The Purpose of Disaster Management Planning
What disaster management planning is
Disaster management planning is the process of preparing for an event and really falls into 4 phases:
- Identifying the types of emergency which may occur
- Hazard and risk assessment
- Rehearsing the plan
- Reviewing and evaluating the plan
Of course, any disaster management planning has to be flexible in order to meet the ever changing circumstances it is designed to deal with. A plan prepared in an emergency operations centre will constantly change because of situations which arise during an actual emergency.
What disaster management planning is not
It must also be remembered that a plan is only that – A PLAN ! The plan will constantly change, as anyone who has ever worked on a major project will testify. It is relatively simple to sit around a desk and produce a plan based on hypothetical emergencies and disasters. The problem is that the cause of the disaster or emergency will always forget to read your script.
Who Writes Disaster Management Plans ?
Where emergency and disaster management are concerned, one plan will not be sufficient. If we consider a national disaster as a template, the following plans will be needed as an absolute minimum:
- A strategic plan prepared at the highest levels of government
- Government department plans
- Local government plans at all levels
- Public sector organisation plans at all levels
- Business continuity plans at all levels
- Voluntary sector plans
Disaster management planning has to be conducted from the highest levels to the lowest, in some cases even to desk level. Each of the plans has to dovetail into the plan above it and all of the plans have to meet the aims and objectives of the strategic plan. To produce the plans requires project teams made up from all parts of an organisation.
From this you can see that emergency and disaster planning is a very time consuming and complex activity. When you consider that no matter how good the plans are, it is probable that they will change within 5 minutes of a disaster occurring, the task seems particularly daunting.
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