Emergency Disaster Planning Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3418 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Weather

Emergency Disaster Planning

In Case of an Emergency

Ponder, Plan and Practice

General Emergency "Kit" Guidelines

Past Lessons

Current Considerations

III Moving Forward

Somewhat Prepared?


In Case of an Emergency

Ponder, Plan and Practice

In emergency men will do many things they would scorn to do in easy circumstances.

Darius and Alexander will drink dirty water and think it nectar when distressed with thirst.

Kings and queens, to make good their escape in times of danger, will put on the most menial disguise.

And hungry men will not be over particular as to the food they eat. (Brewer, 1898)

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Preparing for an emergency or disaster before it occurs, helps diffuse panic when an emergency happens, Linda Moss contends. Emergency Disaster Planning also helps build confidence and self-reliance. Moss reported she has set aside enough food, water and firewood, as well as, other necessities for herself, her husband and two children to "shelter-in-place" for several weeks if something were to happen. (Boston, 2004) "Shelter-in-place" means to live one's house without amenities like electricity and/or running water. Potential emergencies that could force a family to put their emergency plans into place include: tornados; ice storms; hurricanes; ice storms; thunderstorm blackouts; terrorism. Mrs. Moss reported that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks stimulated more awareness regarding the significance of being prepared for an emergency or disaster.

Term Paper on Emergency Disaster Planning Assignment

Her emergency preparations, albeit, work as well for an emergency or a natural disaster. (Ibid.) Barbara Childs-Pair, acting director of the D.C. Emergency Management Agency, stresses, "One of the things about emergencies is they have commonalities. You need a meeting place if you get separated from your family.... You need food and water and medications." (Ibid.) Most emergency-management agencies advise a household to be prepared with emergency kits that include at least 72 hours' worth of water, food, water, medical supplies and other necessary items. (Ibid.)

Preparing an emergency kit does not have to be overwhelming, Debra Fuller, who teacher emergency preparedness classes, encourages. Fuller tells those she teachers to.".. take a first step, like making sure you have enough water for three days." (Ibid). General Emergency "Kit" Guidelines:

Keep a gallon of water per person per day.

Nonperishables such as canned food (with manual can opener) snacks, crackers and peanut butter.

Include some "comfort food," particularly for kids.

A first-aid kit,

Prescription medication, antibacterial hand cleaner, washcloths, feminine hygiene products, scissors and tweezers (tweezers can remove glass splinters)

Basic tools;

Battery-powered radio

Plastic sheeting

Duct tape;


Extra batteries;

Change of clothes;

Blankets or space blankets (thermal, light-weight emergency blankets);

Closed-toe shoes in case of excessive debris.

If there are young children, diapers and wipes should be included.

Bleach, which can help clean contaminated water

Garbage bags

If pets are owned, pet supplies such as food, water, plastic bags to deal with waste, and veterinary records. (Ibid.)

Keeping a copy of important documents with the emergency kit is also recommended. Financial records, birth certificates and homeowner's insurance are examples of papers to keep copies of - ready to grab and run with. Rotate food and prescription medication regularly to insure items remain fresh.

Another family, the Mosses, stores emergency items in duffel bags, plastic bins and other containers that are easy to grab and run with if necessary. They also store MREs (meals ready to eat), regularly used by the military, purchased from an Army-Navy surplus store. Think through specific needs and various scenarios. At work, it is a good idea to store several protein bars and a small backpack with toiletries, critical medication, some water and food. It's also a good ides to keep a small emergency disaster kit in a car," experts recommend.

At home, along with an emergency kit or kits, determine a course of action for emergency and disaster situations. Know evacuation routes. Identify a place family members can meet if they are separated. Each family member needs to have an emergency contact list that includes names and phone numbers for immediate family members and also relatives who live out-of-town. It is a good idea to have two escape routes. One plan is needed for each person to get out of each room; the other, the best way to out of the house. Experts recommend that after the plan is mapped out, it is practiced on a regular basis. (Ibid.)

