What public services do when an emergency occurs:
This assignment will describe and evaluate the implication of public services and how they respond in different emergency situations. Also, how these public sectors prepare for emergency situations and what legislation is going to be used in order to stop the emergency. This assignment will also have a breakdown of real-life emergency situation that happened in past and how public services dealt with that emergency.
The principles of effective emergency incident response:
Every time when an emergency happens, this task needs to be handled professionally and with good communication and collaboration between different public sectors. Public services agencies that deal with emergencies are divided into two categories:
Category 1 responders which is formed from emergency services like Ambulance, Police, Fire brigade, NHS agencies, local authorities and many others.
Category 2 responders which is formed from transport companies, government agencies, health bodies and many others.
Category 1 responders need to look carefully at any occurring emergency and to advise on contingency planning. Also, category 1 responders need to have emergency plan ready, business continuity preparation and also close communication and collaboration with partner agencies. Another thing these responders have to do is to inform the public about the emergency. All of these duties and responsibilities above are part of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. This is because legislation makes responders have good and clear knowledge regarding their activity.
To have a good and efficient response to an emergency situation, responding agencies need to be aware of 8 principles regarding innervation:
Anticipation, is when analysing risk is crucial for anticipating and dealing with consequences of an emergency.
Preparedness, is when all organisations and individuals are fully and properly prepared and to know exactly their role and responsibilities.
Subsidiarity, is when decision making takes place. “Decisions should be taken at the lowest appropriate level, with co-ordination at the highest necessary level.” (Cabinet Office, 2013)
Direction, “Clarity of purpose comes from a strategic aim and supporting objectives that are agreed, understood and sustained by all involved. This will enable the prioritisation and focus of the response and recovery effort.” (Cabinet Office, 2013)
Information, has a very important role in the recovery and emergency. This has to be constructed by a correct information system. This system needs to mould in a single or multiple agency decision in order to provide vital information to the public.
Integration, organisations should exercise between and within organisations in order to make a coherent effort.
Co-operation, “flexibility and effectiveness depend on positive engagement and information sharing between all agencies and at all levels.” (Cabinet Office, 2013).
Continuity, “emergency response and recovery should be grounded in the existing functions of organisations and familiar ways of working, albeit on a larger scale, to a faster tempo and in more testing circumstances.” (Cabinet Office, 2013)
Multi-agency response is built in such way so that response and recovery in case of emergencies are approached with good preparedness. The framework establishes roles and responsibilities and how intercommunication need to work between agencies. Command, control and co-ordination are very important for an agency when dealing with an emergency. These is a clear division between agency command Gold, Silver and Bronze and structures that can be Strategic, Tactic and Operational level, this concept can be applied in a high variety of emergency situations. There can be emergency situations where more guidance can be taken into consideration like terrorist attacks, wide-area emergencies, animal health outbreaks. (Cabinet Office, 2013)
Single agency organisations exercise their authority over their staff while multi agency organisations co-ordinates, makes strategies and sets objectives for all of the people involved.
SCG also known as Strategic Co-ordinating Group are knows by responders as Gold Group. This group defines and communicates the overarching strategy and objectives for the emergency response. Also, this group establishes the framework, policy and parameters for lower level tiers and monitors the risks, impacts and progress towards defined objectives. (Cabinet Office, 2013)
TCG also known as The Tactical Co-ordinating Group and also known as Silver Group, ensure that actions taken by the operational level are co-orientated, coherent and integrated in order to get maximum efficiency and effectiveness. (Cabinet Office, 2013)
Bronze (Operational) The Bronze Commander directly controls their organisation’s resources at the incident and works with their staff on the scene of the incident. If an incident is widespread geographically, a number of Bronze commanders may assume responsibility for different areas. In comple incidents, Bronze commanders may share tasks or responsibilities.During the initial stages of an incident, the first member of the organisation who arrives at the incident temporarily assumes the role of Silver or Bronze Commander until relieved by a more senior member of their organisation. (Cabinet Office, 2013)
The Gold-Silver-Bronze command structure is summarised in the following diagram.
After having discussions and strategic planning to make sure that strategies and main goals are carried out, the SCG takes responsibility for implementation and taking decisions. For every organisation or agency to be 100% efficient, organisations involved need to understand the roles and duties and responsibilities these organisations have.
