Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness
Q1: Discuss the challenges of using volunteers in disaster mitigation and the strategies for overcoming these challenges. How this applies to a recent disaster of your choice?
Q2: Why do public-private partnerships (PPP) matter in emergency management in general, and hazard mitigation in particular? Can you provide an explained example using COVID-19?
Q3: Why is the third sector needed in hazard mitigation? List the three major methods of enlisting a third sector entity. Provide examples for clarification.
Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness
Discuss the challenges of using volunteers in disaster mitigation and the strategies for overcoming these challenges. How this applies to a recent disaster of your choice?
No society is considered resistant to the destruction and defoliation resulting from a disaster, whether human-made or natural. When disasters occur, emergency management and voluntary agencies automatically mobilize (Klonner, Marx, Usón, Porto de Albuquerque & Höfle, 2016). Each entity has a significant obligation to guarantee a community’s victorious acknowledgement to and restoration from the disaster’s destruction. This paper aims to discuss some of the challenges encountered when using volunteers in hazard mitigation and preparedness and provide strategies for overcoming these challenges, using the COVID-19 pandemic as reference point.
Some of the challenges experienced when using volunteers include operational challenges, legal challenges and political and cultural challenges. While considering operational challenges,Studies indicate that the convergence of volunteers can be devastating, if not appropriately directed (Jacobsen,2020). For instance, the engagement of volunteers in managing the Covid-19 virus results in an increase of the spread of the virus since most of the volunteers lack proper operational equipment when handling infected individuals (Jacobsen,2020). By lacking the logistical autonomy, volunteers risk being more hindrance than assistance.
The other challenge encountered when using volunteers is legal challenges. The visibility of volunteers or political legitimacy, and volunteer-based organizations such as Virtual Operation Support Teams (VOSTs) are known to limit systematic integration into formal disaster management practices. Studies indicate that currently, there is no national procedure or approved measures to prepare for the control of unaffiliated volunteers throughout emergency periods (Klonner et al. 2016). Without precise national strategies involving emergency volunteers, there is no base for creating and launching efficient state education operations or an active volunteer preparation plan.
The covid-19 disaster necessitates volunteers to have the right knowledge and tools to enhance the operations of curving the spread of the virus. Nonetheless, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) are obliged to support hazard reduction endeavors by developing a program to train and educate administrators, the media, private entities and the overall public about the significance of productive effectiveness of volunteers in disaster reduction like in the case of the Covid-19 virus(Jacobsen,2020).
Conclusively, government bureaus are obliged to support mechanism, such as the Citizen Corps Council, to advance hazard alleviation by expanding and exploring volunteer ventures in association with primary responders such as the police and healthcare agencies.
Jacobsen, K. H. (2020). Will COVID-19 generate global preparedness? The Lancet, 395(10229), 1013-1014.
Klonner, C., Marx, S., Usón, T., Porto de Albuquerque, J., & Höfle, B. (2016). Volunteered geographic information in natural hazard analysis: a systematic literature review of current approaches with a focus on preparedness and mitigation. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 5(7), 103.