Emergency preparedness drill
Establishment of the ICS and Organization Chart
Following the emergency declaration from the Mayor of the City of Mertzville, the severe weather flood caused by the North River requires the implementation of an Incident Command System (ICS) and its implementation in a swift manner. Consequently, I have sought to establish an ICS to facilitate the emergency response. The purpose of this ICS would be to ensure the safety of the responders and other staff members, to achieve the objective of limiting the damage caused by the flooded river, and to ensure the efficient use of the resources allocated towards the disaster management. It allows for the timely combination of resources and manpower to ensure Mertzville is brought back to normalcy (Nelson, Lurie, & Wasserman, 2007).
The ICS comprises of five major sections: Planning, Command, Operations, Logistics, and Finance. The Command Section is headed by the Incident Commander, who is in charge of ensuring the effective coordination and cooperation in the response to the flood. Under the Command Section fall the other four sections. The Operations section consists of the various units that formulate the initial response strategy. It consists of the functional units namely Public Safety, Communication, Search and Rescue, Medical, Health and Safety, Buildings and Utilities, and IT. These units work together to ensure all the operations approved by the Command section are adhered to and implemented. The Planning section identifies the flood response priorities, liaises with all the other agencies involved and is responsible for the exchange of information between them. It consists of two units of assessment, that is, the Structural Damage Assessment and Infrastructure Damage Assessment. It also consists of the Situation Status unit, which comprises of technical specialists who deal with such hazards. The Logistics Section has the units of Food Services and Shelter and the Human Resources unit. It provides the personnel and materials to support the response to the hazard. It works with other departments in the city to establish field centers for the coordination of functions, public information, and other supporting facilities. Finally, the Finance Section provides the financial and administrative support for the disaster management. It consists of the Accounting, Insurance and Procurement units (Nelson et al. 2009).
Initial Response and Crisis Objectives
The first strategy is the evacuation of people from the flooded areas given the health hazards that can result from the various dangerous chemicals stored in the various warehouses. The people should be relocated to regions of higher altitudes that have not been affected by the floods, and adequate shelter will be provided for those who lack places to reside in while waiting for the flooding to be contained. Secondly, the emergency response teams will be deployed to the warehouses to seek for the materials and products that they can salvage from the deluge. Especially important is the foodstuff stored in the city’s food reserves. Specialists in the handling of the hazardous chemicals would examine the impacts that the floodwaters have on the chemicals stored in the warehouses, and consequently, establish the means of removing the chemicals from the stores to safer places. Finally, the command center will be based at the offices of the mayor, from where the Incident Commander will issue instructions and coordinate with other agencies and offices of the city government (Nelson, Lurie, & Wasserman, 2007).
The command and control system will be linked to the sensing system in managing the flooding disaster. The emergency response team would install sensing systems in the areas that have not been hit by the flood and will monitor the rise of the water levels so as to prevent further damage caused by the unprecedented floods. The sensing system will be linked to the control and command system that seeks to alleviate the effects of the flood, such as harnessing the excess water to a water tower located elsewhere in the town. The command system also ensures that any materials that will be adversely affected are placed out of reach of the water. The sensing and control system is the chief interoperability system that will be used.
The structure is based on the state resources. The various heads of units in the sections of Planning, Finances, Operations, and Logistics respond to the section coordinators, who in turn respond to the Incident Commander. The Incident Commander responds directly to the mayor. The source of financing for all the emergency systems is the state. Hence, the mayor’s office is also heavily involved in the process.
Since it is the first time in a century that the river is flooding, the recovery process would involve diverting the excess waters to other areas. One of the options is the construction of a dam at the outskirts of the town where the excess water is stored in a reservoir for alternative uses. Once the water has been drained from the town, control measures are put in place to curb any imminent flooding. The city government will improve the town’s drainage systems as well as compensate, in conjunction with the insurers, for the losses that the industries underwent (Gebbie & Qureshi, 2004).
Nelson, C., Lurie, N., & Wasserman, J. (2007). Assessing public health emergency preparedness: concepts, tools, and challenges. Annu. Rev. Public Health, 28, 1-18.
Nelson, C., Lurie, N., Wasserman, J., & Zakowski, S. (2009). Conceptualizing and defining public health emergency preparedness. American journal of public health, 97(Supplement_1), S9-S11.
Gebbie, K. M., & Qureshi, K. (2004). Emergency and Disaster Preparedness: Core Competencies for Nurses: What every nurse should but may not know. AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 102(1), 46-51.
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