management sector illustrates how private—public coalitions are integral to community efforts to build resilience (Box 5.1).
Emergency Management and Unity of Effort to Increase Resilience
The following is extracted from the document “Principles of Emergency Management” (IAEM, 2007) and identifies some of the principles of emergency management that relate to the role of emergency managers as practitioners of risk management.
“Emergency managers ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of a community. In the early 1980s, emergency managers adopted the Integrated Emergency Management System (IEMS), an all-hazards approach to the direction, control and coordination of disasters regardless of their location, size and complexity. IEMS integrates partnerships that include all stakeholders in the community’s decision-making processes. IEMS is intended to create an organizational culture that is critical to achieving unity of effort between governments, key community partners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.
Unity of effort is dependent on both vertical and horizontal integration. This means that at the local level, emergency programs have to be integrated with other activities of government. For example, department emergency plans have to be synchronized with and support the overall emergency operations plan for the community. In addition, plans at all levels of local government ultimately have to be integrated with and support the community’s vision and be consistent with its values.
Similarly, private sector continuity plans have to take into account the community’s emergency operations plan. Businesses today are demanding greater interface with government to understand how to react to events that threaten business survival. Additionally, businesses can provide significant resources during disasters and thus may be a critical component of the community’s emergency operations plan. In addition, given the high percentage of critical infrastructure owned by the private sector, failure to include businesses in emergency programs could have grave consequences for the community.
In this sense of using coalitions to best advantage to increase disaster resilience, local emergency management programs also have to be aligned and synchronized with higher-level plans and programs in government. The need for this kind of synchronization is most noticeable in the dependence of local government on county, state and federal resources during a disaster [see below; also Chapter 6]. If plans have not been aligned and synchronized, allocation of resources may be delayed.
Integrating emergency management into daily decisions in the community is important so that critical decisions are not made only during times