Emergency Preparedness Research Paper

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Emergency Preparedness

The Role of Private Companies

Participants

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness refers to the process of preparing resources, both human, financial and equipments for action during times of emergency. It involves planning for disasters and equipping individuals with the capacity to use the available resources in reacting towards the occurrence of disasters. Nations need to put structures in place to prepare for disasters in the form of terrorist attacks and natural disasters among other dangers[footnoteRef:2]. Entities prepare for such dangers institutions emergency structures for communication, implementing warning devices, establishment of potential shelter, rehearsing for evacuation, and establishing backup sustenance services among other things. Disaster preparedness, whether at the regional or local level, is the responsibility of a wide range of players and not just governments, as the society would ordinarily view it. All individual and parties, in whatever, society is vulnerable to potential disaster and so all entities are responsible for this role. This explains why private companies have become involved in this, by training the public on disaster preparedness, it is believed that nations will get to have a better-educated public during times of emergencies[footnoteRef:3]. [2: In Bascetta, Cynthia A. Emergency Preparedness: State Efforts to Plan for Medical Surge Could Benefit from Shared Buidance for Allocating Scarce Medical Resources. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Accountability Office, 2010. P. 3] [3: Alpert, Michael, E. Preparing for Catastrophic Events, Pennsylvania: Diane Publishers, 2009. Pp. 37-38]

The Role of Private Companies

The need for a more comprehensive engagement of both the public and the private sector in disaster preparedness is very apparent. This was according to Richard Cooper, who at one moment headed the homeland security. According to him, the inefficient nature of disaster management in the country at the time was to blame on the participation of a limited section that is the human bodies and governments[footnoteRef:4]. The public sector in itself cannot succeed in disaster preparedness missions[footnoteRef:5]. Because of this, governments have liaised with the private sector to ensure that individuals in all levels of the society get the sensitization on the basic of disaster preparedness[footnoteRef:6]. The role of private sector in disaster management comes in a variety of angles and include[footnoteRef:7] volunteering staff for training on disaster preparedness, providing financial resources and sensitizing surrounding communities on disaster management. [4: As in 2 above] [5: Buttarazzi, John, Using Public-Private Partnerships to Enhance Emergency Management, 2013, Retrieved, July 13, 2013, http://www.ip3.org/ip3_site/using-public-private-partnerships-to-enhance-emergency-management.html] [6: Alpert, Michael, E. Preparing for Catastrophic Events, Pennsylvania: Diane Publishers, 2009. Pp. 39] [7: Government of Turkey, Government of Germany, UNDP, and UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Private Companies join Forces with UN Agencies to Boost Disaster Preparedness and Relief, 2012, Retrieved, http://reliefweb.int/report/world/private-companies-join-forces-un-agencies-boost-disaster-preparedness-and-relief]

Literature Review

George Haddow et al. (2011), indicates that emergency preparedness constitute the building block of disaster management. They define emergency preparedness as a constituent of emergency management that corresponds to keenness in countering catastrophes, disaster, and all other types of emergency conditions[footnoteRef:8]. According to these authors, the feature relates to the kinds of actions that responsible parties take in preparation for emergencies with the view of facilitating proper, speedy, and effectual response to the potential situations. Additionally, emergency preparedness goes beyond the act of being prepared since it is considered as a major subject in the discipline of emergency management. Also of significance to note is that, emergencies extend instantaneous and intense jeopardy not only to individuals but also to properties and processes. As Alpert (2009) demonstrates most emergencies are severe besides being unanticipated and sudden. Because of this early preparation for emergencies is not an option[footnoteRef:9]. He further explains that, pertinent preparation aids in guaranteeing safety and survival. Those with interests in the management of emergencies can, for instance achieve this by preparing a well-written disaster response or action plan. [8: Haddow, George D., Jane A. Bullock, and Damon P. Coppola, Introduction to Emergency Management, Burlington, MA: Butterworth Heinemann, 2011. P.96] [9: Alpert, Michael, E. Preparing for Catastrophic Events, Pennsylvania: Diane Publishers, 2009. Pp. 19-43]

