Seven Common Mistakes in Emergency Management Operations

There are seven common mistakes most managers most in emergency management operations.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified 7 common mistakes in managing emergency operations. No matter the industry you work in, knowing these common mistakes can help you avoid these common pitfalls when developing your emergency response.

1. Lack of viable disaster plan: Planning provides the foundation and blueprint for all emergency response actions. Managers should ensure plans are up to date and include accurate contact information.

2. Lack of disaster resources: Emergency managers must be aware of all the specialized resources that are available and their limitations. Improper use and designation of resources ranks high as a major complication in disaster operations.

3. Lack of visible leadership: As a disaster intensifies, fewer individuals will voluntarily step forward to assume a leadership role. Emergency managers should identify and assign leadership positions during the planning process. This will allow time for training and procedural familiarity.

4. Bad decisions make the situation worse: Emergency managers must have a comprehensive understanding of the emergency situation based on accurate information. They cannot allow ineffective response actions and misinformation to derail a response.

5. Trying to obtain too much information, while neglecting the information flow: Information flow, both incoming and outgoing, should be regulated and monitored frequently by the emergency manager to ensure the necessary and accurate information is being communicated.

6. Focusing on the insignificant: Identify the key issues and prioritize according to your response objectives.

7. Unknown Operations Staff: Identify key response personnel and resources before an incident occurs and understand individual capabilities and responsibilities.

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