Washington is situated in the Pacific Coast, Northeast of the United States. It lies in a geographical region endowed with rain forests though some parts are dominated by a semi desert. The Washington state has varied climatic conditions with the oceanic climate dominating the west and drier conditions in the east. The annual temperature range on average stands between 39-52? F. The Washington community is a big community accommodating residents from all walks of life engaged in various tools of trade.
The community has been victim to various catastrophic disasters that have called for emergency responses in the past. Its high vulnerability nature to disasters therefore makes it the ideal case to illustrate an Emergency response plan (ERP) model. The disasters range from volcanoes, fires, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, winter storms, nuclear explosions, acts of terrorism, collapse of buildings among others. This ERP intends to particularly address the entire range of natural, hybrid and man made disasters .
The plan is geared towards eventually offering solutions for the hazards that might culminate to such any of the above mentioned types of disasters, and also highlight the components of an effective ERP that would be able to act to minimize the effects disasters where they can not be controlled A disaster can be briefly defined as a sudden calamitous event that occurs and leads to loss of lives, damage to property ,causes unexpected hardships and cannot be effectively contained by use of ordinary procedures and resources(Schneid & Collins, 2000).
Natural disasters are those that occur majorly because of acts of nature, they occur slowly and insidiously before they severely manifest outwardly. They might be predictable because some areas are prone to some particular disasters but little can be done to control their occurrence. Examples of such disasters in the Washington Community include tornadoes, wind storms, ice storms among others. Man made disasters are those whose occurrence has entirely been induced by man in his daily activities.
Hybrid disasters on the other hand are triggered by a combination or rather both natural and human actions such as deforestation that are current resulting to the current situation of global warming and subsequently affecting sea levels of cities on the coastal lines leading to floods. The effects of the disasters are severe broad and of a great magnitude ranging from losses of billions of dollars to damage that can not be quantified such as human life and also creating scenarios that need evacuations, widespread searches, casualties and rescue operations.
Thus the solution lies in putting in place early warning and preparedness mechanisms in form of an Emergency response plan that will ensure that the community is adequately prepared to response in the occurrence of the disaster notwithstanding its type. Emergency Response Plan framework: Washington state community The very fist step in disaster preparedness and therefore formulation of an ERP is to identify the potential risks, evaluating the probability of those risks actually occurring and then assessing the probable damage and gauging the community’s vulnerability to the disaster (Lindell et al, 2001).
The ERP needs to be a document compiled in agreement by all the stakeholders that are critical in the community’s disaster preparedness programmes. The plan needs to entail comprehensive risk analysis and valid risk predictions based on research and also include well thought early warning and disaster monitoring systems. The mandates and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the emergency response structure also need to be clearly indicated.
The framework will need to entail models and plans for training disaster responders and rescue teams, together with all the personnel that come in handy at the onset of disasters from the various service providers in the community. Methodologies of risk communication, information dissemination and community awareness creation will also be encompassed. The intention is to help the ordinary community member personalize the risk and equip him with the right attitude, knowledge, and skills for self protection at the onset of a disaster.
This should be done periodically to ensure the community accepts, retains and processes the information therefore becoming capable of acting in time of emergency. The community including the responders can carrying out mock drills and exercises to help them understand better the emergency scenarios and the whole concepts of emergency response. Additionally the community can be equipped with basic resources that will come in handy in the onset of the disasters. Indications of stock piling in the document are also critical to ensure that the necessary material resources and equipment will be available.
Advance agreements therefore need to be made with the appropriate response suppliers in this regard (Eshghi & Larson, 2008). In addition preparations for activating emergency reception programmes need to be put in place. The framework needs to as well include mechanisms geared towards tackling both the natural, manmade and hybrid disasters root causes. In conclusion early warning, response facilities and communication systems are invaluable assets all of which must be addressed in any ERP framework.
Department of Homeland Security. (2004). National Response Plan (NRP) Course Summary (ISO 800). Retrieved on July 15, 2009, http://www. wnysmart. org/references/NRP summary. pdf Eshghi K, & Larson, R. (2008). Journal of Disaster Prevention and Management, 17(1), 62. Retrieved from Proquest on July 15, 2009. Lindell K. (2001). Facing the unexpected:disaster preparedness and response in the United States. Washington,DC: Joseph Henry Press, p121-124 Schneid, T. & Collins L. (2000). Disaster management and preparedness. U. S: CRC Press, p 2-3
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