Emergency management is the organization’s ability to manage resources when a humanitarian crisis occurs. The main phases of emergency management include mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Emergency management is not a new concept. It began during the mid-20th century. However, its refinement of best practices occurred after the September 11, 2001 attack. This event led organizations to take a more serious look at their processes of managing resources during disasters or other adverse events. Most countries’ emergency management evolved as a response to specific events that demanded the approach (SUNY Upstate Medical University, 2022). As warfare technology advanced, the government’s role in prevention and response to disasters increased.
Civil defense can be considered the genesis of modern emergency management. Civil defense was particularly used to ensure that citizens were safeguarded. Civil defense was less structured in comparison to emergency management. In the 1950s, class-going children used drills such as ‘Duck and Drop,’ which had clear and easy instructions. The simplicity of such drills is amazing, considering that civil defense was expected to safeguard the nation against potential nuclear attacks that were expected to occur during the Cold War (Speier & Sherman, 2017).
In comparison to modern emergency management, civil defense utilized a relaxed approach. The emergency management efforts include training, risk assessment, mitigation of hazards, creation of response teams, and development of emergency response actions or policies. Based on the efforts that today’s organizations exert toward emergency management, the desire to avert all hazards has grown rapidly. The allocation of resources towards the efforts has also gained significance since most entities have limited resources (SUNY Upstate Medical University, 2022). Emergency management is critical to ensure that all individuals are safe in case of an emergency.
Speier, A. H., & Sherman, R. (2017). Why Is Integrating Emergency Management Essential to Disaster Behavioral Health? Challenges and Opportunities. In Integrating Emergency Management and Disaster Behavioral Health (pp. 73-97). doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803638-9.00004-5
SUNY Upstate Medical University. (2022). Four Phases of Emergency Management. Retrieved from https://www.upstate.edu/emergencymgt/about/
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What is emergency management, how did it develop, and how is it different from civil defense?