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This material may consist of step-by-step explanations on how to solve a problem or examples of proper writing, including the use of citations, references, bibliographies, and formatting. This material is made available for the sole purpose of studying and learning - misuse is strictly forbidden.The rate of natural disasters has increased significantly over the last several decades. While some of this increase is due to a rise in reporting rates, there has been a statistically significant increase in the rate of natural disasters outside of that. In addition, the impact of natural and man-made disasters is much greater in terms of human life and economic loss. This is due in part to an increase in population and urbanization, especially in developing nations. Large concentrations of people now inhabit areas that were historically sparsely populated, including regions that are more prone to disasters such as coastal areas, fault lines, and tropical areas, leading to larger numbers of casualties and property damage in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or incident (De Smet, Lagadec and Leysen 2012).
Due to the potential for the loss of life, property and economic interests, disaster planning and management is crucial for both the public and private sector. Effective disaster management and a disaster recovery plan allows an organization to avoid disaster, reduce the human and financial loss from disasters that cannot be avoided, respond quickly and efficiently to disasters and to recover quickly and fully from disasters, regardless of the type and severity. It also allows a public or private organization to manage a disaster in the most cost effective way possible and with the least amount of loss of life, property and information. Due to the importance of disaster management, all public and private organizations should have a comprehensive emergency management and disaster recovery plan (the terms are used interchangeably in this paper to reflect the fact that the term emergency management plan is often used in the public sector, whereas disaster recovery plan is often used in the private sector) that address the needs of the organization and community at large in the face of any type of disaster scenario.
Emergency management plans in the public and private sector
The federal government of the United States has a centralized emergency management system that includes all agencies. This was required under Homeland Security Presidential Directive – 5 (HSPD-5), which stated that all agencies must use a centralized National Incident Management System (NIMS) for their emergency response activities and planning. Every federal agencies emergency plan must incorporate NIMS in order to ensure across-the-board disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts in the federal governments operations. NIMS also includes requirements and guidelines for state and local governments; these entities must adopt NIMS principles as part of their incident management systems in order to receive federal disaster aid and preparedness assistance. NIMS was designed to give a structural framework for emergency response government-wide in order to streamline the response to emergencies, ensure that government agencies were adequately prepared to deal with emergencies when they occur, ensure that emergency managers and personnel had comparable levels of training and ability and to simplify the coordination of often-multi governmental emergency response scenarios that arise after a disaster. While providing a structured framework that is continuous across all federal, state and local government, NIMS was also designed to be flexible and adaptable enough the meet the very unique demands of the vastly different organizations that are required to adopt it (FEMA, 2010). For example, the Food & Drug Administration will certainly have very different roles and needs in the wake of a disaster than a small east Texas farming community, yet both can incorporate NIMS principles into their emergency management plan successfully and, theoretically, an emergency manager from an east Texas farming community should be able to easily coordinate disaster activities, or communicate disaster effects with an FDA emergency response coordinator should a disaster involving both entities ever occur.
NIMS incorporates the crucial elements of a disaster recovery plan: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. NIMS also includes guidelines for the private sector to work with government agencies in the wake of a disaster, as well as offering guidelines on mitigation, preparation, response and recovery for private business and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) (Narigon, 2011). In addition to federal and local governments and NGO’s, small and large businesses will often have disaster recovery plans of various complexities...