Peaceful as a hurricane
Peaceful as a hurricane
Peaceful as a hurricane eye
-Paul Simon “Peaceful as a Hurricane Eye”
As many cases, such as the Paul Simon lyrics, a word can make a world of difference. Obviously a hurricane is not peaceful, but a hurricane eye is. Not only does the omission of a word make a world of difference, but the choice of a word can, too. No truer does this ring than in the world of planning.
Disaster planning is often an overlooked tool that is critical to how a community recovers from and bounces forward from a disaster. A poorly planned and unorganized recovery can often times create a secondary disaster with unintended consequences. In the world of emergency management, response is typically well planned, exercised, and well detailed. Recovery, not so much. However, there is a nationwide push to develop recovery plans aiding in the organization and structure of disaster recovery. This is critical because recovery is exponentially longer than a response phase of a disaster with the involvement of agencies that know little to nothing about disaster recovery.
Regardless of the planning document, it is critical to utilize the correct terminology, especially while publishing processes, roles, and responsibilities. This is crucial when creating a chain of command, especially when it comes to authority, which very few emergency managers have, and is dependent on the way each government charter is arranged.
Certain individuals, such as a City Manager, Commissioner, Mayor, etc., may be able to appoint while other can assign. Others may have the authority to declare a local emergency or activate a plan, while others can merely recommend such activities.
Additionally, volunteers and non-government staff will be heavily involved in disaster related response and recovery activities. As grateful as you may be for their assistance, it is important to remember these folks are part of the local government staff and cannot be directed as so. The American Red Cross cannot be tasked as the lead agency for housing or human services related task. However, they are a great resource to list as a supporting agency and utilize, if resources are available.
If you are interested in learning more about recovery planning or looking for guidance about emergency management planning in general, I encourage you to reach out to me at Joseph.Gross@CDRMaguire.com, also to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on twitter @JoeAtCDRMaguire as well as the CDR Maguire EM Department @CDRMaguire_EM.