The ability to act effectively in emergent situations is fundamental to avoiding severe damage and casualties. For this reason, the creation of a detailed and well-thought-out emergency plan is vital as it improves the authorities’ abilities to protect individuals and manage them in the most practical ways.
The creation of the given document should be preceded by the in-depth evaluation of the most typical threats peculiar to the area and ways to remain in touch with people and inform them about the necessity of particular actions. Under these conditions, the evaluation of the plan is a central element for the increased preparedness and its continuous improvement as one of the major determinants of success. Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is taken for the analysis to outline its major elements and determine the possible recommendations for its enhancement.
The given documents rest on the existing National Strategies and Plans offered by the government with the primary goal to ensure that all organizations and authorities follow the recommendations developed by specialists with regard to previous experiences. In this regard, Washington Emergency Plan follows the primary recommendations. It outlines the main threats, ways to manage them, and strategies that can be used by citizens to avoid being damaged or attain better outcomes (Washington Military Department, 2019). Preparedness for disasters also involves sharing responsibilities between the stakeholders in accordance with the strategies outlined by the National Government. This approach guarantees effective management and response.
Analyzing the Washington Plan, it is vital to touch upon several major areas. First, the effectiveness of the document in identifying hazards and risks should be evaluated. The plan contains sections devoted to hazard identification and threats analysis. There is a list of natural hazards, such as avalanches, drought, earthquakes, floods, fire, storms, tsunami, and volcanoes (Washington Military Department, 2019).
They are included because of their frequency and high impact on the environment and people in the area. There are also technological accidents, such as pipeline disasters, hazardous materials, chemical and radiological incidents, infestation outbreaks, terrorism, dam failure, communicable disease outbreaks, animal, plant, and crop diseases (Washington Military Department, 2019). The report states that there is a low risk of their occurrence; however, they are still included in the risk because of the need to consider all possible issues. From this perspective, the report is portent in identifying all hazards and familiarizing people with them.
The identification of these threats is followed by how they can be managed effectively to avoid fatal outcomes. In accordance with the existing recommendations, the report focuses on operations and organization in emergent situations. It presupposes community involvement, government work, emergency declaration and proclamation, and functioning of the emergency operations center (Washington Military Department, 2019).
In such a way, the plan outlines the first steps during the disaster in detail, including the need to inform people, involve them in vital processes, and coordinate with the help of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) (Washington Military Department, 2019). Moreover, the plan describes mitigation, preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery activities vital for the effective management of disasters and the state’s ability to cope with challenges and hazards existing at the moment.
The effective response to hazards also presupposes control and coordination from local authorities. Under these conditions, the Washington Plan contains sections outlining the emergency management with no Federal assistance and with the broad Federal involvement as one of the conditions under which the improved outcomes can be attained (Washington Military Department, 2019).
The distribution of tasks and the responsibilities are shared between the Washington Government, Local Government, Tribal Nations, Federal Government, the private sector, non-governmental and voluntary organizations, and individuals who can be involved in managing hazards and helping citizens in complex conditions (Washington Military Department, 2019). The detailed description of the approach helps to avoid confusion in emergent situations and ensures that all actors are capable of performing tasks available for them. It is a strong aspect of the plan vital for its practical utility and applicability to various cases.
The plan also outlines the communication aspect vital for keeping the population informed about the current state of the situation and outlining actions that are demanded in the current context. Thus, the document focuses on monitoring, detection, alert and warning, organization of communication, and incident information management systems as integral parts of the existing approach necessary for struggling against various hazards and their enhanced management (Washington Military Department, 2019).
Providing sufficient information about the current conditions is considered the government’s top priority, and there is a direct correlation between the severity of outcomes and people’s awareness (Washington Military Department, 2019). In such a way, the analyzed emergency plan can be viewed as a comprehensive document containing all demanded sections and meets requirements to organizing, informing, and managing people in emergent situations. It is designed considering all hazards peculiar to the area and resources that can be employed to ensure the appropriate and fast response.
At the same time, several recommendations can help to improve the offered plan and adapt it to the new conditions. First, the document outlines the scope of various actors’ responsibilities in emergent situations, including the need to use media as a tool to inform the population and remain in touch with them. However, little attention is given to specifying what means should be used. Under these conditions, it is recommended to add the opportunity to employ social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to coordinate actions and inform people about the current situation.
The popularity of these platforms and their availability to broad populations turn them into powerful means that can help to manage communities in different scenarios. The creation of specific accounts for Emergency Departments or profiles will ensure that people can add them to their lists and consult if some unordinary case occurs. It will help to increase their awareness and stop panic because of the availability of information.
Another recommendation is to focus on improving the overall preparedness level among the population to guarantee that in emergent cases, people realize what actions should be performed to minimize damage. It presupposes making the list of necessary things that should be taken to survive during the first days of the disaster and increasing the overall awareness by outlining and planning the strategy that can be used by individuals.
The plan can offer the given list and suggest websites or phone lines that can be used to consult with specialists and acquire information about the current state of the problem, how people can increase their preparedness, and what action can save their lives. Following these two recommendations, it is possible to enhance the existing document and adapt to modern conditions.
Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division. (2019). Comprehensive emergency management plan. Web.