Emergency management - Basics

Emergency Management is represented by a range of measures which have been designed for the management of risks to communities and to the environment. It involves establishing plans, structures and arrangements to bring together the normal activities of governments with voluntary and private agencies. This liaison is done in a comprehensive and coordinated way to deal with the whole spectrum of emergency needs, including the issues of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Emergency Managers carry out any tasks before, during or after a disaster or emergency and contribute to creating or maintaining the safety of communities. They include police, fire-fighters and State Emergency Service personnel as well as doctors, local government employees, social workers, public health employees, land use planners and other community organisations and volunteers.

Emergencies are classified as either human-related, technological or natural. A natural disaster is a serious disruption to a community or region caused by the impact of a naturally occurring rapid onset event which threatens or results in death and injury. They can be caused by bushfires, floods, severe storms, cyclones, storm surges, earthquakes, landslides, tornados, a tsunami or a meteorite strike (Source: COAG Report). Events of this nature require a significant and well coordinated multi-agency and community response.

More extreme weather events can be expected to occur in the future and well coordinated and planned responses will be required to reduce the costs of such events. As well as improving community safety, saving costs incurred as the result of an event will improve the business continuity plans for government and for industry.