NIMS Medical/Public Health Components and Disaster Responses
All countries across the world face innumerable threats that culminate to extensive health consequences. Such threats include terrorist attacks, natural disasters and disease outbreaks. Preparation and response to these threats call for cooperation and commitment amongst all society, international partners, government, and private sector segments. The National Health Security Strategy (NHSS) facilitates in the galvanization of frantic efforts aimed at minimizing health consequences related to health incidents. NHSS was established after consultations with stakeholders with representatives from tribal, community-based organizations, academia, private-sector firms, as well as federal, territorial, state and local government (Anderson, 2002).
Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) aims at supporting first responders and citizens in ensuring the U.S. builds, sustains and bolsters its capacity in protection against, response towards, recovery from as well as mitigation of all threats. FEMA was formed in 1979 after President Carter signed an executive order creating it. It is predicated upon a survivor-centric mission. FEMA coordinates the role of federal governments in preparation, prevention and mitigation of the impacts of, response to as well as recovery from every domestic disaster, whether man-made or natural, including terror acts. The 1803’s Congressional Act was the first disaster legislation that sought to provide assistance to a town in New Hampshire that was gutted by fire.
Logistics management involves the planning, preparation, implementation and evaluation process for every logistic function that supports an activity or operation. Managing logistics effectively ensures that all these functions are done in some unified manner that reduce costs, reduce delivery time as well as provide the requisite logistics sub-functions and functions. Activities relating to management of disaster logistics are important in addressing any disaster. In disaster logistics, material management entails ordering, requisitioning, asset visibility, deployment, disposition, reutilization, security and resource tracking. Logistics personnel have appropriate cost-effective and time-sensitive ways that fill requirements that the operation personnel develop.
Disaster logistics involve personal property accountability through acquisition channels and mission assignment. The logistics department assists in sourcing and processing. They maintain records of supplies and disaster management equipment. Logistics planning, implementation, preparedness and evaluation are essential in disaster operations. Base logistics facilitate rapid response to disaster. Disaster events trigger establishment of some disaster organizations. Disaster logicians focus mostly only on preparation of goods to be deployed. They also anticipate the initial requirements and participate in the decision-making meetings. They also establish coordination and communications with federal logicians and track assets movement.
Proper deployment of resources needs suitable utilization of apt resource management fundamentals, concepts and principles for timely response towards incidents, emergency and disaster management phases. Fortunately, FEMA has a designated an Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS), which assists the users to effectively and properly identify. Moreover, inventory resources are used in joint aid operations premised on every response time, resource capabilities and mission requirements availability. Appropriate inventory management require information sharing with the related agencies. Again, IRIS 5.0 happens to be very user-friendly. This assists people in estimating, typing, as well as inventorying supply capabilities in harmony with the established and elaborate NIMS concepts and principles. Such inventory systems assist in typed resources acquisition.
Personnel credentialing involves objective documentation as well as the evaluation of individual’s degrees or license, experience and even training and proficiency. In addition, personnel credentialing also entails aptitude and even current certification to meet up the nationally recognized standards. This helps them to offer certain services and functions as well as execute particular tasks in explicit circumstances for definite disaster incidents. For National Incident Management system (NIMS) reasons, personnel credentialing is considered as the administrative process, which enables personnel qualifications validation to provide authorization required in specific functions execution with admittance during disaster incidents requiring the needed mutual aid. NIMS documents the bare minimum certification, education, qualifications, professional standards, and training crucial standards for fastidious emergency response situation.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
EOC is the central control and command facility responsible for executing emergency preparedness principles, disaster management and emergency management functions in strategic levels in all emergencies. It ensures operation continuity of an organization. As the important element in disaster management, the EOC provides strategic overview for incidents and catastrophes. Unfortunately, the EOC does not manage and direct field assets overtly and unswervingly. Instead, it assists in operational decision-making. The EOC does leave strategic decisions for subordinate commands to implement. EOCs assist and facilitate in fighting disasters through addressing the tactical dimensions involved. The primary EOC functions are to collect and make decisions, analyze gathered data, which protect assets, possessions and life as well as maintain directorial stability within the relevant pertinent laws scope. It then disseminates the decisions to concerned individuals and agencies. EOC Grant Program helps in the provision of funding towards the bolstering of emergency management as well as preparedness capabilities through support of fully interoperable, strategically located, secure, flexible and secure EOCs that address identified needs and deficiencies.
ICS 206, Medical Plan
ICS 206 Medical Plan avails information on various aspects. This includes information relating to health aid stations, dispensaries, hospitals, emergency procedures, as well as transportation services. Medical unit leaders set up ICS 206. Afterwards, the Safety Officer goes through this health plan with the intent of ensuring that there is an elaborate ICS coordination strategy. In the event that aviation services are obligatory for rescue purposes, it assist in coordination and air operations synchronization. ICS 206, Medical Plan is again duplicated (Chandra, 2011).
This plan is then attached together with ICS 202, which is Incident Objectives. This Medical Plan is given to every receiver as Incident action Plan (IAP) component. Information from the Medical Plan concerning to the event aid stations and disaster procedures are noted on ICS 204, Assignment List. All the complete aboriginal forms are given to Documentation Unit after completion. The ICS 206 functions like the IAP part and may even include multiple pages.
It is undisputable to note that emergency preparedness as well as response by the state is influenced by the existing federal structures and policies. Concerted federal efforts that are mandated by presidential directives and legislation have established the frameworks that help in provision and coordination of emergency assistance especially to tribal, local and state governments. In combating disaster, proper management of humanitarian logistics remains fundamental. NHSS as a comprehensive national strategy that focuses on protection of people’s health after an emergency should liaise with FEMA as a federal strategy in combating disasters.
- Anderson, C. V. (2002). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
- Chandra, A. (2011). Building community resilience to disasters: A way forward to enhance national health security. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
- Huder, R. C. (2012). Disaster operations and decision making. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.