Disaster preparedness is a crucial element of the strategy facilitating the safety of a community. Despite the fact that some parts of the United States, such as Michigan, are less prone to disasters than the others, it is crucial that the maximum safety should be provided to every single resident of the community. When it comes to developing a strategy for securing the lives of visitors of community centers, special attention must be paid to the design of an emergency plan.
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As long as the emergency plan in the Midland Community Center, MI embraces every single potential threat to the well-being of its visitors and provides a coherent course of actions to be undertaken, facilitating the premises for an efficient collaboration between the emergency group, the community center staff and the people endangered by the disaster, it is possible to prevent a range of negative outcomes from injuries to deaths.
As it has been stressed above, the Midland Community Center is located in the area that has been hit by a tornado a few times, yet is comparatively safe at present. Nevertheless, the lives of the residents of the Midland County may still be endangered due to another strike of a tornado, a flood, which is a common occurrence (Office of Emergency Management, 2013), and other natural disasters. Therefore, the necessity to enhance the safety of the Midland Community Center emerges.
Communication: When Every Second Counts
The first and the most important part of the emergency plan, the communication between the members of the emergency team and the members of the facility, as well as the people that will be in the community center at that moment, must be enhanced greatly, According to the existing data, the information management is carried out with the help of a rather dated system at present.
As a result, the emergency team may obtain inaccurate information concerning the number of people endangered, the severity of the disaster, the location, the total area affected, etc. The results of such misinformation may be drastic; therefore, a better information management system must be established. According to the existing principles for disaster management, new measures are being undertaken in order to provide adequate responses to disasters and select a proper strategy for addressing the issue in question.
More to the point, any organization must use every single communication means in its vicinity when designing a disaster management plan. For instance, McGlown explains that “Redundant phone systems, broadcast fax capability, and the ability to increase the number of dedicated wireless phones within the healthcare system should rank high on the facility’s communication to-do list” (McGlown, 2005, p. 6).
More importantly, the latest communication means must be utilized in order to make the process of receiving instructions on the further course of actions as fast as possible. Consequently, it is important to facilitate an easy access for the members of the center to the telephone and make sure that there is a telephone that does not plug into the wall, in case of a power outage.
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Life Safety: Plans and Site Maps
Though the communication issue is clearly the focal point of the proposed emergency plan and the key to its successful implementation, the significance of life safety instructions is not to be underestimated, either. According to the official evidence, the community center provides a detailed plan of the premises on every single storey of the building.
However, with the fear factor in mind, one must admit that, in case of a real disaster, people may become panic stricken very easily and very fast; thus, a more efficient way to facilitate a safe transfer of the community center visitors into the area, where they will be relatively safe from the disaster, must be provided.
Marking the essential elements, such as designated escape routes, stairways, exist, etc., with the corresponding signs on the maps and inside the center is a crucial step towards creating a safer environment. In addition, while one must give the disaster management team of the community credit for their attempts, the existing map is quite dated and needs to be substituted with a newer and clearer one:
In addition, it is rather disturbing that the community center does not provide its visitors with an opportunity to check the layout of the center’s premise, thus, reducing the probability of people losing their way in case of a natural disaster, such as a flood or a tornado. It is imperative that detailed and clear layouts of the community’s premises should be available online to all those interested; thus, the chances for people to survive a disaster when being in the community center area will be increased.
Property Protection: Avoiding Major Damage
Property protection is another significant part of the emergency plan. It will be required that the Midland Community Center should insure its property. In addition, the community members should also consider the possibility of having insurance. Insuring their possessions, the community members will be able to survive even major disasters with relatively small financial and material losses (Rejda & McNamara, 2014).
Community Outreach: Spreading Awareness
Providing unlimited access to the center’s layouts, emergency evacuation plans and rules is, unfortunately, not enough to prevent tragic instances. To promote the security principles, the community center must raise awareness among the members of the Midland community.
In other words, an efficient and at the same time relatively cheap campaign must be conducted for people to be eager to learn about the new safety principles. The campaign can be held with the help of modern media, especially social networks; the Midland Community Center will use the latter in order to make the guidelines concerning the security measures available to all those willing to visit the place.
Recovery and Restoration: When the Dust Settles
No matter how well prepared one might be for a disaster to strike, a cataclysm is bound to have rather drastic effects on the state of the community, including impressive property damage, numerous accidents, injuries and, in the worst case scenario, deaths. Therefore, for the residents of the community to restore the local infrastructure and communication system, as well as tend to the needs of the disaster victims, the community center will require a sufficient financial support.
Consequently, it is more than reasonable that the financial policy should be well thought out together with the emergency plan. It can be suggested that a part of the revenues (15%) that the community center receives on a daily basis should be retrieved for the purpose of having a financial reserve in case a restoration of the center will be required.
Administration and Logistics: Across the Distance
Finally, the issue concerning the administration of the plan and the logistics must be brought up. No matter how well thought out an emergency plan might be, it will still fail unless the required resources are at hand. Therefore, it is imperative that everything needed to deal with a disaster and its effects should be in the vicinity of the Midland Community Center.
While locating the emergency team in close proximity to the center is hardly possible, it is achievable to manage the logistics strategy, particularly, the transfer of the required tools and supplies, such as water (in case of fire), medicine for the people injured, etc. The improvement of the logistics strategy can be carried out by cutting the costs for the promotion campaigns, which, as it has been explained above, can be carried out with the help of relatively cheap new forms of media.
Conclusion: Emergency Plan and Its Significance
Avoiding natural disasters completely is barely possible. However, it is possible to prevent them. As long as the Midland Community Center follows the emergency plan provided above, its visitors will be able to protect themselves efficiently.
Office of Emergency Management (2013). Midland County hazard mitigation plan approved by FEMA. Web.
Hoextra, K. (2008). Midland Community Center improvements. Web.
McGlown, J. K. (2005). Terrorism and disaster management. Preparing healthcare leaders for the new reality. Chicago, IL: ACHE Management Series.
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Rejda, G. E., & McNamara, M. J. (2014). Principles of rick management and insurance. Boston, MA: Pearson.