The following books provide additional, helpful survival information:

The U.S. Government Guide to Surviving Terrorism," by H. Keith Melton (compiled from U.S. Marine Corps and Department of Homeland Security documents) utilizes diagrams and instructions to help prepare Americans for terrorist activity, including "conventional, chemical, biological and nuclear."

Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis," by Peggy Layton, provides instructions how to build and store a three-month supply of necessities for use during an emergency.

Living Safe in an Unsafe World: The Complete Guide to Family Preparedness," By Kate Kelly, offers safe travel techniques and ways to help safeguard a home

How to Be Safe in Any Emergency: The Family Take Charge Book," by Dian Dincin Buchman, guides families on ways to prepare for, as well as, prevent most emergencies.

The D.C. Emergency Management Agency, 2000 14th St. NW, eighth floor, Washington, D.C. 20009. Phone: 202/727-6161. Web site: http://dcema.dc.gov....gives out information and brochures about how families can best prepare for emergencies." This agency also presents workshops on Emergency Disaster Planning. Helpful online organizations for emergency planning include: The American Red Cross Web site (www.redcross.org);The Department of Homeland Security's Web site (www.dhs.gov);

The Humane Society of the United States' Web site (www.hsus.org/ace/352).

II: Past Lessons

Current Considerations

Emergency management stems from the cold war days. Back in time, civil defense, bomb shelters, space food, evacuation, and sheltering drills were regular considerations for many. ("Disaster Planning...,") Today, although some of the past practices are still taught and practiced, new counters to new emergency disaster challenges have to be learned. One new system known as Interoperable will enable individuals to communicate with other regions, states, and countries if necessary. After 911, Hawver (2006) reports.".. millions of people scrambled to snap up just about everything (from gas masks to parachutes) an army/navy store carried to help out in a crisis." From 911 and Hurricane Katrina, Army/Navy retailers learned to keep an abundance of hey basic emergency necessities stocked; that blankets, first aid kits, cots and food/water products during peak hurricane and storm seasons will always sell.

Harris (1995) reports that the Santa Clarita, California's Emergency Plan helped the city rebound swiftly from the aftermath of the Northridge Earthquake on January 17, 1994 which damaged $400 million of public and private property. The primary lesson, he notes, was the affirmation that being prepared for emergency situations is vital.

Although a computers and emergency power are not mandatory, they may be useful. stand-alone power supply can also to be helpful. An emergency on-site generator needs to be protected from falling debris or other potential access problems. Harris (1995) stresses that the best time to devise a plan to survive a natural disaster or emergency is before it happens. Most people, however, wait until afterwards. When Cameron (2006) compiled his list, his family had 30 items ready for an action they hope does not come. Each April, Disaster Preparedness Month, presents the perfect time to plan what items to put into an emergency. Along with a cellphone, Cellboost is another item that ought to be included in the primary emergency survival kit. "Cellboost provides power to cell phones when batteries die or are low on battery power, and recharging is not an available option.," (Enhance Disaster Preparedness..Because cell phone batteries lose their charge after a period of time," simply having an extra batter is not always enough. Cellboost allows a person to continue using his/her phone while simultaneously charging it. In addition to insuring cell phones keep working during an emergency or disaster situation, having a product "to prolong the battery life of an iPod, Nintendo Game Boy or Sony PSP can help alleviate some of the stress in these situations." (Ibid)

III. Moving Forward

Somewhat Prepared?

When questioned by pollsters for the Red Cross, seven out of ten people state they are " somewhat prepared." The Red Cross stresses, most individuals need to take the first basic steps and form their family's emergency plan. The poll learned hat sixty-nine percent had not agreed upon a meeting place to reunite with family members if they are "lost" from each other. Sixty-five percent of pet owners do not yet have a plan for their pet's safety. Fifty-nine percent do not have an emergency con tact. Sixty percent have not made any specific evacuation plan, and seventy-three percent have not practiced their family's disaster plan. (Bubny, 2006) For a car, a working tire change/repair kit, as well as, a good spare tire are also necessary emergency items. A compass; road maps; jumper cables; a shovel; knife; tow rope; umbrella may prove to be "life-savers." (Hawver, Ibid.) In… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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