An emergency is any event that threatens to, or actually does, inflict damage to property or people. Emergencies can be small or large, and we often call large emergencies disasters. Disasters can include tornadoes and floods, explosions and toxic chemical releases, major transportation accidents such as airline crashes, and national security events.
Management simply means a coordinated, organized effort to reach specific goals or objectives. In emergency management, it means a coordinated and organized effort to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency.
Comprehensive is the word that cements all this together. It clarifies “emergency” by including all kinds of natural and man-made events that adversely affect lives and property, including national security threats. Using the word comprehensive broadens the definition of management by suggesting the best mix of resources from federal, state, local, and tribal governments and from business, industry, volunteers, and the public.
Four Phases of Emergency Management Administration
A community has many opportunities to deal with emergencies before they strike and a responsibility to aid in recovery after a disaster. The four phases of emergency management include: