How to Write an Emergency Plan

How to Write an Emergency Plan

How to Write an Emergency Plan

How to Write an Emergency Plan

Synopsis

Confronting Catastrophe addresses natural disasters in terms of the issues arising from globalization, technological development and consumer culture. These factors have profoundly altered social and economic values, and international relations have responded to a new balance of forces and ideologies. Beginning by examining the theoretical underpinnings of academic and applied work the author then considers cultural, economic and historical changes in relation to the impact of disasters on human societies. Special attention is given to the effects of new technologies on vulnerability to natural catastrophe and to the difference in impacts between industrialized nations and developing countries. It is argued that, far from being exceptional events, disasters are a normal part of life and a substantial influence on most human cultures.

Excerpt

In 2002 I published a book entitled Principles of Emergency Planning and Management. in writing that work, my aim was to describe the processes of preparing for and responding to disasters, crises and civil contingencies. I based the work on principles because I wished to dissociate it from particular systems of emergency management. Then, as now, many of the books in this field are tied to individual systems of public administration, particularly the federal system of the United States of America, which limits their usefulness in other contexts. in Europe, for example, there are seven types of legal system, and these are unevenly distributed among monarchies, federal republics, island republics, and countries with either devolved or centralized administrations. Hence, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ civil protection system that can act as a template. Nevertheless, I do not believe that, in terms of how emergency response is organized, there must necessarily be a fundamental difference between the world’s richest and poorest countries. They all need safety and rapid response to civil contingencies. All countries can learn from others and derive benefit from incorporating good practice from abroad into their own systems, with modifications to fit local conditions. Equipment may be expensive, but planning to make the best use of what one has or can afford is not likely to break the bank.

The feedback I received from the Principles book was generally positive, but it indicated that some readers were facing severely practical problems in frontline jobs that required them to provide workable answers. Many were new to emergency planning and did not know where to start. When, at last, I found the time to consider a new edition of Principles, I decided to give it a more ‘handson’ profile and endeavour to meet the needs of people who had been given the task of writing and implementing emergency plans. in order to maximize the geographical scope of the book, I decided to stay with my decision not to tie the explanations to particular systems and countries. I trust that the reader will be able to make the necessary connections and adapt general approaches to the configuration of services in any country or region.

Some readers may be sceptical about the value of emergency planning. It is true that in a crisis the first thing that goes out of the window is the plan. However, I believe passionately, not in the plan as a document or instrument, but in . . .

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