Paper Example: Managing Response Teams of a Disaster Event

Published: 2023-11-03
Paper Example: Managing Response Teams of a Disaster Event
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Planning Management Security Disaster
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1739 words
15 min read

Disastrous events can occur at any time, and regardless of the root cause, they possess similar consequences to the public in terms of health as well as social lives. Therefore, the majority of governments globally have been adopting various approaches that aim at understanding the standard features of the events to be able to apply the appropriate response measure. However, due to technological advancements, the interventions to address the disasters have evolved into complex policy subsystems. The modern response techniques adopted by most governments focus on reducing the people’s vulnerability to the hazards, eliminating the events’ effects, and recovering from their negative consequences. Response to disastrous events is usually spearheaded by incident response teams (IRT) or emergency response teams (ERT). These people play critical roles in preparing for and responding to both natural and artificial emergencies. The IRT and ERT are usually formed by government agencies or public service organizations, communities, or any other organization, either specialty or military. It is essential to examine and assess the performances of these teams to enable the responsible stakeholders to make the appropriate decisions. As a result, the analysis conducted in this paper discusses the various steps that I would take to do a post-mortem on response teams’ progress. The essay aims to provide accurate and valid feedback to senior government officials on the performance of various response teams during a disaster event. Besides, the analysis addresses the critical success factors in managing multi-jurisdictional response programs and how to measure their success.

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Steps in Conducting the Post-Mortem

Incident response teams address two types of incidences; public and organizational disasters. In this case, public calamities entail a wide range of incidents that tend to affect the comminutes, and they include earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, epidemics, and terrorism. Therefore, in my post mortem, the first step will involve examining if the response teams understand the context of the specific disasters (situational analysis). The primary goal of activities related to the management of catastrophe is to eliminate or reduce the impacts of calamities on the communities. Therefore, the response teams must set up meetings to discuss the incidents and brainstorm the potential solutions that can prevent it from recurring. Also, the sessions will facilitate teamwork as the members are likely to share information that will enable the government to make decisions to avoid future incidents. Understanding the context of the disaster includes determining the vulnerabilities or the extent to which the event will disrupt the structure of society or a particular geographic area (Khan et al., n.d). Vulnerabilities exist in two forms; physical and socio-economic, in which the former covers the damages to people and property, while the latter entails vulnerabilities related to the disruption of the communities’ way of life.

In the second step, I will examine the incident response teams’ preparation measures towards disastrous events. The complexities of various jurisdictions and social structures tend to expose communities to both human-made and natural hazards. Therefore, the response teams need to implement multiple measures before, during, and after the disaster to reduce the loss of lives and property (Khan et al., n.d). I will examine the effectiveness and validity of the pre-disaster techniques adopted by the response teams. The measures include raising awareness of impending danger through campaigns, preparation of a potential threat management plans at both community and household level, and strengthening of the existing weak structures in society. Also, my post mortem analysis will evaluate the initiatives adopted by the response teams to meet the needs of the causalities during the occurrence of the disaster. The review of the interventions before and during the calamity is only necessary to determine the short term performances of the response teams. However, post-disaster initiatives aim at identifying the long term objective of the response teams and facilitate future recovery and rehabilitation of the affected jurisdictions or population.

As indicated earlier, disaster management requires strong collaboration, consultation, coordination, sharing responsibilities, and extensive cooperation between all the parties involved. Also, government agencies, the community at large, and response teams must indicate commitment, trust, and teamwork to achieve the main objective. As a result, it is essential to construct disaster coordination centers in the specific areas affected, to ensure effective and efficient coordination. Therefore, in the third step on the examination of the performances of the response teams, I will evaluate the ongoing activities and situations at the coordination centers. The emergency operation centers should have various departments that provide a wide range of information and well-defined standards that assists in detecting errors made in the decision-making process. According to Turoff et al. (2013), for the coordination centers to be active, they must collaborate with other organizations and prepare for disasters before the danger looms. Besides, the success and performance levels of the centers depend on the level of technology implemented in the property. For instance, virtual communication ensures consistency and realism between members of teams making plans and the ones executing them (Turoff et al., 2013). During this stage, I will also examine the level of training and experience of the team members in responding to disastrous events.

