resources. They should make sure that they have the right people to react in each type of emergency and need to gather supplies to use in each situation. This may also include using technology that can help them better communicate and relay information to others, specifically healthcare related technologies. You can learn more about that here.

Develop Solid Plans
Each emergency should have a written plan for how it is to be handled. Even those things that may seem unlikely should have a plan developed for community reaction in case they do happen. For example, every community should be prepared and have a plan in place to respond to a terrorist attack or activity. These plans should be complete, including lists of personnel and supplies needed.

Inform the Public
Communities should make sure that all disaster plans are communicated to the public. They should be announced and available for review by community members. The people in the community have to be aware of these plans in order to know what to do in an emergency. Without informing the public, any emergency that arises will lead to panic and can make it difficult to execute the plan due to a lack of cooperation by the community.

Run Drills
Emergency personnel should run through plans on a regular basis to ensure everyone knows what to do. Running drills not only helps to ensure personnel know what to do and can carry out the plan as written but it also ensures that plans are solid. Drills can help to point out weaknesses or oversights in order to ensure that all emergency plans are comprehensive and will work in the face of a real emergency situation. It’s imperative to ensure that all aspects are covered and nothing is forgotten. Ill-prepared communities become vulnerable in the face of an actual emergency.

Communities are responsible for preparing for emergencies. Those in power have to create plans and be ready for any emergency situation that may occur. If such a situation happens, members of a community should be able to trust that their leaders have plans in place to keep them safe. It is only through creating solid plans that communities can be strong in the face of an emergency situation.

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