For Louisianans, being prepared for a land strike from one of natures most violent assaults is extremely important. Hurricanes are not the only threat to the state. Earthquakes are another that many citizens and communities in Louisiana tend to forget about. The threat from both do remain. Regardless of the type of threat one prepares for, the activity of preparation and mitigation will allow for an easier response and recovery from any disaster.
Earthquake preparedness and mitigation, for example, should involve a community-based plan and should be flexible and simple to understand. The three tiers of planning should be followed. They include strategic, operational, and tactical planning. Priorities and goals should be established as well.
Coordination and integration within all levels of government is very important.Vertical integrating the preparedness plan will help ensure both local level and federal level governments will have a solid foundation to work from. Horizontal integration will do the same for all adjacent jurisdictions. Key areas of planning need to be considered.
Prevention consisting of reducing risks from events caused by humans need to be integrated in case of a possible terrorist activity before, during, or after an event. The plan would need to include security measures.
Protecting or eliminating the threat to people and property could be helped by communicating ways to secure individual homes and workplaces. An educational drive should be implemented to inform the community that an earthquake threat is out there and that there are ways to help secure their homes.
Ensuring all responders know their roles is why integrating response is important. Fire fighters would concentrate on the secondary disaster of fires while the police can cordon off certain structures and block certain roads.
Recovery should also be integrated to help ensure restoration of utilities and other services. Electricity being restored after a catastrophic event brings hope and builds moral.
Integrating mitigation could help the community in future events. This could be done by upgrading structures and infrastructure to withstand seismic activity or storm surges thereby decreasing the total damage assessment and possibly saving lives. Vital bridges, for example, could be mitigated to withstand an earthquake or hurricane of any size, ensuring transportation and supply lines stay open.
Please leave a comment with your thoughts or suggestions on how your community is preparing for possible disasters.
Receive e-mail alerts when new articles are available. Just click on the “Subscribe” button above.