Klamath County Emergency Management strives to build and protect resilient communities by coordinating local, state, and federal emergency response agencies to mitigate hazards and prepare for, respond to, and recover from imminent or actual disasters.
The Four Phases of Emergency Management
Current thinking divides emergency management into four distinct phases; mitigation, preparedness, recovery, and response. Each of the four phases of emergency management is highly interconnected and the outcome of one phase can greatly influence the outcome of another. Emergency management is a continuous process that requires the participation of all the members of a community. Each of the four phases of emergency management is described in more detail below.
- Mitigation: taking place before an emergency or disaster occurs, mitigation involves preventing future emergencies from happening or lessening their effects. Mitigation can involve activities like educating the public about local hazards, assessing hazards and a community’s vulnerabilities to these hazards, and improving critical infrastructure.
- Preparedness: also taking place before an emergency, preparedness is the state of being ready for a major disaster or emergency. Preparedness involves making plans and preparing supplies to be used in the event of an emergency. Additionally, preparedness includes training for the occurrence of a major disaster. Preparedness is one of the most time-consuming phases of emergency management, but its importance cannot be overstated.
- Response: taking place during and in the immediate aftermath of a major disaster or emergency, the response phase of emergency management involves the immediate actions taken by both professional emergency services and prepared citizens. The overall goal of this phase is to minimize the loss of life and economic impact of a disaster. Response also involves the evacuation of citizens and the formation of shelters. Plans composed in the preparedness phase greatly influence the outcome of the response phase.
- Recovery: taking place in the aftermath of a disaster, recovery involves all actions taken to restore a community to its pre-disaster state. Recovery is a process that can take anywhere from a few days to years and includes both social and economic elements.