Disaster Prevention, Incident Response, and Relocation
Recently, there have been a lot of efforts being made by organizations and government agencies that focus on disaster prevention and mitigation. Disaster, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (2007), “takes many forms — a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. ” The advent of efforts that generally apply to environmental and natural disasters, as well as man-controlled disasters, has stirred many of us.
In this light, this paper will also give an overview at the way disaster prevention, disaster incident response, and disaster relocation are being handled in the society, particularly in the technological aspect of the sourcing process. First, the concept of disaster prevention could be considered as a basic part of any research source since the idea of disaster preparedness had not been so new a concept.
In this regard, a website made by an Ethiopian agency embarks on disaster prevention and preparedness. The site has the title Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA), and it functions as a governmental commission that acts as an information board relegating to several important data for its audiences. Its main focus is on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia.
The sections in the homepage provide the categories of information and these include: the news section where news clips of related humanitarian activities are linked; public relations section wherein publications made by the DPPA are shown; livelihoods section presenting regional livelihood analyses; pledges and deliveries section which shows the status of responses to humanitarian appeal; and other categories that generally determine related information. The website serves as a database that does not merely show the programs of the DPPA but also the activities which characterize its endeavors.
How disaster prevention is illustrated in the website is transcended more with the commission’s activities rather than the information that individuals should look into in going in-depth at disaster prevention. The program lay out mentioned disaster prevention as looking into the root causes first in order to anticipate actions, in which the mechanism of Employment Generation Scheme was applied (DPPA, 2009); however, the mechanism seems to be a needs-based approach – giving relief (food) in exchange to the victims’ physical work. This somehow connotes unsustainability.
Personally, I see the website as a mask for a marketing method to gain assistance from aid organizations. Second, carrying the concept of incident response is the website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Mainly acting as a response unit, FEMA has several coordinating subgroups which specialize according to the varying forms of disasters. Among these coordinating groups are Emergency Response Teams, Federal Incident Response Support Teams, Hurricane Liaison Team, Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, Mobile Emergency Response Support, and many other categorizations.
In the website, there is also a major part that includes the mechanism where incident response is applied. This mechanism is called modeling, and is considered as “essential element of […] planning efforts […] for different circumstances and data sets” (FEMA, 2007). Further, the website includes the specific actions that it does as a response unit. Some of these undertakings are centered on the development of mission assignments, and coordination with other concerned agencies.
This website is indeed informational, although it could somehow appear to give out an information overload, but nevertheless, it serves its function in imparting knowledge about an agency’s incident response to disaster. The third website is a link on disaster relocation which is shown by the Laguna Beach City in California. It shows a government plan that aims to establish relocation when a disaster that requires an immediate evacuation occurs.
Very simplistic does the plan seem, such that it states that “every family [must] designate an out-of-state contact to help coordinate family reunion plans” (City of Laguna Beach, 2006) when a major disaster strikes. The website visually looks like an advertisement for vacation places, but over-all, its content is simplistically relevant. To summarize, the three websites are shown in a much differentiated manner. The contents are highly regarded as informational, although the focus of the contents of each site does not necessarily revolve in the topic headings that they have.
The website for FEMA is probably the most informational among the three since it gives a comprehensive lay down of the activities and the coordinating groups that are needed in its functioning. Disaster and its adverse effects could be mitigated by individual preparedness. The starting point in disaster preparedness is to “help your community by [first] preparing yourself” (Canadian Red Cross, 2009). Meanwhile, web sources are commonly relied upon in times of disasters, so it is important that these sources are able to provide comprehensive information that would help people in facing such risky situations.