What is Emergency Management?
Emergency management is a discipline that involves the avoidance of risks, while
simultaneously putting plans in place to deal with disasters and emergency situations
if and when they do occur with a view to rebuild and restore society to a functional
level in as short a time as possible after a disaster. Emergency management is
therefore a shared responsibility between government and citizens of a country
towards building a sustainable, disaster-resilient society.
The ultimate purpose of emergency management is to:
• save lives
• preserve the environment
• protect property
• protect the economy
What are Emergency Management Systems (EMS)?
Emergency management systems are technological aids that facilitate the effective
management of disasters. EMS technology can assist in several areas that are critical
to effective disaster management, such as:
• Drafting and testing of evacuation and general disaster plans (Evacuation
• Establishment of shelters as well as informing the public of shelter locations,
items that should be taken to the shelter and general “shelter behaviour”.
• Training personnel in effective shelter management, basic first aid and other
“response” skills (Manpower).
• Establish a national warehouse and ensure that it is stocked with items for
national survival in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, before the arrival of
overseas help (Materials).
• Setting-up reliable communication systems, such as, the traditional two-way
CB-type radios (Communication).
• Putting transportation plans in place, which should include air transportation to
facilitate air-lifts and rescues, delivery of food supplies to severely affected areas
cut-off from vehicular traffic and comprehensive damage assessment activity