# Student 1
Phases of Disaster Management
Disaster management is a continuous process that represents the protection of human life,
property and the environment from the effects of disasters. The disaster cycle is consist of four or
five phases. However, the activities on each phase are not consistent, but rather transitional from
one phase to the next. They include;
Prevention stage that has the central role of protection of human life from the hazards of both
natural and human nature. The activities in this stage aim at limiting the risks and vulnerabilities
of human society in the loss of life, injury, property damage.
Preparedness phase indicates the continuous process through which an organization, planning,
training and equipping takes place. At this stage, the activities aimed at enhancing the readiness
of the society towards disasters conditions or hazards presents.
Response stage indicates the coordinated efforts through which resources are mobilized and
managed accordingly to target disasters conditions (Coetzee, and Van Niekerk, 2012). The
primary objective of this phase are activities directed toward the safety of life, property and the
Recovery phase involves the continued efforts after an emergency. The activities are aimed
towards restoration efforts of community functions critical to human life. The stage is crucial to
the stabilization of society.
Mitigation phase is geared towards the reduction of vulnerabilities and risks to life and property.
The stage’s effectiveness is within the development of structural and non-structural measures
undertaken to reduce the impact of disasters.
The variability of these phases of disaster management is generated within the understanding that
all activities exist within a continuous cycle(Green III, 2002). Literature and scholars that
employ the four phases have consolidated the prevention and preparedness phase as they contain
preparatory activities towards an impending hazard or disaster.
Coetzee, C., & Van Niekerk, D. (2012). Tracking the evolution of the disaster
management cycle: A general system theory approach. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk
Studies, 4(1), 1-9. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v4i1.54
Green III, W. G. (2002). Four phases of emergency management. Electronic
Encyclopedia of Civil Defense and Emergency Management.
# Student 2
Phases of disaster management
Review the phases of disaster management and give a brief description (with a few examples of
pertinent activities) of each. Discuss the "variability" about the actual number of phases
discussed in the literature. What I mean by that is there are authors who believe that there
are five phases (seethe URL from Bexar City, Texas), and others who consolidate down to four
The Phases of disaster management are mitigation, preparation, response and
recovery (Alexander, 2015). A disaster in this case is any event that has negative effects such as
injury or catastrophic loss of life, destruction of property or displacement of human
settlement. Mitigation is usually the first step of disaster management initiated before the
disaster happens (Herrmann, 2007). During the process of risk management, mitigation simply
involves identifying the areas of risk and setting mechanisms to reduce the effects of its
occurrence or prevent its occurrence. A good example of mitigation of risk is having insurance
for a house in an area prone of forest fire. Mitigation is a process that occurs before and after the
disaster has occurred (Restore your economy , n.d ). Preparation is another step of disaster
management and it involves putting mechanisms in place to rescue and perform operations
during and after the disaster. Preparation involves putting in place an incident command center
and a disaster response team (Restore your economy , n.d ). Communicating the risk to the
public and planning for the evacuation of those at risk is also part of the preparation process. For
the local members of the community, preparation involves seeking safe shelter and boosting food
stores at home to help them last through the storm.
Response is a phase of disaster management that involves the disaster response teams
putting the plans of preparation into action. It involves sending out the medical teams to treat and
transfer the injured, the firefighting team to put out the fire and other forms of emergency to
respond to those in distress. During the response phase, the incident command system is
functional with the incident commander taking the lead (Herrmann, 2007). The last phase after
response phase is the recovery phase. Recovery means that resources are dedicated to ensuring
that the community resumes the normal way of life as soon as possible (Herrmann, 2007). After
a disaster such as a hurricane destroys people’s homes and shelter, FEMA has a critical role to
play in the resettlement compensation to ensure that they encourage community development.
Recovery could also be in the form of strategies such as psychotherapy which will help reduce
the risks of mental illness such as PTSD and anxiety disorders.
There is a variability of sources when it comes to the actual number of phases with others
choosing 4 and others 5. The contested phase is the mitigation phase that comes after the
recovery (Restore your economy , n.d ). This classification puts the first phase as preventive and
the last phase as one of mitigation. This 5th phase of mitigation aims to help the community to
move away from the predisposing risks of disaster and be able to carry on with their lives.
Alexander, D. E. (2015). Disaster and emergency planning for preparedness, response, and
recovery. Oxford University Press.
Herrmann, J. (2007). Disaster Response Planning & Preparedness. Spiritual Care and Mental
Health for Disaster Response and Recovery, 11.
Restore your economy (n.d) Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience. Retrieved
# Student 3
Based on your readings and experience, compare and contrast how health care emergency
management evolved before 9/11 to its evolution after 9/11.
Healthcare emergency management has experienced tremendous revolution over the last
decade since America suffered its worst terrorist attack in history. The government resolved
to increase its funding to the local hospitals to enable them to be prepared for bioterrorism
and terrorist attacks (Rosenfield, Morse & Yanda, 2002). During the year of 2002, the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation reported that the federal government had released approximately
1 billion US dollars to about 300 local centres (Rosenfield et al., 2002). This money was
meant to increase factors such as number of employees during disaster and resources that
would enable these hospitals to expedite effective emergency management. The 9/11
commission report which was titled ‘the failure to imagine’ outlined the fact that healthcare
risk management had failed to foresee this kind of scenario and were caught
unprepared (Successes, 2011). The commission recommended to the homeland security to
setup emergency management protocols for all hospitals to ensure that they are prepared for
future events. Hospitals around New York received about 2100 patients who had suffered
physical effects of the terrorist attack (Mattox, 2001). This was a very high number of people
needing emergency care that the hospitals had a hard time managing. The new funding was
meant to improve the capability of these care centres to accommodate and provide care to the
injured in the near future.
