Decision Making in Emergency Response

Emergency response problem solving, FEMA decision making models, examples of how those models have been utilized in real life incidents, and analysis.

Protecting Your Valuables and Documents From A Disaster: A Primer

Disasters can be large scale or only affect you. They can be local, regional or affect even larger areas. They can take various forms – from fires to flooding, to tornados to terrorism, to cyber to earthquakes. But they have one thing in common – they can separate you from your finances, your valued possessions, and from your identity. The last thing you want to have to worry about in a disaster is protecting these critical items when time doesn’t allow for it. First Visualize A Disaster The first thing you need to do is use your imagination to place yourself in a disaster situation. There’s a tornado on its way. The sirens are wailing and the emergency alerts are scrolling across the television screen. Everyone is telling you to “TAKE SHELTER NOW!” You run outside and see the rolling black clouds. The wind is picking up and dust is starting to fly. Your kids are playing on the playset and you scream for them to get inside and into the basement immediately. Being kids, and not understanding the need to hurry, they take their time to stop swinging. You hear a thundering sound and see a massive gray swirling mass that seems to stretch across the whole horizon heading in your direction. You don’t have time to grab anything while you make a mad rush with your kids down the basement stairs. The house shakes and trembles. You hear noises like you’ve never heard before – shrieking, moaning and then what sounds like a freight train exploding. You throw your hands protectively over your terrified kids. You’re terrified...

Earthquake Preparedness: Creating a Survival Kit

Both FEMA and the Red Cross recommend that every family in the United States be fully prepared for any major natural or unnatural disaster, including an earthquake, by creating a survival kit. Every emergency p reparedness kit should include essential items that can support the basic needs of every family member until assistance arrives. With nearly everyone in the United States living in an earthquake zone, being fully equipped with an emergency earthquake kit will reduce the peril from the natural disaster experienced by the family. Every disaster preparedness kit will contain water, an essential emergency food supply, first aid kit, and other critical items. Creating a disaster preparedness kit to be fully equipped during an earthquake event could be exactly what you need to save lives, including your own. According to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), it is crucial to develop a plan well in advance of any potential emergency that could happen in your community. Part of their recommendations includes building a survival kit to be fully prepared for any disaster, including a devastating tremor. These emergency kits will contain most every item likely needed to survive the disaster. Over the last decade, the Earth has experienced higher levels of seismological activity – earthquakes. With a recorded half million quakes happening around the world each year, only about 1/5 can be sensed by humans, and only about 100 of those causing significant damage. Southern California alone has approximately 10,000 earthquakes every 12 months, with a high majority of them never felt by individuals. Oftentimes, mild and severe quakes will occur naturally without any warning. To ensure...

A Short History of FEMA

FEMA has been known as the driving force of disaster relief and recovery for the American citizens. The federal emergency management agency continues to be a important feature in our society. This is a brief history.

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