To have a consistent management of an emergency, the access to technical advice is needed, responders should form a STAC which is also known as Scientific and Technical Advice Cell. This is to mainly to provide technical and scientific advice to SCG agencies. “In the event of an emergency, the STAC would be activated by the SCG chair through the cell lead or relevant duty officer.” (Cabinet Office, 2013)
It is very important to have an efficient and optimised communication with the media in an emergency situation. Through media clear and easy to access information can be delivered to the large public, keeping them informed and safe. Few ways of keeping the public informed are radio, social media, TV, newspapers and many others.
The News Co-ordination Centre can be formed, this will be done so that the Lead Government Department has support in communicating reports on the emergency situation. “The Civil Contingencies Act includes two specific duties for Category 1 responders in relation to communicating with the public. First, there is a duty to inform the public about the risks of emergencies affecting a local area and secondly, there is a duty to maintain arrangements to warn the public and provide appropriate advice and information if an emergency is likely to occur or has occurred.” (Cabinet Office, 2013)
There is legislation in place so information is transmitted to the public such as COMAH Regulations (Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999) and REPPIR (Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations 2001)
Other important ways to facilitate the transmission of information are call centres, websites, social media and internal communications between agencies.
Recovery stage following an emergency incident:
After an emergency occurred, in the specific area necessary intervention will be needed in order to rehabilitate, rebuild and restore the affected area. It is going hard to repair all the damage created by the natural/human disaster. One reason why it can be difficult is because people that live in that area will need to be replaced if the emergency is sever. The recovery process can be done in places where people and communities need a fast intervention. The intervention comes into 4 categories: economic, environmental, infrastructure and humanitarian.
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Humanitarian emergency arises when such an event affects vulnerable populations who are unable to withstand the negative consequences by themselves. Vulnerability refers to a reduced capacity of individuals or groups to resist and recover from life-threatening hazards, and is most often connected to poverty. That is, poor populations are more likely to be more vulnerable to man-made or natural disasters. Within affected communities, typically vulnerable groups include children, pregnant and nursing women, migrants, and displaced people. (Cabinet Office, 2013)
The economic intervention will be on restoring businesses; infrastructure recovery refers to everything that involves disruption to daily activities such as the transportation system, services, schools and damages done to residential property; environmental recovery takes place in cases of major pollution disasters, toxic waste recovery.
Large financial intervention will be needed after an emergency. There are two main processes that needed to be taken into consideration. Expenditure delivering services and remuneration of payments subsequently. It is crucial for the emergency to be managed efficient by the Finance Officer. He also has an important role to make the local authorities to help after the emergency.
After the recovery process is done, it is highly recommended that the Recovery Co-Ordinating Group (RCG) gets involved in the emergency at the same time as the Strategic Co-ordinating Group (SCG) that is in the first day of the emergency. The recovery process is effective when it’s backed up by training and multi-agency programmes, where everyone involved learns their role and duties. Framework needs to be provided for a good management of an emergency, in order to have a diverse response to a large variety of emergency situations and community needs.
Debriefs, reviewing and responding:
Acknowledging events and facts that happened during an incident is the target of a multi-agency debrief. By doing this it will learn which locations need improvement.
The goal of a debrief is to agree on the key actions taken and to identify key lessons. Also, identifying positive points that should be established as good practice, identify issues that require to be the subject of further review, determinate an action plan identifying lead organisations and relevant timescales within which issues/ recommendations are addressed.
Single agencies debriefing’s focus on internal affairs and actions that are specific to the agency that was involved in an emergency. Important aspects of the debriefing are learning positive and negative facts form the incident, and have them managed internally. (htt5)
After the debriefing process is finished a list with recommendations will be discussed. Single agencies will consider to implement in-house plans and the results will be shared with multi-agencies. Multi-agencies debrief will have an effect on more than one agency, action plans will be shared and monitored. All the recommendations will be applied by case in training exercises implemented through an Action Plan.
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Having an efficient debrief procedure will convey advantageous outcomes for a public service company. using the national briefing version in public services corporations is going to offer an excellent communication between agencies. The result of this will be that everybody working in these organisations will understand better their role and for the future emergencies they will react better and more efficient.
Response to real world emergency:
2013 Great Britain and Ireland heat wave
The 2013 heat wave in the United Kingdom and Ireland was a period of unusually hot weather primarily in July 2013, with isolated warm days in June and August. A prolonged high pressure system over Britain and Ireland caused higher than average temperatures for 19 consecutive days in July, reaching 33.5°C.
