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Normandale ECON 1400 - PREPAREDNESS FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE

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Incident Command System/Incident Management SystemBasic IMS PrinciplesEquipment Acquisition and MaintenanceEOP ComponentsCHAPTER 9PREPAREDNESS FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSEThis chapter begins with an examination of the basic principles of emergency planning and outlines theprocess of assessing the emergency response organization’s ability to perform four basic functions—emergency assessment, hazard operations, population protection, and incident management. Communitiesare most effective in preparing to implement these functions if they follow eight fundamental principlesof emergency planning. In addition, emergency preparedness is supported by three recent organizationalstructures—the Urban Areas Security Initiative, Metropolitan Medical Response System, and NationalIncident Management System. The latter is implemented through the Incident Command System and thejurisdiction’s Emergency Operations Center. The chapter continues with a discussion of EmergencyOperations Plan development and concludes with a discussion of emergency preparedness by households,businesses, and government agencies.IntroductionEmergency preparedness can be defined as preimpact activities that establish a state of readinessto respond to extreme events that could affect the community. It establishes organizational readiness tominimize the adverse impact of these events by means of active responses to protect the health and safetyof individuals and the integrity and functioning of physical structures. As indicated in Chapter 3,emergency preparedness is achieved by planning, training, equipping, and exercising the emergencyresponse organization. That is, members of the LEMC establish the basic plan, annexes, and appendixesof the jurisdiction’s EOP, train members of the emergency response organization to perform their duties,and test the plan’s effectiveness with emergency exercises. They must also acquire the facilities,equipment, and materials needed to support the emergency response. Finally, the LEMC should developcomparable organizational structures, plans, and preparedness for the disaster recovery phase. Recoverypreparedness will be addressed in Chapter 11. Emergency planning is most likely to be successful when it is viewed, either explicitly orimplicitly, from a systems perspective (Lindell & Perry, 1992). This entails an understanding of the goalsof the emergency response, the resources of the community as a system, and the functional interactions ofthe different units within the system. The primary goal of the emergency response is to protect the healthand safety of the emergency responders and the public. In addition, the emergency response shouldprotect public and private property and the environment, as well as minimize the disruption of communityactivities. The resources of the community include trained personnel, and emergency relevant facilities,equipment, and materials. The units of the system are the elements that take action (households,governmental agencies, private organizations), while organizational functions are defined as the “mostgeneral, yet differentiable means whereby the system requirements are met, discharged or satisfied”(DeGreene, 1970, p. 89). In the case of emergency response organizations, the description of systemfunctions can then be elaborated into operational event sequences and component processes that includethe identification of job operations, together with personnel positions and their associated duties (Kidd &VanCott, 1972; Buckle, Mars & Smale, 2000). In the conceptual design stage of a system, analysts definebroad constraints that human limitations are likely to exert on system operation. As the system designdevelops in detail, the analysts develop correspondingly more detailed statements of the requirements forpersonnel qualifications and training, workgroup organization, workspace layout and equipment design,and job performance aids (Chapanis, 1970; Lindell, et al., 1982).244Such analyses are typically applied to the normal operations of complex technological systemssuch as high performance aircraft and the control rooms of nuclear power plants, but they also can beapplied in similar form to the problems of community emergency planning. Whether a noveltechnological system is being developed for use in a normal environment or a novel social system such asan emergency response organization is being developed to respond to an unusually threatening physicalenvironment, the rationale for systems analysis is the same—the opportunities for incremental adjustmentthrough trial and error are extremely limited. The analysis of a social system conducted for an emergencymanagement program must first identify the range of hazards to which a given community is vulnerableand the demands that the hazards would place upon the community. The often expressed opinion “every emergency is unique” is true but the usual conclusion “wecan improvise during an emergency rather than plan beforehand” does not follow. It is true thatemergency responders must always improvise to meet the demands of a specific situation, but it isimportant to understand that there are different types of improvisation—reproductive, adaptive, andcreative—that differ from organizational continuity (continuation of normal organizational routines) andorganizational contingency (implementation of an EOP (Wachtendorf, 2004). Specifically, reproductiveimprovisation responds to a deficiency (e.g., failure of a siren) by using a substitute (e.g., police officersgoing door-to-door) to achieve the same emergency response objective. Adaptive improvisation involvesmodifying normal routines or contingency plans to achieve operational goals. In this context, “adaptive”only means a change, not necessarily an improvement. Creative improvisation responds to anunanticipated disaster demand by developing a new course of action.It is important to recognize that improvising and implementing response actions takes more timethan implementing preplanned actions—and time is usually very limited in an emergency. Moreover,improvisations can impede or duplicate the response actions of other organizations. For example, Perry, etal. (1981)


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