Emergency ManagementAlthough the sheer scale and vigor of natural forces can make it seem as though no human strength or wisdom can avail against them, the fact is that good management of your actions and resources can help you survive any kind of emergency or disaster, assuming that you are not simply annihilated at the moment of crisis.
Whether the disaster is natural – in the form of fire, flood, storm, earthquake, and so on – or man-made – the breaking of a dam, a leaking nuclear power plant, an act of terrorism – good management can mean the difference between surviving only by the skin of your teeth, or coming through the event mostly unharmed and in good condition in as many ways as possible.
Emergency management is an important part of your efforts to overcome the challenges of an emergency or disaster situation. The resources available to you are necessarily limited – after all, nobody can store up years of food or guarantee an infinite supply of water in the absence of regular services. Therefore, making the best use of what is on hand is the key to passing through a time of crisis in good condition and with as few problems and risks as possible.
Planning is part of good emergency management – you should have as many different contingencies covered as possible, including assembling a well-rounded stock of emergency equipment, finding out where local water sources are, learning the best routes for evacuation to different areas, and generally collecting any information that is likely to be useful in an emergency. This includes observing the area for any potential hazards. For example, a local reservoir might overflow if a hurricane struck the area, so roads immediately below the dam might become dangerous or impassible, and alternate routes should be scouted.
Accumulating information about the telephone numbers, locations, and general usefulness of emergency response, forestry, and medical facilities is also a good idea.
Of course, the potential number of different situations which might confront you during an emergency approaches infinity, so your planning cannot encompass everything that could happen. The main part of pre-planning is to ensure that you have a well-chosen set of emergency tools and supplies on hand, and that you have fairly thorough knowledge of whatever information about the local area will be likely to prove useful during a critical moment.
Emergency management also includes doing what needs to be done during an actual disaster. Keeping a calm, clear-headed outlook is a vital part of responding to the situation in a constructive way, as well as being able to take the initiative when opportunities offer themselves, rather than being purely reactive in a dangerous situation.
You need to keep a clear, accurate appraisal of current circumstances currently in view, as well as making realistic guesses about what is likely to happen in the near future. Having a radio to find out what is happening outside the area of the emergency is a major help for someone carrying out emergency management – for example, if you hear that it will be six days before rescue teams arrive in your area, then you will know that it is necessary to stretch your food out for that amount of time at least, and probably a bit longer to be on the safe side.
Knowing how to use your equipment properly is another important part of being able to manage an emergency. After all, making the best use of the tools that you have to hand is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe and moving in the correct direction – which is coming through the perilous event, whatever it may happen to be specifically, with a minimum of risk and harm, and a maximum of safety and success.