Review article briefs about how to prepare yourself against fire, flood & hurricane & certain natural disaster

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Disaster preparedness has evolved in recent years as well prepared and a more systematic response to face the disaster and to well prepare for the same.  Disaster preparedness is a well integrated process and this will result from integration of variety of risk reduction activities and resources rather than a distinct sectoral activity by itself. Disaster preparedness will evolve from variety of contributions from different areas of focus viz., from training and logistics, health care aspects, recovery aspects, livelihood and from institutional development perspectives. Normally for any type of disaster preparedness there are set of norms required to be followed, at the outset it is required to have an assessment of the disaster before taking up appropriate risk preparation plan. The key steps in the disaster preparedness consist of risk assessment followed by mitigation measures implementation; further the process follows the creation of an emergency response plan and creating an implementable response action plan. Making a response action plan implementation consists in gathering all the required resources, capabilities as well as other related potential and strategic requirements to mitigate the disaster and reduce the impact of the disaster. The following part of the write-up focused on two significant interferences drawn by interaction with disaster preparedness person from a county emergency services agency. The first part of the report is focused on issues like what are the three significant disasters to be prepared for and the second part of the report is about the three lessons that are learnt from managing the disasters (Waugh, 2015).


The person interviewed is an ex- divisional manager for FEMA (Federal emergency management agency). He has provided expert comments and insights into variety of disaster preparedness aspects.  He provided insight into the functions of FEMA as well. The role of FEMA will come into picture when there is need to reinforce the state emergency preparedness plans as well to assist the state efforts in facing the emergency successfully. The functions of FEMA will come into force only when President of the country announces the emergency. Further only the state governor has the competent authority to request president to announce the disaster emergency in the state. 


As per the discussion we had with disaster preparedness person, he has cited that the severity and the occurrence of the disaster will vary from location to location. Hence as such there are no any common criteria to state whether one disaster is more severe or more significant than others. In any case, he has indicated that altogether there are three different disasters which can be classified as the most significant in overall United States of America context. The criteria is based on the past severity of the damage the disasters has caused as well the chronic repeatability of the disasters in the same region as well at different other parts of the country. The first and foremost significant disaster for which the country needs to be prepared well is for hurricanes, the natural disasters. United States of America for its unique geographical and tropical location is often becoming a victim of Hurricanes. Hence it is informed that all the emergency management teams across the country will remain ready to face the hurricanes. There are several dangerous disasters attacked the country in the past. To state few that Hurricane Galveston of 1900 has wiped out the total island overnight more than 8000 people perished and the great economic loss was not regained back by what is known by that time as the Newyork of the south. Hurricane Katrina entered Lousiana and resulted in property damage as high as $125 billion and resulted in death of more than 1250 people in 2005. Other recorded hurricanes from the past include Okeechobee hurricane which claimed more than 2500 lives. Almost all the states of United States are falling victims of hurricanes. However as per the standard risk assessment and from the past information received for, the states of Florida, the Louisiana and the Carolina are highly vulnerable to the hurricanes. 

The next significant disaster that the country is facing consistently is the wild fire disaster. Peshtigo fire of 1871 has claimed more than 2500 lives. Wild fire of 1910, more popularly known thereafter as great fire spread for 3 million acres of land in two days and killed about 80 people and caused lot of forest burning. Yellow stone fires of 1988 burnt to keep the more than 36% national park to ashes. Recent times wild fires of Texas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Nevada and California are all remarked for the damaged they created in. The severity of the damage these wild fires are causing, making always the emergency response teams to be prepared for them. Though there is no serious life loss with the recent time wild fire disasters, the impact of the wild fires is too impactive that it is requiring massive evacuation of the habitat whenever it reaches the human habitation and surrounding areas.  

Floods make up other important disasters in the country. In recent years there is Louisiana 2016 flood, West Virginia flood, Carolinas flood of 2015, Utahs flood of 2015, Texas Oklahoma flood of 2015, Colorado flood of 2013, Mississippi flood of 2011 etc. Every time the floods do cause several billions of dollars of loss and they will hundreds of people losses. They are both man made as well as the natural disaster type of floods happening in the United States country. This is another significant disaster that emergency teams always are remained prepared for.



When it comes to managing the disaster, it is informed by the interviewee, the biggest lesson is the case of the hurricanes is the need for recovery. They are often observations seen in terms of very late response, the people who lost their houses and the accommodations are often taking long time to get the support to rebuild back. Further there is no proper resourceful support to the distressed in right time from the insurance and other supporting agencies. However IT is found to be highly useful in making people prepared. However still the outreach of the warning and evacuations would have been more impactive if the people are provided with mobile alerts (Alexandar, 2017). 

The key lessons regarding wild fire disasters include the well and fitness of the firefighters needed. As more number of fire fighters are dying from heart attacks, there is need to provide necessary training and endurance improvement of the fire fighters. Further the need to strengthen the communication systems is identified. Communication plays a vital role for fire fighters when dealing with wild fires; it is very significant to send the right message to them in right time. Other lessons or concerns include making right drive and rest ratios for fire fighters while dealing with fire fights etc. An important lesson that not directly related to the disaster response is the need to deal with the climate change properly. There is need to consider climate change aspects very seriously (Thomson et al., 2015).

Flood disaster response experience emphasized the need to consolidate the preparation plans, there is more need to keep the flood prevention strategies in place, there is need to keep more on the supply chain procedures, they need to be safeguarded during the floods; Flood defense need to be budgeted seriously, climate change impacts need to be arrested more(Mallakpour,2015). 


The FEMA divisional manager, the interviewee in the current scenario is a very knowledged person and he has given good insight into the disasters of the country on broad perspective. He has informed the three key disasters which the country is facing as well has given broader implications about what is needed to be done learnt from the past disaster experiences.

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