Community planning for disaster management involves the efforts of communities to plan for a variety of natural or man-made disasters, explains the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. The process involves the coordination of personnel and materials required to recover from these emergencies.
Various situations may require disaster management. Some of these include natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or fires. Industrial accidents, including oil spills and explosions, also require emergency action. Terrorism within communities is becoming an increasingly common threat. War and communication failures are additional emergency situations which require preparedness.
Effective disaster management is composed of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and response and recovery. The identification of possible hazards within the community is an excellent starting point for disaster management plans. The determination of vulnerabilities is also an integral part of planning. The compilation of resources provides a network of support which can be utilized when an emergency occurs. The formulation of an action plan addresses the specifics of what is to occur before, during and after an emergency situation.
Although the federal government frequently intervenes in the event of large-scale community emergencies, it is ultimately the responsibility of each local government and its citizens to prepare for these situations. Testing community disaster plans is critical to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies outlined. This can be accomplished through the delivery of meetings, training and simulation exercises. Tests and simulations are an excellent tool to determine if weaknesses exist in the current plan.