Emergency and Disaster Management

Keeping You Safe

The following resources are designed to help you be prepared in the event of a disaster. Prepare now for a future emergency. Learn how you can protect yourself, family and pets during a disaster by planning ahead:

What Is Emergency Management?

Emergency Management is a general term for all aspects of emergency and disaster planning which usually consists of organized analysis, planning, and assignment of resources to best administer emergency services to the community in the event of a disaster or large emergency.

Emergency Management consists of four phases:

  • Preparedness – This establishes response procedures the city will make sure all staff is trained in basic response procedures. City department heads will be trained in section specific procedures along with holding exercises that simulate disaster response. The purpose of preparedness activities is to make actual disaster response more effective. Individual and household preparedness is a vital part of a community's overall safety; having adequate insurance is one way a household can help itself be ready for an emergency.
  • Mitigation – Mitigation involves activities that are intended to actually reduce losses suffered in a disaster. Examples of mitigation activities include slope stabilization to protect from landslides, elevation of buildings vulnerable to floods, and breakwaters and sea walls to reduce the effects of storm waves and surges. A common mitigation activity for households in Alaska is the creation of defensible space around homes to reduce the likelihood of loss in the case of a wildfire.
  • Response – refers to the actual activities undertaken by emergency responders during a disaster or emergency, including fire suppression, emergency medical services, search and rescue, sheltering displaced residents, and providing relief services and equipment.
  • Recovery – After a disaster or large emergency, communities must engage in well-planned and efficient recovery activities. Recovery involves rebuilding, re-establishing services, and working to establish normal business, economic, and societal activities.

Emergency management activities are intended to save lives, reduce losses and injuries, and establish swift recovery from disasters. Effective preparedness and mitigation activities can significantly reduce the effects of disasters on a given entity, whether it be a state, a local community, or a household.