The next step involves examining the organizational structure and identify the various roles and responsibilities of different individuals within the team. For better performances, response teams require a well-defined structure that outlines what is expected of each party according to their positions. For instance, in a case of fire disaster, the ERT team leader s to call for the fire department and provide the name and address of the building along with other pertinent information (TimberWest, 2008). Also, the team commander is responsible for confirming the safety aspects such as the need for individual protective materials, sources of ignition, and the potential need for evacuation. In my analysis, I will investigate the communication media and channels adopted by the team leader to convey critical information to the superior stakeholders and members of the emergency response team.

On the other end, the members of the ERTs have specific duties and responsibilities to conduct in the case of a tragedy. For instance, members of ERT concerning fire disasters should understand the evacuation protocols of the particular building. In doing so, the response team members are likely to save more lives, and property thereby ensuring positive outcomes. Furthermore, the ERT members must have detailed knowledge acquired through proper training in their respective areas of responsibility (TimberWest, 2008). In this stage, I will examine the qualification credentials and application documents of the individual team members. Also, the knowledge of the appropriate actions required in the event of an emergency enables the ERT personnel to act accordingly without necessarily waiting for orders and directions from the senior management. For instance, the first member at the scene serves as the incident commander until relieved by senior leaders. In such cases, they are expected to take the necessary personal protective measures and notify the supervisory personnel about the incident. The first persons at the scene can also initiate evacuation protocols and eliminate potential ignition sources before the leaders arrive at the area.

Success Factors in Managing Large Response Programs

According to Seneviratne et al. (2010), more than 100 nations and billions over people face the risk of encountering at least one natural disaster. These calamities result in devastating effects on the environment, national economy, and human life. For instance, out of the 2.8 billion individuals worldwide who experienced disasters related to weather since 1967, 30% have suffered from severe floods (Seneviratne et al., 2010). Countries like Taiwan are prone to disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes that results in heavy causalities and massive loss of property. Also, there has been an increase in the effects of global warming such as an increase in extreme climate events and severity of other natural disasters. Therefore, worldwide communities, governments, and private organizations have embarked on formulating large and multi-jurisdictional response teams and programs to reduce the frequency and impact of calamities. However, the parties must consider the success factors of the programs to ensure high performance during the operation. In this context, the success factors refer to the influences that are placed into consideration when adopting response programs or formulating response teams to directly or indirectly affect the outcomes of disaster management positively. These factors can be environmental, institutional, economic, technological, political, social, or even legal.

The first success factor in managing large disaster response programs is preparing and adopting the appropriate technology. It involves applying the latest scientific advancements, including techniques and processes that will simplify and improve the efficiency of disaster management programs. However, these technologies and the latest software that are required must be properly prepared in advance before disaster strikes. The aspect of technology leads to the second success factor for managing large response programs, which is implementing warning systems (Seneviratne et al., 2010). A warning system allows the disaster management teams to observe and detect early signs of a disaster, and alert the public about it before it strikes. Even though it does not apply to some hazards such as earthquakes, technologies can predict a tsunami and warn people who might be affected to take the necessary measures.

Another critical success factor for managing large response programs is adopting appropriate and effective communication systems. Communication is important to the exercise in various ways, for example, conveying critical mitigation and protective measures to the public, or enhancing passage of message between ERT members. Also, the system is essential to the stakeholders for ensuring successful reconstruction (Seneviratne et al., 2010). Today, effective communication goes hand in hand with the level of technology used within an organization. Therefore, the implementation of the latest technologies guarantees faster, and valid conveyance of information to the necessary audience. On the other end, social factors cover the aspects that relate to members of the response teams and communities at large in managing the response programs. In this category, the first success factor relates to the knowledge, skills, and qualifications of the members of the response teams who operate the programs. An educated and highly trained workforce is not only able to understand and run highly technological programs but can also use their knowledge to protect society from disasters. The ERT members acquire such knowledge and skills through direct learning or real-life experience from the previous calamities. However, early preparation through education is the most effective technique since it is less costly and raises the learners’ awareness concerning the dangers of disasters before they can address them.

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