I chose hurricanes that affect the state of Georgia for this week’s discussion and application. The elements that I would include in the contingency plan would include much more that can be captured in a discussion post. I will, however, highlight the concepts of operations that I find the most crucial elements. There are three key elements that are crucial to an effective contingency plan to keep the community and government operating effectively.
I chose this element to reduce the number of people that will need assistance post-storm. If there is an incoming storm that is predicted to cause harm to the local community, evacuating those located in the path will assist in the recovery operations. A logistical challenge for this aspect is going to be transportation and the routes of evacuation. The sheer number of people utilizing the same routes can cause issues with roadways and congestion. But, given enough warning and preparedness training I believe evacuations can be very helpful during a catastrophic situation. I would address this challenge by ensure very clear markings and utilizing the law enforcement/volunteers to keep the community in the know. The more information and knowledge the community possess the less confusing an evacuation would be. Stationing police/fire department at all the major intersections to direct traffic. Or positioning signs that clearly direct the safe route effectively.
This is a crucial element due to the positive impact it can have on the community and their ability to remain resilient during disastrous events. FEMA (2013) lists this as Phase I of their concept of operations in their Contingency Plan Template. By providing training and pre-planning for a hurricane, the behavior of the community will be more effective and proactive in dealing with storms. They will be able to protect their property and their families if they understand the plans and their purpose. A logistical challenge with this is funding. Some states are short on funding that would provide the training necessary to be impactful. One way to avoid this issue is to plan for these training operations and adjust the state’s budget requests accordingly. Additionally, utilizing federal programs that already possess funding will relieve some of the funding burdens.
This portion of the plan is imperative for any hurricane plan. The civil engineers that are involved with repairing the community need to be considered in the plan in detail. There will be a more resilient government in continuing operations post-storm if this portion of the plan in laid out specifically. Teams such as, electricians, power production, structures, heavy equipment operators, clean-up crews, will respond to the infrastructure issues immediately. Coordination of the number of people and resources can be a logistical challenge as well. In Oct 2016, 36,000 Georgians lost power and debris covered roadways and bridges making the conditions unsafe for travel (The Weather Channel, 2013). It takes an army of civil engineers to mend the entire community post-storm. The coordination of these teams is a difficult feat to ensure the communities continuation of operations in an efficient fashion. The challenge of coordinating the teams can again be relieved with information and knowledge. Practicing the plans and offering the information to those who will be responding will eliminate confusion. Prepositioning teams within areas of operation will assist in the response effort as well. Sectioning the community off will also assist in directing the volunteer force.
FEMA. (2013). Contingency Plan Template. Retrieved on 3 January 2017 from https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1386609058805- b084a7230663249ab1d6da4b6472e691/COOP-Planning-Template.pdf
The Weather Channel. (2013). Evacuations Ordered in Southeastern Georgia: ‘Do Not Expect Us to Be There to Help You’. Retrieved on January 4, 2017 from https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/hurrican…
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