Disaster planning is never a certain process because some unforeseen hazards are likely to strike when least expected. In order to deal with this challenge, it is imperative to adopt an all-hazard approach in disaster management. This approach enables one to take the necessary precautionary measures, plan effectively, and develop efficient strategies of hazard management. In addition, it enables one to include multiple hazards in a single disaster management exercise. By so doing, all-hazard approach reduces the effects of disasters and facilitates the development of an efficient process of risk mitigation (Oliver, 2010). Some of the pitfalls of this approach include the tendency to deal with hazards that belong to different categories, over-emphasis on disasters that are unlikely to occur due to influence and the likelihood to deviate from the core focus of the approach when planning.
HVA is a process by which organizations and individuals determine the probability of hazards occurring and the method to be used in dealing with those hazards. The main components of this process include hazard identification, vulnerability assessment and risk analysis (Oliver, 2010). Some of the HVA tools include the Kaiser Permanente’s tool, ASHE for American hospital association and program guidelines for emergency management (Afshar, 2006). As it can be seen from the components, HVA is an important process because it facilitates hazard identification and determination of the strategy to be used in risk mitigation. In my locality, fire and flooding are the major hazards likely to strike at any given time. Although not much has been done at a community level to avert these hazards, the municipality has dug furrows that direct running water to the river beds. In addition, the municipality has circulated emergency cell phone numbers at various checkpoints for the members of the community to call in case of fire outbreak. These two measures are the most conspicuous ones in my locality.
Afshar, J. (2006). Defense strategies for protection of people & facilities against bio-terrorism: Strategy definition & risk analysis. Arlington, MA: James Afshar.
Oliver, C. (2010). Catastrophic disaster planning and response. Boca Raton: CRC Press.