Cynthia Bascettta in the publication 'Emergency Preparedness: State Efforts to Plan for Medical Surge Could Benefit from Shared Buidance for Allocating Scarce Medical Resources 'indicates that emergency preparedness involves a number of elements[footnoteRef:10]. Measures for sounding alarms or providing warnings are an integral element of disaster management not forgetting the approaches for reporting the emergencies. In addition, disaster management requires that training is provided for evacuation and the use of the resources. Back up a life plan resources like water, food and medicine together with details of individuals or organization for which disaster handlers can access more information on handling these emergencies are a must have for the operations[footnoteRef:11]. (Haddow et al., 2011) notes that, understanding the significance of emergency preparedness is an important aspect in making the management of such emergencies successfully. According to the authors, no individual ever wants to imagine of catastrophes striking. Nevertheless, we are all susceptible to being victims of some form of emergency. If this should come about, it is critical that they find us equipped[footnoteRef:12]. [10: As in 1 above] [11: Bradley, Arthur T. Disaster Preparedness Handbook: A Guide for Families. New York: Skyhorse Pub, 2011.] [12: Haddow, George D., Jane A. Bullock, and Damon P. Coppola, Introduction to Emergency Management, Burlington, MA: Butterworth Heinemann, 2011. P.92-97]

Alpert (2009) shows concern over the fact that the private sector, for a long time, took the back seat when it came to emergency preparedness and disaster management as a whole. He echoes the concerns of the onetime Homeland Security chief who indicated the gap that the private sector in collaboration with the government would fill as regarding the subject[footnoteRef:13]. In a November 2005 Washington DC hearing, the debate over the involvement of private businesses in enhancing emergency preparedness took center stage[footnoteRef:14]. According to the participants in the hearing, it was important that the government take on the role of aggressively sensitizing business proprietors on the aspects of emergency preparedness. They also applauded the Trade Administration for the initiative it took in training various export company managers on disaster preparedness, as this was to go a long way in enhancing emergency management in the region. According to some United Nations agencies, the partnership between the public and the private sector is necessary in enhancing disaster preparedness[footnoteRef:15]. According to the representatives, it was important that the private sector engages in disaster management and preparedness as this would help reduce the effects of various disasters. [13: As in 2 above] [14: Promoting private sector emergency preparedness: hearing before the Committee on Small Business, House of Representatives, One Hundred Ninth Congress, first session, Washington, DC, November 1, 2005, Pennsylvania Publishing, 2005.p. 22] [15: Government of Turkey, Government of Germany, UNDP, and UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Private Companies join Forces with UN Agencies to Boost Disaster Preparedness and Relief, 2012,Retrieved, http://reliefweb.int/report/world/private-companies-join-forces-un-agencies-boost-disaster-preparedness-and-relief]

As Buttarazzi (2013), indicates disaster preparedness in increasingly becoming a task, too heavy for governments to undertake alone. The demand for emergency management is increasing by the day and the input of the public, thanks to the initiatives of the private sectors is mandatory. When the private sector takes the initiative of educating the public in regards to disaster management, the solution to unhandled emergencies is found[footnoteRef:16]. The logic behind this reasoning is the fact that, the public is always nearer whenever disasters strike. Because speedy remedies come in handy when emergencies strike, the public, if well educated would quickly handle situations and prevent continued damages in situations. Today, governments recognize the significance of engaging the private companies in delivering training for the local communities. This is because of the high quality of training programs that these companies deliver to the residents and thus enhancing their capability for dealing with emergencies. This is definitely an ingredient for generating safer communities around the globe. [16: Buttarazzi, John, Using Public-Private Partnerships to Enhance Emergency Management, 2013, Retrieved, July 13, 2013, http://www.ip3.org/ip3_site/using-public-private-partnerships-to-enhance-emergency-management.html]

Additionally, private companies' interaction with the public is quite extensive[footnoteRef:17]. The kind of relationship that the private sector has with the public is immediate and taking advantage of such, relationships in saving situations in the society ought not to be undermined. One of the instances where the significance of emergency preparedness among the public emerged is in the case of the emergency operations of APEC (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) in August of the year 2010[footnoteRef:18]. The Thailand-Australia organized emergency Working Group approved fourteen common doctrines to govern public private partnerships in disaster management. In this session, the participant of the program underscored the need for involvement of the entire community to focus on resisting disasters. They delineated the general purpose and extent of concerted affiliations in the circumstance of emergency management. The British Petroleum oil spill incident in April 2010 also demonstrated the effectiveness of the public and the private sector in disaster managements. The months that followed the catastrophe saw the collaboration of the private and the public sector in an attempt to bring to an end the flow of the oil…[continue]

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