Mitigation in Emergencies

  1. Explain the purpose of the mitigation phase of emergency management and how mitigation pertains to the other phases of emergency management, which are preparedness, response, and recovery.

The main purpose of mitigation in emergency management is to reduce the impact of disasters in the long run. It is often most successful when done before a disaster occurs. Mitigation links to the other phases of emergency management because they all serve on common purpose; to reduce the impact of the disaster. Mitigation is basically a way of ensuring that when a disaster strikes, the effects will be minimal. Preparedness on the other hand is being ready to ride the storm of the disaster (ST Louis County Missouri, 2018). This includes creating shelters in high areas in the case of floods and having enough fire trucks in the case of fires. All these activities are pre-arranged so that when the disaster strikes, there is a plan to save lives and property from damage. This means that the effects of the disaster are not minimized but instead, are dealt with. There is the response plan to a disaster. This is in the event that the disaster has stricken and lives have to be saved. The action to take in order to save these lives is what referred to as response to emergencies. This includes evacuation during floods and ensuring there is no gas leakage during earthquakes and fire tragedies. Recovery in an emergency situation is the process of resuming life as before the disaster occurred. After a disaster, the people who were affected create new wealth, build new houses and some move to new places, all of which are part of the recovery process.

All these are tied to mitigation because, with mitigation, the other processes are less intense. When there has been a plan to contain breaking river banks, the chances of floods affecting a village are reduced to a minimum. When the flooding eventually occurs, the impact will be less severe and the recovery process will be faster. In the case of fires and earthquakes, the buildings that are put up with mitigation plans will ensure that minimal houses are brought down by earthquakes and the spread of fire between buildings is reduced as well. All these are results of proper mitigation plans in the face of disasters (Charnley, Poe, Ager, & Spies, 2015). Mitigation can be implemented before a disaster which will be a form of preparedness, during the disaster which will go hand in hand with the response and finally, after the disaster. When mitigation is implemented after a disaster, it is both part of recovery and preparation for future disasters.

  1. Using the local mitigation project example described within the Week 1 discussion forum, demonstrate understanding of how this mitigation project will improve emergency management during the preparedness, response, and recovery phases.

Mitigation in the preparation for handling disasters is an important plan. The projects that are in place to deal with emergencies have been shaken up to mitigate disasters first and then create preparedness, response and recovery managements. The local mitigation project is important as it takes into consideration the well-being of its people rather than relying for support from the federal government entirely. The local mitigation process will go a long way in ensuring that emergencies do not cause too much damage to the people it affects. When mitigation projects have been put in place, it makes the preparedness projects more effective. This is because, when a flood has been prevented and only a few families that live closest to the river banks are affected, then the preparedness tools are more than enough to keep them comfortable. This means that the evacuation process is faster and more efficient because it is for a few people. The shelter, clothing and food is adequate because the beneficiaries are few. Mitigation is thus very important in the areas that are prone to disasters every other while. These areas include areas close to rivers that break banks, families living in plains where the flooded rivers direct their over flows, people living close to forests that burn during summers as well as those people who live in earthquake prone areas. It is important that the society is well equipped to ensure that in the event that these disasters occur, the impact will be less each time. This is the importance of mitigation. 

Mitigation ensures that recovery is quick and effective. This is because, when dealing emergencies, the whole community is affected in a way. Mitigation usually is a continuous process of ensuring that the community is safe from disasters. However, there are disasters that cannot be mitigated easily such as tsunamis and mudslides. These are the ones that require adequate preparations to ensure that evacuation is prompt and effective (Allan & William, 2016). It is important that people in the community also get trained on the emergency response practices. This will enable the community members to help each other when there is an emergency by having the right skills of fighting a forest fire, evacuating people from burning buildings as well as fast aid for flood victims. All these are important factors in the mitigation project. The community has to be included in all the stages of the mitigation projects so that they are aware of the stats of their security. It also helps them to know how to act when there is an emergency and what to expect in terms of help.

References

Allan, N., & William, D. (2016). The Long-term consequenses of natural disasters summary of the literature. Retrieved from Victoria University of Wellington: http://hdl.handle.net/10063/4981

Charnley, S., Poe, M. R., Ager, A. A., & Spies, T. A. (2015). A Burning Problem: Social Dynamics of Disaster Risk Reduction Through Widlfire Mitigation. Retrieved from Society For Applied Anthropolgy: https://doi.org/10.17730/0018-7259-74.4.329

ST Louis County Missouri. (2018). The Four Phases of Emergency Management. Retrieved from St Louis County Missouri: www.stlouisco.com/lawandpublicsafety/emergencymanagement/thefivephasesofemergencymanagement

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