While most natural disasters cannot be avoided or prevented, their effects on the community can be mitigated using different methods. Disasters cause innumerable amount of damage, not mentioning the amount of fatalities and injuries in the processes. The government and the local communities have always put effort in trying to control disasters and their effects through the use of numerous methods and approaches. Of all the approaches at the government’s disposal, disaster mitigation planning has proven to be one of the best.
Mitigation processes and plans play a very crucial role in lessening the amount of damage and lives lost by most disasters. As a consequence, disaster mitigation plan is imperative. After all the other processes involved in disaster mitigation planning, the final stage involves the implementation of the discussed measures and projects. It is at this stage that all the proposed measures and projects are placed in to action in order to mitigate the effects and aftermath of a disaster. Also, the process emphasizes on the actions and activities essential to create and maintain the efficiency of the plan as a basic tool for risk diminution (Lyles, Berke & Smith, 2015).
However, it should be noted that the effectiveness of the proposed disaster mitigation plan lies on the details of the planning. That is to say that, the manner in which the plan is implemented, monitored and updated greatly affects the effectiveness of the selected mitigation plan. As a consequence, plan implementation, monitoring and constant update is crucial to the success of the mitigation process in case of a disaster.
The disaster mitigation plan can be brought to life by communities as well as the local government in a number of different ways. The approaches and methods through which the plan can be brought to life range from the implementation of specific mitigation processes to alterations in the daily operation of the local government. It is imperative that the mitigation plan remains pertinent in order to ensure the success of an on-going mitigation program. As a consequence, it is of the outmost importance to carry out regular evaluations and conduct revisions as required.
There are a number of activities involved in the final stage of mitigation plan that ensures that it addresses all the needs of a mitigation plan. This section identifies the different stakeholders who will be responsible for different tasks and functions during a catastrophe. Also, it entails a plan that to indulge the local community in the disaster mitigation planning and mitigation processes (Xiao & Peacock, 2014). Besides the two activities, the final stage of mitigation plan implementation also entails a plan to help the local business in the recovery process. One of the most important parts of this section of the mitigation planning and implementation entail the monitoring plans that guarantee the effectiveness of the mitigation plan. The steps necessary for updating the plan are also outlined in the final stage of mitigation plan implementation.
The final section of the mitigation plan entails four major steps that ensure that it functions effectively as expected; adopting the mitigation plan, implementing the plan recommendations, evaluating the planning outcomes and revising the plan.
This is the first stage of the last phase of the planning process. It entails guiding the plan through an official adoption process. The authority and legitimacy of the plan is established after the adoption process is completed. It is imperative that the jurisdiction’s governing body of the plan should formally adopt the plan according to the local and state laws. The local and state authorities play a vital role in ensuring that the plan gains approval. It is the role of the lead governing body such as Board of Supervisors and City Council to adopt a local plan. On the other hand, state plans are adopted and approved by state director of emergency management.
The first task at this stage involves briefing the local leadership or authorities. It is imperative to brief the elected officials and community decision makers on the progress of the planning endeavors. Briefing the local leadership on the progress of the plan is a task that should be done on a regular basis (Xiao & Peacock, 2014). It presents an opportunity to show the local leadership that the plan has broad support and it is sound as well. The elected officials and the local leadership are tasked with airing their input concerning the presented plan.
The next task involves demonstrating the support of the associate organizations. After the support of the partner organization has been demonstrated, it is the responsibility and task of the available legislative or executive authorities to adopt the plan. It is imperative that the state or federal deadlines for plan submission is met. The state hazard mitigation officer (SHMO) is tasked with approving the submitted mitigation plan after it has been adopted by the local authorities (Lyles, Berke & Smith, 2015).
After the plan has been adopted and approved, it is imperative to inform the stakeholders of the progress. As a consequence, it is important to publicize the approval and adoption of the plan. The stakeholders can be informed of the plan’s progress through a variety of ways; press conference, press release via the local newspaper, posting a notice, mail or through websites.
Implementing the plan recommendations
The implementation stage entails enacting all the recommendations made by the stakeholders during the planning process of the mitigation plan. It is at this stage that the recommendations of the plan are placed within the administrative scaffold of the community, tribe or state. It outlines ideas on how the recommendations and mitigation actions can be implemented on time and integrated into the daily operations of the federal agencies.
During the plan implementation process, different stakeholders have different tasks, roles and responsibilities. The stakeholders involved include; the planning team, local administrators and elected officials, citizens, nonprofit organizations and businesses, state agencies and academic institutions.
The planning team
The role of the planning team changes to that of the overseer during the implementation of the mitigation plan. It is their responsibility, as the developers of the mitigation plan, to periodically monitor the progress of the implementation process. Also, the team is tasked with ensuring that the spirit or motive of the mitigation plan is not sidelined by personal or political concerns. As such, the planning team is to keep the community enthused in order for the community to hold the federal authority responsible for legitimate performance of the mitigation plan. The planning team is also responsible for alerting the relevant officials on issues that may jeopardize emergency administration and hazard mitigation (Xiao & Peacock, 2014).
Local administrators and elected officials
Elected officials and local administrators are tasked with keeping all the involved local departments and agencies in line. Elected official contribute a exclusive role in the implementation process. They face a lot of pressure from those who oppose the plan as well as those with good will and expect to see the plan implemented as expected. They also have the responsibility and capacity to allocate reserves among the competing interests. The local administrators and the elected officials are tasked with providing budget, oversight and visibility to the project.
The officials should provide incentives, assign staff and support the work of the volunteers as well as the professional staff. It is also the role of the local administrators to focus on the identified hazard related opportunities and problems and to ensure that the problems are not overseen by the relevant office. It is mandatory for both the local administrators and the elected officials to ensure that the previously adopted actions are included in the yearly budget of the community.
Businesses and Nonprofit organizations
It is the responsibility of the planning team to consider the different ways through which its partners can facilitate the implementation of the mitigation plan (Lyles, Berke & Smith, 2015). The private sector and the nonprofit organizations can facilitate the implementation of the mitigation plan in a number of ways; discounted materials, meeting space, volunteer or staff time and lending expertise. It is imperative for the planning team to inform the business of the potential dangers they face in case of hazard and the way they can lessen the effects of these hazards.
Citizens/ members of the community
Member of the public and citizens poses an ongoing responsibility in the implementation of the mitigation plan. It is the role of the planning team to look for volunteers among the member of the community in order to help with the implementing the activities and programs. The planning team can recruit skilled and experienced citizens to offer expertise in precise areas. Involving a larger number of the community in the implementation process of the project increases its success rate.
The identified and recommended project actions should be integrated through government actions. During this process, it is important to use process that already exists. It is also imperative for the planning team to work with the local government and elected leaders to start integrating the freshly adopted hazard mitigation objectives and goals into the overall operations of its partner organizations as well as the government operations (Lyles, Berke & Smith, 2015). Of the most importance is the monitoring and documentation of the progress of the project’s recommended actions. Monitoring and documentation aid in ensuring that all the projects objectives and goals are effectively met as intended in the mitigation plan. Documentation of the progress aids in updating the plan for future application and use.
Lyles, W., Berke, P., & Smith, G. (2015). Local plan implementation: assessing conformance and influence of local plans in the United States.Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 0265813515604071.
Xiao, Y., & Peacock, W. G. (2014). Do Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness Reduce Physical Damage to Businesses in Disasters? Critical Role of Business Disaster Planning. Natural Hazards Review, 15(3), 04014007.