The City of Titusville, Florida / Emergency Management / EOC CycleCycle of Emergency Management
The Emergency Management Cycle is an open ended process. The four phases comprising the cycle begins and ends with mitigation, the on-going attempt to limited or prohibited the effects of a disaster.
Minimizing the Effects of Disaster
Mitigation is defined as any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to human life and property from a hazard event. Mitigation, also known as prevention (when done before a disaster), encourages long-term reduction of hazard vulnerability. The goal of hazard mitigation is to decrease the need for response as opposed to simply increasing the response capability. Hazard mitigation can save lives and reduce property damage, and is cost-effective and environmentally sound. This, in turn, can reduce the enormous cost of disasters to property owners and all levels of government. In addition, mitigation can protect critical community facilities, reduce exposure to liability, and minimize community disruption.The application of mitigation within the City of Titusville includes projects, policies, or programs that will reduce, eliminate, or alleviate damage caused by disasters. These activities are ongoing within the community regardless of the occurrence of a disaster.
Mitigation will depend on the incorporation of appropriate measures in national and regional development planning. Its effectiveness will also depend on the availability of information on hazards, emergency risks, and the countermeasures to be taken. The mitigation phase, and indeed the whole disaster management cycle, includes the shaping of public policies and plans that either modify the causes of disasters or mitigate their effects on people, property, and infrastructure.
Mitigation includes any activities that prevents an emergency, reduces the chance of an emergency happening or lessens the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies.
Planning How to Respond In Case of a Disaster.
Planning includes a variety of measures aimed at insuring the community is prepared to react to any hazard that threatens the county.
The goal of emergency preparedness programs is to achieve a satisfactory level of readiness to respond to any emergency situation through programs that strengthen the technical and managerial capacity of governments, organizations, and communities. These measures can be described as logistical readiness to deal with disasters and can be enhanced by having response mechanisms and procedures, rehearsals, developing long-term and short-term strategies, public education and building early warning systems. Preparedness can also take the form of ensuring that strategic reserves of food, equipment, water, medicines and other essentials are maintained in cases of national or local catastrophes.
During the planning or preparedness phase, governments, organizations, and individuals develop plans to save lives, minimize disaster damage, and enhance disaster response operations. Preparedness measures include preparedness plans; emergency exercises/training; warning systems; emergency communications systems; evacuations plans and training; resource inventories; emergency personnel/contact lists; mutual aid agreements; and public information/education. As with mitigations efforts, preparedness actions depend on the incorporation of appropriate measures in national and regional development plans. In addition, their effectiveness depends on the availability of information on hazards, emergency risks and the countermeasures to be taken, and on the degree to which government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the general public are able to make use of this information.
Efforts to Minimize the Hazards Created by an Emergency.
Response Response to an emergency is the function of law enforcement, fire-rescue departments, emergency medical services, and other needed first responders. When a large-scale event has occurred, it is important that the response be coordinated. This generally means activating the Emergency Operations Center to assure central coordination. Public official alerting, shelter/evacuation, search and rescue, and resource mobilization are all part of the response mode. Recovery is accomplished through some of the following methods:
The public may receive notice of impending danger through several avenues in the City of Titusville. Among them are - NOAA Weather Radio receiver, Emergency Alert System (EAS) activation over local broadcast media, cable television pre-emption and public safety channel, Outdoor Tornado Warning Sirens, vehicular mounted sirens and public address systems and the internet. The warning systems are activated from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Citizens may need to be evacuated from the homes or work places. In the City of Titusville evacuations are typically associated with hurricanes. When a hurricanes strikes the Florida East Coast, the City of Titusville utilizes several elementary schools throughout the city.
The City of Titusville works with the Brevard County Emergency Operations Center in establishing Shelters within our city, including special needs shelters. Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Technicians are stationed at each shelter during the time of activation, along with operating members of the American Red Cross. Any time a shelter is open, the EOC for the City of Titusville is at an operational level.
Fire, Law and Medical
Once an incident occurs, dispatchers immediately send Fire/Rescue, Law Enforcement Officers and Medical Personnel to the scene. Through routine training and exercises, these responders are prepared for their duties.
The main duty of EM is to serve as a resource coordinator in times of crisis. The EOC maintains an up-to-date resource database listing a variety of equipment and personnel available to respond to a disaster.
Returning the Community to Normal.
Recovery is the activity that returns infrastructural systems to minimum operating standards and guides long-term efforts designed to return life to normal or improved levels after a disaster. This is a very daunting phase of Emergency Management because it requires personal and community motivation. It is achieved through the following ways:
The City of Titusville along with any other additional state or federal agencies work with EM to provide a quick, windshield type assessment in attempt to get an initial understanding of the scope of damage A more detailed and in-depth door-to-door assessment is made in the days just after the event.
Hurricanes and other type disasters can leave a great deal of debris behind. If the debris is a threat to life or safety, public works personnel may remove it from private property otherwise it is up to the property owner to get the debris removed from their property and taken to a public right-of-way. Depending on the size of the incident, local government may contract to have the debris removed. Additional debris drop off locations may be setup throughout the city for citizens.
If the incident involves a hazardous material, local government will provide facilities to decontaminate citizens, equipment and property that are a threat to public health and safety.
Disaster Assistance Centers
If the incident is large enough to result in a Federal Disaster Declaration, agencies, organizations and departments on the state and federal level will man a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) for a limited time during the recovery process. After calling a toll free telephone number to register and receive a FEMA Number, victims will be able to go to the DAC to apply for loans and grants to assist in their recovery.
Disasters can have a profound effect on the mental health of victims and responders alike. In the days after a disaster, counseling is made available for those affected by the incident.
Long-Term Care/Unmet Needs
Recovery from a major disaster may take many weeks and months. A committee of social service and religious organizations known as Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters. The County EOC along with State and Federal agencies maintain a list of those needing extended help.
NOTE: The services and operations mentioned above are not intended to be a complete list of all Emergency Management Cycle activities.