Emergencies or disasters can affect anybody at any time or place. Thousands of people are often disrupted by these disasters every year. The effects from the disasters can have long term, short term or intermittent consequences to individuals and communities at large. Some disasters, like hurricanes, tsunamis and tornadoes, come with warnings and people have time to prepare for them. Although people will be ready for it, they may not always be able to predict the intensity with which the disasters will occur. The unpredictable disasters like fire, earthquakes, terrorist attacks and crashes often occur without warning. It is therefore necessary for communities and authorities alike to be prepared. This will reduce the impact of the disasters greatly in the communities as it helps reduce both material and human losses.
Though many local authorities have come up with emergency operation strategies to help them respond to disasters, they still have a long way to go to be efficient. During any disaster, such as a flood, there are some important activities that should happen both efficiently and quickly. Some of those things are; search and rescue, assessing the situation on the ground, taking people to safety as well as, opening shelters for people who may be displaced. At the same time, phone service providers are swamped with telephone calls from people who need help or information. All these things require a good strategy for them to go off without a problem and effectively.
As Rogge writes, "in today's globally connected world, a region or nation no longer has to face an emergency alone." (Rogge, 1992). This is very important since no country is ever fully prepared. He also adds, "When preparations are made beforehand, it strengthens the position of the community to respond." (Rogge, 1992). Local authorities should therefore identify resources, make guidelines, and establish rules and a system of implementation to make their responses more effective, comprehensive and timely. The implementation plans are bound to be the basis of the area and will lead to coordination across all sectors. It is essential to include a budget, education and public awareness of the provisions available.