Why has the scope of healthcare emergency management grown so dramatically? Will the
The scope of healthcare emergency management has grown drastically due to the need to
have emergency preparedness even in healthcare. Results of any form of disaster or terrorist
attack are that the hospitals receive a high influx of patients (Mattox, 2001). The United States
had not experienced any form of bioterrorism or terrorist attack prior to the 9/11 threat (Mattox,
2001). After this threat, and the 9/11 report of ‘failure to imagination’ risk management teams
have focused on predicting threats and ensuring the care centres are always prepared. This area
will continue to grow into the future as new threats emerge and the threat of disaster, terrorism
and bioterrorism remains
Rosenfield, A., Morse, S. S., & Yanda, K. (2002). September 11: the response and role of public
health. American journal of public health, 92(1), 10-1.
Mattox K. (2001). The World Trade Center attack. Disaster preparedness: health care is ready,
but is the bureaucracy?. Critical care (London, England), 5(6), 323-5.
Successes, K. (2011). The Public Health System a Decade After 9/11.
# Student 4
The 9/11 emergency was a series of attacks against the US that resulted in mass casualties and
morbidities. The attack found Americans not prepared to handle emergencies of such magnitude
thus overwhelming the capacity to respond and recovery actions. However, the attack brought
lessons to emergency management and led to continuous advancements in the health care
emergency management. This paper elucidates on how health care management has transformed
by gathering information on its nature before and after 9/11 attack, as well as the reasons for
Healthcare Emergency Management before 9/11 and Evolution after 9/11
Enormous changes in the US healthcare emergency system took place with the occurrence
of the 9/11 emergency. According to (Reilly & Markenson, 2011), the emergency management
department worked with first community stakeholder, government institutions, and first
responders to aid in matters related to emergency response activities. Health care organizations
were not involved and their duties were mainly restricted to serving communities at the personal
level. Reilly and Markenson (2010) presume that before 9/11 the health care emergency
management largely relied on few persons who managed affected casualties. In addition, there
were no strategic measures in place that would be employed in such eventualities and thus the
9/11 emergency found the health care emergency sector unplanned.
The 9/11 emergency led to the establishment of multiple influential programs, for example,
the “Department of Health and Human Services” and “The Joint Commission” resulting in the
integration of the emergency management sector and the health care sectors to strengthen
relations. “The Joint Commission” (TJC) amended the guidelines from giving a safe environment of
care to stimulating health institutions to utilize an incident command system (ICS), integrating
hazard vulnerable analysis (HVA), and widening preparedness to a composite emergency
management (Sauer, McCarthy, Knebel, & Brewster, 2009). There are now technological
advancements and large numbers of emergency responders trained to provide essential services
and support in emergency events. In addition, in 2008, the “Emergency Operations Plan” (EOP) was
included and public policy action plans established, all geared to ameliorate emergency
management power of health institutions in the United States. Governments have increased
finances geared to emergency management in a bid to guarantee better emergency responses, with
regard to the lessons learnt. Health departments have also undergone transformation to facilitate
coordinated medical emergency responses and various arms have come together to work as one in
coordinated emergency operations (Barbera & Yeatts, 2009). However, Saucer et al. (2009)
presume that challenges still exist and the emergency management team may not be prepared to
handle other forms of emergency such as unprecedented natural emergencies, nuclear explosives
as well as chemical and biological attacks.
Reason for Dramatic Growth of the Scope of Health Care Emergency Management
The scope of health care emergency management has grown dramatically because of the
lessons learnt from the 9/11 attack. The emergency found the sector not prepared and equipped to
handle emergencies of such magnitude and population growth as well as the recognition of the
changing trends in emergency would require proper preparation to mitigate and respond to
catastrophic events. Continued advancement in global trade and relations as well as disparities
exposes the nation to detrimental events. Health care is an imperative aspect in emergency
management and poor preparation in terms of personnel, knowledge, and equipment could result
in overwhelming events in case of a disaster. Besides, introduction of educational initiatives that
teaches persons in schools on immediate first aid operations has been an imperative program to
improve emergency response actions to the community.
Will the Growth Continue?
Yes, the health care emergency management will continue to grow. These because it the
duty of the government to safeguard its population against emergencies and to guarantee better
health. Besides natural calamities, terrorism has become a global problem and a severe threat
humanity due to changing modes of civilization and despite high vigilance, governments cannot
safeguard persons, everywhere, all the time. Besides, innovations are changing the forms of maninstigated emergencies thus the need to stay on toes with the changing technology and science in
order to reduce the impacts.
Barbera J.A., M. A. G., &Yeatts, D. J. (2009). Challenge of hospital emergency preparedness: Analysis
and recommendations. Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness, 3(1), 7482. https://doi.org/10.1097/DMP.0b013e31819f754c
Reilly, M., &Markenson, D. S. (2010). Health Care Emergency Management: Principles and Practice
Sauer, L. M., McCarthy, M. L., Knebel, A., & Brewster, P. (2009). Major influences on hospital
emergency management preparedness and disaster preparedness. Disaster Med Public
Health Preparedness, 3(1), S68-S73. https://doi.org/10.1097/DMP.0b013e31819ef060
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