Disaster management is one of the critical issues in society. It is worth noting that disasters are inevitable regardless of how much we try to avoid. Disasters management is one of the disciplines that deal with avoiding manmade and natural disasters. It entails the aspect of preparedness, recovery as well as response, which is meant to come to terms with disasters. In most cases, disasters put to test the emergency response ability and the recovery process. The ability to recover and deal effectively with disaster after it has occurred tends to improve due to the increase in the risk factors. It is evident that there are increasing difficulties on issues pertaining disaster recovery. The lessons learned from the past disasters are not leaned by the responsible stakeholders in absolute terms. In addition, each disaster comes with different magnitude of distraction; hence, putting the disaster recovery process into more difficulties. There are various major challenges that the emergency managers confront during the response phase of disaster. This is actually a critical problem to the entire emergency disaster management team. Nevertheless, there are various ways of mitigating this problem in order to ensure that the disaster recovery phase produces positive results.
Disasters cause a lot of problems and damages to the community and there is need to recovery from the disaster. Disaster recovery phase is one of the critical phases in disaster management process. The recovery pages focuses on the immediate demand of the population and using all the possible strategies to meet the needs (Green, 2001). After the hustle to come out of disaster and the emergency and medical team are in place, the recovery phase then comes into place. It is very significant phase since it focuses on long term outcomes from the disaster. During this phase the victims realize how the disaster was destructive and the impact of the disaster comes face to face with the victims. It is during this phase that the victims count the loss they have suffered from the disaster, and there is need to help them overcome the burden and accept the loss.
The disaster recovery phase is crucial because it focuses on restoring the victims affected by the disaster to their previous state. It is more that the response phase since it entails decisions and issues that must be address after the immediate needs have been focused on (Selves, 2003). The recovery phase is concerned with actions such as re-employment, rebuilding destroyed property, as well as repairing and constructing infrastructure. It is worth noting that the disaster recovery phase entails long term and short term activities. The recovery phase meets people in a difficult situation since those affected do not comprehend where to start.
The managers face a lot of challenges when confronting the disaster during this phase. It is worth noting that the disaster emergency management team comes with terms with the destruction and the victims are looking on them for help. Recovering and responding on disaster is very difficult since it entails a lot of difficulties, and sacrifice is one of the main virtues that is demanded. Based on critical analysis and research on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery it is evident that one major challenge emergency managers will confront during the response phase of disaster is the aspects of communication. It is worth noting that communication is one of the important aspects during the disaster phases (Green, 2001). Some of the crucial phases that communication matter during disaster include during preparedness, response, as well as recovery. The past disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, Earthquakes and other types of disasters have demonstrated how communication is essential for emergency managers.
The managers must always live as if a disaster is yet to happen and focus on the communication issues. Therefore, it is evident that communication is one of the major challenges during this phase. After a disaster such as the Hurricane Katrina, emergency managers faced the challenge of communication. The emergency managers could not communicate with the recue team on how to respond and recovery from the disasters. The response and recovery phase entails various stakeholders, which include the government, victims, rescue team, disaster emergency and management team, emergency managers, as well as the society (Horsley, 2012). Communication is actually a main challenge to managers and there is need to be focused on thoroughly in the disaster response and recovery plan. No matter the type of disaster it is evident that communication is a big challenge that needs to be addressed. Research shows that most of the disasters have caused a lot of damages and even made the recovery and response process very difficult because of what it entails.
The emergency managers have to confront the issue of communication as a major challenge. This is a major challenge because communication is a major link to all responsible stakeholders (Selves, 2003). It is evident that communication determines how funds, rescue, response, and recovery from the disaster will be achieved. The damages caused by disasters are a big worry to the emergency manages because it basically brings down various infrastructures that communication depends tremendously on. The damage of communication infrastructure in the past disasters makes it a big challenge to emergence managers since it comes with problematic response and recovery process.
Communication challenge is a problem in the process of emergency management. Managers are the main people who facilitate the process of response and recovery and the only way to coordinate is to communicate using various systems. In the 21st century, the modes of communication have tremendously increased but during disasters destructions take place paralyzing most of them. This is the reason why communication is a main challenge to emergency managers that they must confront. The recovery and response is a process during disaster. This is because there are various plans that should be undertaken in order to ascertain the effectiveness of how to restore the affected places to normal.
