As the situation is stabilized and the immediate emergencies are remedied, the recovery phase is entered. During the restoration phase infrastructure is repaired and utilities are restored. This phase may last for years, as the ultimate goal is to "return the community's quality of life to at least the same level as it was before the disaster" (Lindell, Prater, and Perry, 2006, p.21). As can be seen by Hurricane Katrina, this could take decades.
Emergency managers place most of their emphasis on preparedness and response. These phases overlap, as the degree of response will be a function of the preparation. This is appropriate, as that is where most resources and the greatest numbers of lives are at risk. Mitigation is often given too little attention, as people become complacent and the task is so difficult. However, the events of 9/11 have placed mitigation and preparedness for a terrorist act as a greater priority as seen in the border and airport security measures.
Risk analysis is the process of assessment to determine the vulnerability to a disaster and the potential for impact that a disaster may have. This involves the physical risk that products such as chemicals may pose, or the degree of exposure a city may have to a flood. The location, security, and physical details all are components of risk assessment. In addition, risk assessment must also evaluate what the potential risks are. In the case of flooding, weather patterns and climate can indicate how often a disaster can be expected. Physical items such as chemicals or fuels may be subjected to terrorism or social activists that may wish to create chaos, and these risks are much more difficult to assess (Lindell, Prater, and Perry, 2006, p.154). The assessment would include an inventory of what products were stored at which locations and their potential as targets. In addition, there needs to be an assessment of the environmental damage that would occur in the event of a disaster. This could be oil spills or gas leaks, as well as the release of caustic chemicals into a water supply.
One of the difficulties facing a risk assessment manager is that many of the hazards that pose a risk are constantly changing. Chemicals can be moved and relocated as they are used. Many of the products, such as fuels, are mobile. If I were a city manager I would do a thorough risk assessment. I would also enlist the citizens and businesses as partners in risk reduction and prevention. Agricultural businesses may be a target for terrorists seeking to gain access to their chemicals, and they should be aware of the physical security required.
3.) Community Emergency Plan
Emergency planning is critical for the management of a community and the health and safety of its citizens. Social and geographical differences make planning for a community an individual endeavor. It is also critical, as the local authorities will be the first responders and have the major initial responsibility for response. In addition, the local authorities would ideally have done an adequate risk assessment and have made plans to cope with the potential ris