Achieve Test Prep

Managing a Disaster - Four phases of success (Preparation)

By Jamey Perkins

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Preparing for disaster

Preparing for a disaster is essential for surviving one. Preparedness plans, and plans of action must be put in place to not only help prevent a disaster from happening, but also to help mitigate the damage caused when one does occur.

Disaster Cycle

On July 28th, 1976 the city of Tangshan, China was completely destroyed by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake and it is estimated that up to 700,000 people lost their lives in the quake. The Great Tangshan Earthquake struck at approximately 3:42 AM. Though some scientists made attempts to warn of an impending earthquake in the area, the earthquake hit with virtually no warning, and at one of the worst possible times, as most residents were asleep and could not react fast enough to get to safety. Since it is obviously not possible to prevent such an occurrence from happening, it is possible to be better prepared for such events.

The responsibility of creating plans for preparedness and action to disastrous events lies on not only government leaders, but also on local leaders and even members of each household. As we have discovered through past experiences, the key to surviving any disaster or decreasing the amount of damage and destruction it causes, is for people to come together and work as a group.

Overall, there are 5 steps of planning for a disaster. Families should create a plan to prepare members of their household in the event of an emergency, as well as all branches of government and business. Those steps include:

  1. Indentifying possible risks - By identifying what types of catastrophe you may be exposed to, you can create an effective plan for preventing and mitigating the dangers associated.
  2. Create a plan of action - Devise a plan that places welfare of life over property. This plan should also include certain methods of monitoring and predicting risks.
  3. Create a checklist - A checklist of supplies, equipment, and resources will reduce the amount of confusion associated with such events, as well as aid you in creating and maintaining your plan of action.
  4. Practice your emergency plan - An enormous amount of confusion will be present during any calamity. The most effective way to reduce that confusion is for all involved to be familiar with the emergency plan.
  5. Update your plan and checklist - As the environment and risks change, so will your emergency plan. It is important to keep your plan of action maintained, so that revisions can be implemented to accommodate any recent changes in risk or supplies needed. Even simple things such as phone numbers and expiration dates should be checked. Home disaster kits are an excellent idea for any household.

Disasters come when we least expect them. Often times, they will strike with little or no warning. Our experiences with nearly every recorded disaster prove that lack of preparation leads to the greatest loss of life and property damage.

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