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Emergency Management in 4 Phases

Updated: Jun 28, 2022

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are four phases organizations and individuals need to consider to upgrade their own survivability in an emergency or disaster. The goal of working through FEMA's 4 Phases of Emergency Management exercise is to reduce, or even eliminate, the negative consequences of the most likely emergency scenarios that could occur in the future. Hurricane season is upon us in the United States and its coastal areas. NOAA says there is an increase in storms coming, estimating up to 21 named storms. In 2021 the cost of storm damage was estimated at $145 billion USD. Looking at the analysis from Womply Research 28% of quick-serve food and beverage outlets from Hurricane Irma closed, never to reopen again. In fact, hurricanes Dorian, Florance, Harvey, Irma, and Michael caused an average of 8% of businesses to close. To assist the national community, FEMA uses “The 4 Phases of Emergency Management” so that its citizens can assist in their own preparedness on an individual, corporate and institutional level.

Secure Foods brand is built for and dedicated to those organizations wishing to care for their workforce. As an organization engages in developing or implementing their own Disaster or Emergency Management Plan, Secure Foods enables them with a shelf-stable food source, a critical part of any plan. The workforce then has an increased quality response to nearly any anticipated scenario. A Disaster or Emergency Management plan is especially critical for organizations such as healthcare, that, should they fail, people’s lives are at risk. Below is the table of The 4 Phases of Emergency Management. More can be found at FEMA.

Here are some explanations of FEMA's 4 Phases of Emergency Management with some specific examples to add context to the phases. Please review these and map them out for your own anticipated situation.

Phase 1: Mitigation

Preventing future emergencies or minimizing their effects

  • Includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies.

  • Buying flood and fire insurance for your home is a mitigation activity.

  • Mitigation activities take place before and after emergencies.

This phase includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the likelihood of occurrence, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable hazards. Mitigation activities should be considered long before an emergency.

For example, to mitigate fire in your home, follow safety standards in selecting building materials, wiring, and appliances. But, an accident involving a fire could happen. To protect yourself and your animals from the costly burden of rebuilding after a fire, you should buy fire insurance. These actions reduce the danger and damaging effects of fire.

Phase 2: Preparedness

Preparing to handle an emergency

  • Includes plans or preparations made to save lives and to help response and rescue operations.

  • Evacuation plans and stocking food and water are both examples of preparedness.

  • Preparedness activities take place before an emergency occurs.

This phase includes developing plans for what to do, where to go, or who to call for help before an event occurs; actions that will improve your chances of successfully dealing with an emergency. For instance, posting emergency telephone numbers, holding disaster drills, and installing smoke detectors are all preparedness measures. Other examples include identifying where you would be able to shelter your animals in a disaster. You should also consider preparing a disaster kit with essential supplies for your family and animals.

Phase 3: Response

Responding safely to an emergency

  • Includes actions taken to save lives and prevent further property damage in an emergency situation.

  • Response is putting your preparedness plans into action.

  • Seeking shelter from a tornado or turning off gas valves in an earthquake are both response activities.

  • Response activities take place during an emergency.

Your safety and well-being in an emergency depend on how prepared you are and on how you respond to a crisis. By being able to act responsibly and safely, you will be able to protect yourself, your family, others around you, and your animals. Taking cover and holding tight in an earthquake, moving to the basement with your pets in a tornado, and safely leading horses away from a wildfire are examples of safe responses. These actions can save lives.

Phase 4: Recovery

Recovering from an emergency

  • Includes actions taken to return to a normal or an even safer situation following an emergency.

  • Recovery includes getting financial assistance to help pay for the repairs.

  • Recovery activities take place after an emergency.

After an emergency and once the immediate danger is over, your continued safety and well-being will depend on your ability to cope with rearranging your life and environment. During the recovery period, you must take care of yourself and your animals to prevent stress-related illnesses and excessive financial burdens. During recovery, you should also consider things to do that would lessen (mitigate) the effects of future disasters.

Please reach out to us to learn how we can assist with the planning and supply of the food portion of your disaster planning.



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