What is Emergency Response?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Emergency response is a term for a series of appropriate actions and precautions in the event of a disaster. No matter the type of catastrophe, proper emergency response can protect family members and even save lives. By having a full knowledge of the surroundings, keeping a supply of rescue goods, and having a detailed plan with household members, emergency response can allow peace of mind and better chance of safety in any situation.

One primary key to proper emergency response is being acquainted with the potential for natural and man-made disasters in the surrounding area. Check weather patterns and history to determine if the area is subject to wildfires, floods, mudslides, tidal waves or severe storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Be aware of the potential for earthquakes nearby, and if they are likely, nurture a basic understanding of where the fault lines run. Also be aware of any potential sources of man-made disasters in the local area. Chemical or nuclear plants can both cause problems in the event of leaks or spills.


Having determined the likely sources of a disaster, a good emergency repair plan can now be made. Take pains to ensure that residences are equipped with any necessary outbuildings that can provide protection during a disaster, such as tornado shelters. Make every person in the household aware of what to do during and immediately after an emergency occurs. Many disasters may cause cell phones to fail, so choose a meeting spot that is easily accessible and can be used as a check-in point for missing family members.

A first-aid kit is a vital part of any emergency response package. Bandages, antiseptic formula, sterile gauze, and basic pain medication should all be included. When possible, have back-up bottles of any chronically needed medications in the first aid kit. Be sure to replace these back-ups well before they expire. Blankets, warm clothing, and a spare pair of shoes can also be useful additions to a first-aid kit.

Food and clean water may become huge concerns if the aftermath of the disaster wears on for a while. Having a supply of canned goods, a can-opener, and sufficient water for at two weeks will be good preparation for most disasters. According to the American Red Cross, a sensible guide to how much water is needed is one gallon per person per day.

Consider investing in a solar-powered or hand-cranked radio. If the electricity is out for several days, this device allows listeners to get news updates on the situation and disaster relief efforts. An emergency response kit should also include several flashlights and batteries.

Emergency response allows people to act quickly and without panicking should an emergency occur. Knowing that plans have been made and supplies arranged can help take considerable worry and fear out of the process. By following emergency response procedures and listening carefully for any contact or orders from emergency personnel, you can ensure a better chance of safety and survival in any situation.


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