While there are a number of models of the phases of emergency management, some that include the element of protection, for example, models typically include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. *
With regard to COVID -19, some communities may be in the response phase. They may still be battling high hospitalizations, rising positive cases and crippling closures. Others may be on the road to recovery with manageable hospitalizations, low positivity rates and more businesses opening safely. Unlike with hurricanes, floods, terrorist threats or other disasters, the line between response and recovery is not as clear for a pandemic like COVID-19. As we are hopefully headed to recovery, we must still keep expert recommendations in mind:
- Wash Hands Regularly
- Mask Up!
- Maintain Social Distance
- Follow the Guidelines of State and Local Authorities
For up-to-date information, please see Infectious Diseases Society of America – COVID-19 Resource Center, TDEM, and/or Office of the Texas Governer – Coronavirus Resources and Response.
* Prevention focuses on preventing human hazards, primarily from potential natural disasters or terrorist (both physical and biological) attacks. (ex. a COVID-19 vaccine)
Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action. (ex. an infectious disease response plan.)
Response is comprised of the coordination and management of resources (including personnel, equipment, and supplies) utilizing the Incident Command System in an all-hazards approach; and measures taken for life/property/environmental safety. The response phase is a reaction to the occurrence of a catastrophic disaster or emergency. (ex. testing, stimulus support, food programs, etc.)
Recovery consists of those activities that continue beyond the emergency period to restore critical community functions and begin to manage stabilization efforts. The goal of the recovery phase is to bring the affected area back to some degree of normalcy. (Ex. returning to work, planned re-openings, etc.)
Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters and emergencies. Mitigation involves structural and non-structural measures taken to limit the impact of disasters and emergencies. (ex. 14-day quarantine)