Steve Davis is President of All Hands Consulting, an emergency management firm focused on Comprehensive Emergency Management, Business Continuity, Homeland Security, and Disaster Recovery -- activities that share a common mission: they are all aimed at reducing the impact of disasters on our lives and our operations.
I am often asked what I do.
When I answer that I am an Emergency Management Consultant, I typically
get an odd look (unless I am talking to an Emergency Manager).
I typically explain that we help governments,
businesses, communities, and people prepare for disasters. But emergency management is complex and
should involve the whole community.
All Hands, an Emergency Management Consulting Firm
Today’s blog is an attempt to answer the
What is Emergency
Emergency management consulting firms, and emergency
management consultants, help clients with their emergency management
programs. Emergency management is
defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as “The managerial
function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce
vulnerability to threats/hazards and cope with disasters.”
We describe emergency management as a comprehensive program
to prevent and mitigate hazards and to prepare for, respond to, and recover
from incidents, emergencies and disasters.
unpleasant and unintended happening that routine emergency response agencies
can handle. Or, describes an event, expected or unexpected, involving shortages
of time; that place life or property in danger; for which normal police, fire,
emergency medical services, or utility response is adequate; that does not
require more extensive government or community response effort.
unexpected event involving shortages of time and/or resources which places life
and/or property in danger, and which requires immediate response; requires
response beyond normal incident response resources. Normally a single incident
Disaster: When the
resources available are exceeded; or an Event in which a community undergoes
severe danger and incurs losses so that the social structure is disrupted; and
the fulfillment of all or some of its essential functions is prevented. A
disaster situation is comprised of multiple incident sites.
Preparing for emergencies and
disasters is a government and business responsibility (and also and individual/family responsibility). As emergencymanagement consultants, we help government and business mitigate hazards and
prepare to respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters when they
occur. At the local level, municipal officials have a legal and moral mandate
to ensure that their community is prepared to respond quickly and effectively
to emergencies and disasters, especially in the initial phase of a disaster
before the county, state or federal governments provide supplemental
assistance. Local government must be
able to execute emergency and recovery plans and functions effectively.
A new weather term entered the lexicon this week when the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued its first-ever Potential Tropical Cyclone (PTC) advisory Sunday afternoon, highlighting the threat of a strong tropical wave in the central Atlantic that is likely to affect the Windward Islands as a tropical storm. Another system in the northwest Caribbean remains on track to move into the Gulf of Mexico, where it could affect areas from Texas to Florida as a tropical storm later this week.
The new Potential Tropical Cyclone advisories will provide more detailed guidance on systems that are not yet at depression strength but that have a chance of intensifying and bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours. In their announcement of this and other service changes for 2017, NHC said: “Under previous longstanding NWS policy, it has not been permitted to issue a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning until after a tropical cyclone had formed. Advances…
The EOC needs an effective information management system to work.
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS DURING A DISASTER The following problems are often seen at all EOC levels:
Activation takes place after the fact resulting in a “catch up” process.Lack of good and complete information at the beginning.Possible loss or degraded communications capability.Possible loss or late arrival of key, trained staff.Often a shortfall of resources available to meet demands.Lack of inter-agency coordination. Information management is…