During disaster many people measure the success of emergency management through the number of lives saved. This is not the case because emergency management of response and recovery goes beyond live saving. There are many communication efforts that take place that regardless of the number of people saved made a lot of impacts (Selves, 2003). This is the reason why communication is a problem that managers confront during the various phases of disaster management. The effect of communication during emergency cannot be measured; this is because there are occasions whereby the emergency managers may starve the emergence team on resource and communication process leading to more damages.
Communication is a problem that needs to be confronted by emergency managers during time of disaster. By communicating using the right stakeholders many people will be on track at the fast way possible (Green, 2001). During this phase it is crucial to note that there is need for quick communication to speed up the process. If communication has been broken down, then it follows that the entire process and activities during this phase will go slow. Hence, the problem needs to be confronted by the management, which makes it a crucial problem.
After the disaster has taken place there is tendency to deal and confront the issue of communication. It is a problem because communication is the root of all the emergence activities taking place before and after the disaster (Horsley, 2012). Many people will be in need of basic needs but without communication many stakeholders will not have proper communication. On the case of communication breakdown there will be no way the funds and material needs will be collected and delivered to the victims. Rebuilding the victims life calls for proper communication process. Each disaster has its outcome that may vary; hence, there is no assumption that people lack specific needs.
During disaster management the word communication is a very crucial requirement, which when it is eliminated the emergency process will be at risk. Communication implies to the warnings, ideas, orders, command, instructions, information and knowledge (Australian Government, 2002). This indicates that communication is an issue that the emergency managers must confront. It always sounds easy but when there is a communication breakdown emergency managers come to terms with the importance of communication. Before this happen the emergency managers need to address the challenge.
The emergency managers must always be in a position to communicate with the victims. Here are situations whereby the emergency team and emergency managers finds it difficult to communicate with the victims (Worth, 2013). In such situation, the activities taking place in this phase becomes very difficult. It is for this reason that communication is a problem that needs to be confronted by the emergency managers. Communication barrier during emergency process makes the entire process of response and recovery difficult.
The issue of communication tends to be a problem to the emergency managers and requires some confrontation. This is because in some occasions the emergence managers depend on technologies and infrastructure to communicate. Perhaps, during disasters they are forced to focus on using other forms of communication. Therefore, it is a problem that must be confronted by the emergency managers since without ant focus on it the process of emergency will be incomplete.
During an emergence there is no way the emergency team and emergency managers will communicate to people in person. There is need for urgency and essence of passing information to many people in the shortest time possible (Selves, 2003). Therefore, it is a problem because if the emergency managers cannot meet the meaning of emergency then the entire process of recovery and response will not be achieved. In the public domain, there is need to address the problem of communication in order to achieve the ultimate focus of emergency management.
Aftermath of disaster comes with a lot of confusion and the need to salvage anything and safe more lives. Research shows that the best way to facilitate this entire process is through communication. But if communication is not available it becomes problematic to emergence management team and other stakeholders who are part of the disaster. Such issues make communication a problem that needs to be addressed in one way or another.
Arguably, effective communication linkage between front line respondents, broadcasting, emergency operators, and emergency managers are very crucial after the disaster. This is because it the communication linkage is necessary in assessing the need, assessing damages, collecting information, coordinating relief and rescue, motivating public, as well as accounting for missing people. Based on the role of communication linkage the emergence managers are the masters of coordinating the entire communication process and failure to do this it means the entire actions depending of communication will fail (Australian Government, 2002). Therefore, it is a problem that cannot go unmentioned by the emergency managers during disaster response and recovery. The communication infrastructure in most cases tends to be damaged or affected and requires the mergence managers to confront the situation before things get worst. In general perspective, communication is a major challenge that emergence managers must confront. Studies show that dealing with this problem will automatically improve the entire process of emergency management and reduce the damages caused by disasters.
It is very important to resolve the issue of communication. It is worth noting that communication is a create challenge and a problem if there is lack of it. Basically, communication breakdown must be resolved in order to facilitate quick recovery and response during disaster (Green, 2001). Disasters are inevitable but the suffering and damages it causes are unbelievable. The impacts of disaster can be minimized by resolving the challenge of communication breakdown. This is because resolving communication problem will ensure that effective warnings and passage of information among the emergence managers and other stakeholders is efficient (Horsley, 2012). Resolving the problem is essential because it ensures that the dissemination of information is done in a timely, understandable, and accurate manner across the political authorities and the population at risk. In addition, resolving communication problem will ensure that the response and recovery process by the mergence managers minimizes the damage and loss. The entire response and recovery activities depend on how communication process is effective. There is need to develop diverse communication system to ensure that the emergency managers reach many people within the risk areas.
