In the last several years, especially since the time that Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf area, more and more locations have been ramping up their disaster management efforts. Awareness on disaster management in your area is important so that you know where to go for the latest information, alerts and assistance when something happens near you.
Gaining Awareness on Disaster Management
There are federal, state and local disaster management initiatives. You should become familiar with all of them as they apply to you. You can start by visiting the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Web site. There you can read up to date information about federal warning systems and standards that are being put in to place. You can also learn where to find assistance and aid after a disaster.
Next, you can move on to state disaster management programs. By doing a simple internet search of the name of your state plus disaster management, you will be able to learn about programs that exist statewide.
Finally, and in some cases most importantly, are the disaster management programs that are in place in your city or town. If your city or town has a Web site, the information may be on there. If not, contact your local police station to ask if there are any local disaster management programs and where you can go to learn more about them.
Other Types of Disaster Management
In addition to learning about government initiated disaster management plans, it is also very important to have disaster management plans in your own neighborhood or place of employment. Your neighborhood or workplace would, naturally, be the “first line of defense” and having a good plan in place could save lives.
If your neighborhood does not already have a certified emergency response team, start one. More information about these teams is in the next section. If there is no plan in place at your workplace, talk to management or the human resources department about the importance of disaster management.
Support on Disaster Management
While there are ways that you can help with government-run disaster management programs, where your help is likely needed even more is with the neighborhood and workplace disaster management initiatives.
Certified Emergency Response Teams are made up of volunteer members of your neighborhood who go through special training do be able to respond appropriately to a number of disasters. Training includes fire safety, search and rescue, victim care and much more. Many local fire departments offer the training. If there is no CERT training near you, you can view the course materials by visiting http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/training_mat.shtm.
Starting a CERT program near you means that help can get to victims faster and that there will people who will know what to do following an emergency.
Learn about all of the disaster management programs that would impact you before and after an emergency and find ways to help where you can.