Deaths and Injuries:
An extra 760 deaths were reported in the UK. In Ireland the heat wave indirectly caused 30 deaths by drowning.
Haiti Earthquake 2010:
The earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, may be a contender for the top 10 deadliest disasters. Even in a modern mass disaster, though, estimating the death toll is a tricky business. In the year after the quake, the government of Haiti estimated that the magnitude-7.0 quake and its aftermath killed 230,000 people; in January 2011, officials revised the figurexto 316,000.
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami:
A magnitude-9.3 temblor struck undersea off the west coast of Sumatra on Dec. 26, 2004, creating a massive tsunami that killed people in 14 separate countries. The overall death toll is estimated at between 230,000 and 280,000 people. In some places, especially hardest-hit Indonesia, the tsunami wave reached 98 feet (30 meters) in height. Indonesia had the highest death toll of any country, with 126,473 confirmed dead and 93,943 missing, according to official government figures. Sri Lanka followed, with a total of 36,594 dead or missing.
Emergency and/or major incident
Major incidents are any emergency that requires the implementation of special arrangements by one or more of the emergency services, and generally include the involvement, either directly or indirectly, of large numbers of people.
Following the conclusion of an emergency and/or major incident, a report should be produced detailing the experiences gained by those organisations involved in it. This benefits the wider policing community, emergency services and other organisations.
xThe strategic coordinating group determines how a multi-agency report will be compiled and circulated.
xEach of the organisations and emergency services involved in an incident may conduct their own internal debriefings. Issues arising from those debriefings that are internal to an organisation should be addressed by them in an appropriate manner.
xIssues identified that have implications for more than one organisation, or that apply on a multi-agency basis, should be brought to a forum convened to address the outcomes of the internal debriefings. This forum should be seen as an opportunity for all organisations involved to understand and share what went well during the response and recovery processes and to identify areas for development.
xIn order to progress the outcomes of this process, all participating organisations should compile and agree an action plan.
To prepare for possible emergencies within the country they:
- assess local risks in order to identify what we need to plan for
- write and review emergency plans
- train and exercise with other key organisations to enhance the management of an emergencyx
- ensure that the Council has plans in place to deliver important services to the public during an emergency.
They also help to support the emergency services and other organisations with their emergency response in a number of ways:
- arranging emergency accommodation should members of the public be evacuated from their homes
- providing emergency transport to move members of the public from the scene of an emergency to a safe location
- co-ordinating services that we provide that are required as part of the emergency responsex
- contributing to the running of assistance centres. Assistance centres will be set up in the aftermath of a major emergency to act as a focal point for information and assistance to families and friends of those missing, injured or killed, and to survivors
- providing information to the public
- providing emergency planning guidance to schools.
Some of the key findings of the assessment are that:
- The total damages – affected physical assets – of the hurricanes Irma and Maria for Antigua and Barbuda come to US$ 136.1 million, with the productive and social sectors most affected. The tourism sector accounted for 44 percent of total damage costs, followed by housing which accounted for 37 percent of all damage.
- The total losses – changes in economic flows resulting from the disaster – amount to approximately US$ 18.9 million.
- The recovery needs amount to US$222.2 million. US$ 79.6 million of this is needed to repair or replace houses, as in Barbuda 45 percent of the houses are uninhabitable after the hurricanes and 28 percent require complete replacement. Also smaller recovery needs are urgent, such as US$ 0.35 million for the water and sanitation sector, given that all water sources on Barbuda were damaged by Hurricane Irma and important water supplies were contaminated.
Based on the assessment of recovery needs, the report indicates priority actions for recovery. This includes recommendations per sector, as well as immediate, short-term, and medium-term actions. Examples of recommendations are to:
- Assess and stabilize the livestock population, providing food and water and needed.
- Conduct a detailed building assessment in coordination with the Barbudan Council.
- Retrofit and improve building resilience for schoolxand public health facilities.
- Improve the national disaster risk information framework and emergency communications network to ensure communications services during a national disaster.
In future, an effective responde to an natural disaster or man-made distaster emergency situation is going to provide a better outcome. This can be used after debriefing for the next interventions. Multi-agencies, and the responders will know better for the future emergencyes how to react and know exactly what to do for their role.
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