Successful management of emergencies / disasters requires rapid decision making to complex problems by government officials and emergency service agencies. For disasters, history has proven that the most challenging of these involve unclear direction for initial response, authority, mutual aid, and evacuation. Incidents begin and end locally but during the incident it will move through the state and federal level.
Incident Management System
The complexity of emergency/disaster incidents requires an organizational structure for emergency personnel to be able to coordinate complex and critical tasks amongst a wide variety of government and private entities. The National Incident Management System and utilization of the Incident Command System (ICS) is recognized as the standard for incident management within Osceola County, thus, it is imperative that local agencies are proficient in establishment of the N.I.M.S. Incident Command System to ensure coordinated on-scene response amongst all participating agencies and organizations.
NIMS 6 Major Components
- Command and Management
- Resource Management
- Communications and information management
- Supporting technologies
- Ongoing management and maintenance
5 Major Functions of the ICS
- Command – Sets objectives and priorities while in charge
- Operations – Conducts tactical operations & directs all tactical resources
- Planning – Develops the action plan & maintains resource status
- Logistics – Provides support
- Finance/Administration – Monitors costs related to incident & time recording
Local government and other agencies included in this plan are mobilized as necessary to support emergency response to the incident. If a municipality requests county resources, the county will provide them and absorb the cost. If the county requests the use of municipal resources, the municipality will provide them and absorb the cost. Existing agencies of local government, other local agencies, volunteer agencies, and the private sector, augmented by state and federal agencies, constitute the basic response framework. Some of these agencies must perform special activities related to response and recovery. Individuals designated to perform these activities are detached from their regular assignment when activated.
Public Protection Actions
The best method to protect the population will vary depending on the hazard or disaster at hand. However, major emergencies will generally fall into the following categories…
- In Place Sheltering – the process for securing people in homes, business, r pre-designated safe areas from a threat or actual hazard
- Isolation – Measures taken to prevent the spread of contagious diseases by restricting the interaction of the population to prevent the spread of illness.
- Quarantine – the restriction of activities or limitation of movement of persons exposed to a communicable diseased in such a manner as to prevent the spread of this disease to the unexposed population
- Evacuation – the immediate and rapid movement of people away from a threat or actual occurrence of a hazard
- Travel Restrictions – The restriction of citizen travel on designated roads as to limit traffic during hazardous conditions or control traffic patterns during emergencies.
- Executive Directives – Measures taken to lessen widespread damage, injury, or loss of life or property during emergencies and this reduce the strain on limited jurisdictional resources.
5 Phases of Emergency Management
Phase 1 – Prevention
Happens when property and lives are protected by those that identify, deter or stop an incident from occurring
Phase 2 – Preparedness
When governments, organizations, and individuals assess risks; develop plans to save lives and minimize damage; and enhance emergency response operations
Phase 3 – Response
During and following an emergency or disaster, in which governments, organizations and individuals act to provide emergency assistance to people and property. They seek to minimize further injuries or fatalities, to limit property damage, and to speed recovery operations.
Phase 4 – Recovery
Continues after an event or incident, until all systems are restored to normal operations. Short term recovery operations focus on returning vital life support systems like roads, bridges, water, and telephones. Long term recovery is aimed to restoring life in an area to normal or improved levels.
Phase 5 – Mitigation
The long-term phase of emergency management that aims to reduce or eliminate the impacts or probability of a disaster. It also includes activities which reduce the effects of unavoidable disasters.