Awareness is an important factor during response and recovery phase. It is worth noting that people become aware of the disaster related issues through communication, meaning resolving communication problems will make people be aware of what is expected of them. The emergency mangers alone cannot handle the aftermath of disaster; this is because cooperation from the victims and other stakeholders is required. This is achieved through proper communication (Selves, 2003). As the emergency managers there are need to resolve communication process so as to increase the level of awareness making the entire phase achievable and successful. There are situations whereby those handling emergency calls do not comprehend the entire phase process, which may lead to delay of response. Resolving such communication problem will ensure that more lives are safest and emergency process move quickly.
Language barrier is one of the issues that should be focused on during emergency communication process. Resolving the issue of communication problems is inevitable to the emergency managers since it may hinder the rescue and recovery mission. Language barrier affects communication adversely (Shover, 2007). There are occasions whereby the emergency team does not understand the language of the victims; this means that the emergency program will not be efficient leading to more damages and loss of life. Communication during this phase is very crucial and therefore the problem needs to be resolved regardless of the situation.
The assumptions that emergency manages must understand is that after the disaster the communication infrastructure will be destroyed. This implies that the communication infrastructure that existed is out of service and could not help during this phase (Australian Government, 2002). Hence, there is need to resolve the communication problem in order to revive the rescue mission and recovery process. The emergency managers have to communicate to the government stakeholders; media, victims and emergency team after the disaster, but if there is no communication infrastructure in place it makes the process complex.
There are various ways that the emergency managers and other responsible agencies can do to overcome the communication problem. One of the ways is by ensuring that the emergency team receive proper training n various activities that are carried out during this phase. Disaster mergence management requires a lot of experience, skills and expertise in communicating, which is only achieved through proper training. The emergency managers also must put in place an emergency team that understands the native language spoken by the victims. During this phase the main focus is on the victim and the relevance of communications comes into play if the victims and emergency team understand each other (Horsley, 2012). In addition, the communication problem can also be overcome by using modern technologies that does not require physical infrastructure. After disaster the communication infrastructure will all be destroyed; hence, the only way to be successful is by using new ways of communication. The presence of mobile phones and internet could be very helpful during this phase. In fact, it will provide efficient communication in the entire phase.
The emergency managers must bring together all the stakeholders and develop and communication link. This is achieved by ensuring that in every agency involved in the phase should have a communication leader who can coordinate all the information. In most disasters, information is also distorted making the rescue mission complex. The emergency managers need to understand that during and after disasters obstacles related to communication are inevitable (Selves, 2003). Hence, for a successful disaster response and recovery, a plan should be developed to anticipate all communication failure, and at the same time account for various inaccessible communication channels. Advancing various modes of communication will solve various communication channels. The emergency management teams must be made aware of disaster communication plan before the disruptions of disasters. The plan should outline various logistics, expectations, as well as response alarm.
In general perspective, it is evident that one of the main challenges that the emergency managers will confront during the response phase of disaster is communication problem. Communication is simply a problem because disasters cause a lot of communication infrastructure, yet the entire phase depends on communication. Communication creates the link between different agencies and other stakeholders who have a responsibility tom undertake. Therefore, emergency managers must confront the issue of communication in order to facilitate quick and excellent response during the phase. The communication problem is a major challenge and should be resolved in one way or another. The solutions presented must eliminate all the possible barriers o effective communication during the phase.
Australian Government. (2002). Emergency management Australia: Recovery. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management. Series 10
Green, Walter G. III. 2001. “The State of the Local EOC: A Preliminary Study.” Journal of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners 8:71-8
Horsley, J. (2012). Planning for Spontaneity: The Challenges of Disaster Communication Fieldwork. International Journal of Emergency Management, 11(3), 180-194.
Selves, Michael D. 2003. “The Politics of Disaster: Principles for Local Emergency Managers and Elected Officials.” Journal of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners 10:77-82.
Shover, H. (2007). Understanding the Chain of Communication During a Disaster. International Journal of Emergency Management (1), 4-14.
WORTH, J. (2013). Emergency management. Entrepreneur, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 41(3), 72.