Emergency Management Cycle

EM Cycle (5)The Office of Emergency Management uses a five-phase approach to emergencies: Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery, which is known collectively as the Emergency Management Cycle. The cycle is as follows:

Prevention - Emergency Management provides guidance for services such as law enforcement, fire, public safety, environmental response, public health, emergency medical services, and public works for all manner of threats, hazards, and emergencies. Emergency Management helps coordinate prevention resources and capabilities with neighboring jurisdictions, the state, and the private and nonprofit sectors. Governmental agencies are responsible for the protection of life and property, the preservation of peace, the prevention of crime, and the arrest of violators of the law. Emergency Management focuses on preventing the human hazard, primarily from potential natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Reducing the impacts of disasters on our community is the key focus for Emergency Management. Prevention efforts help reduce the financial costs of disaster response and recovery.

Mitigation - When an emergency or disaster occurs and the response and recovery phases are complete, review of the overall incident/response processes can reveal important information that can help to prevent, or reduce the severity of similar events in the future. This study, and subsequent plans or actions resulting, are part of the mitigation phase of emergency management. 

The Office of Emergency Management continually focuses on developing hazard-mitigation plans for a host of threats in the community. Participation in Programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program, along with community involvement through the Local Emergency Planning Committee, helps to protect the lives and property of Forsyth County Citizens.

Preparedness -  Emergency Management assists residents, schools, organizations and governments in developing emergency contingency plans for most natural disasters such as floods, winter storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Man-made emergencies such as airplane accidents, hazardous materials spills and terrorist activities are also included in the disaster planning. 

Training and educational programs in support of local emergency planning efforts are developed and updated on a regular basis. Seminars are conducted upon request at local businesses, schools and organizations to increase awareness and public preparedness for potential hazards that exist in the community. 

Through public awareness campaigns such as “Severe Weather Awareness Week” and articles in local newspapers and the ReadyForsyth Facebook and Twitter posts, information about specific threats or disasters can be passed along to citizens. Emergency preparedness literature is also available at locations throughout the city and county or by request to the Office of Emergency Management. 

Emergency preparedness exercises, ranging from table top versions to full-scale, simulated disasters and are conducted to assure that proposed plans are functional when needed. These exercises, and the critiques following, are the primary means for determining the effectiveness of the planning effort. 

Preparedness also involves the development of communications systems which allow  emergency workers to relay information about actions or warnings. This effort is coordinated with law enforcement officers, public officials and local broadcasters through the Emergency Alert System (EAS). North Carolina radio and television stations voluntarily donated broadcast time to alert the public when threats become imminent. Such valuable information aids in saving lives, reducing injuries and lessening the impact on property. 

Pets and animals are also vulnerable to disasters and emergencies! Be sure to include them in your emergency plan.

Response -  The Office of Emergency Management has a centralized location called the Emergency Operations Center, where activities are coordinated in the event of a major emergency or disaster. In the Emergency  Operations Center, top-level representatives from each agency or organization involved in the emergency, work together to coordinate the needed response activities. 

On a daily basis, Emergency Management representatives provide on-site assistance to other response agencies by helping with the coordination of resources during many emergency situations. Emergency Management personnel remain “on-call” 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to assist and respond when the need arises.

Recovery -  Recovery activities are those necessary to return life to normal in a disaster-stricken community. As part of this undertaking, representatives from local, state and federal agencies work hand-in-hand with organizations such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other community groups to coordinate disaster relief and recovery activities. With this coordinated effort, prompt assistance can be provided to citizens following a disaster or emergency. In some cases where the disaster affects a large number of people or large area, Disaster Recovery Centers are established on-site to help quicken the recovery process.