Phases of Emergency Management
The Emergency Management division has four primary objectives in preparing for and responding to disasters. top
Preparedness is planning how to respond in case of an emergency or disaster occurs and working to increase resources available to respond effectively. Preparedness activities are designed to help save lives and minimize damage by preparing people to respond appropriately when an emergency is imminent.
The response phase consists of five basic stages: Notification/Warning, Immediate Public Safety, Property Security, Public Welfare, and Restoration. The Emergency Operation Center will be activated at the Emergency Management Services Office during large-scale emergencies to assure central coordination of response and resources. Shelters have been designated in Sampson County in accordance with the multi-hazard disaster response plan. Shelter operations in Sampson County is a cooperative effort of public/private facilities, schools, Social Services, Health Department, Emergency Management and Red Cross. Shortly after Hurricane Floyd, several local businesses donated funds for the purchase of six sheltee trailers, which are utilized to store and transport many of the items needed for Sheltering Operations. Each of the six units is equipped with generators, emergency lighting, 150 cots, 150 blankets, as well an administrative trunk for registering evacuees and a nursing trunk for emergency care. top
Recovery is the activity, which is necessary to restore the infrastructure systems to minimum operating standards, and long-term activities designed to return life to normal or improved levels. Recovery can be divided into short-term and long-term recovery efforts. Short-term recovery is the restoration of vital services and facilities to minimum standards of operation and safety. Long-term recovery from a disaster may take days, weeks, months or even years before the entire disaster area is completely redeveloped. Recovery is the hardest phase of a disaster and requires personal as well as community motivation.
The recovery phase includes: debris clearance, damage assessment, disaster assistance centers, disaster grants or loans, crisis counseling, reconstruction and/or temporary housing. top
How quickly a community recovers from a disaster depends on the type of event, the size of area involved, and the capabilities of resources as well as many other possibilities. After a disaster, help will be available, but not everyone can be reached immediately. Depending upon the type and magnitude of the disaster, it could take hours or even days. Preparedness is your best protection and proper planning prior to a disaster is essential. top
Mitigation is actions taken to reduce potential damages before a disaster threatens. Examples of mitigation activities are the relocation of buildings from hazard areas, strengthening building codes, structure elevations, risk assessments and proper planning. Research has shown that much can be done to prevent major emergencies or disasters from ever happening, or if nothing else, at least reduce the damaging impact if they cannot be prevented.