Emergency Management: Meaning, Types And Appropriate Responses

Social Studies

Topic: Emergency Management

Table Of Contents

1. Meaning Of Emergency
2. Meaning Of Emergency Management
3. Types Of Emergency Management In Nigeria
4. Appropriate Responses To Emergency Management

Meaning Of Emergency

Emergency is an unplanned event that can cause sudden death or significant injuries to employees, customers, or to the public; or that can shut down business organization, disrupt operation, cause physical and environmental damage or threaten the facilities, financial standing or public image.

Emergency events include terrorist attacks, industrial sabotage, fire, drowning, building collapse, food poisoning, fake drugs. Others include; earthquake, tsunami, severe weather conditions, public disorder, industrial accidents, communication failure and loss, corruption in critical government machinery, etc.

Meaning Of Emergency Management

Emergency Management can be defined as the order and expertise of applying science, technology, technology, planning, supervision and management to deal with extreme event (natural and man-made) that can kill or injure or destroy large numbers of people, do extensive damage to life and property.

On the other hand, Emergency Management means the discipline of avoiding and dealing with both natural and man-made disasters. It involves the following in order to reduce the impact of the disasters:

1. Preparedness
2. Response
3. Recovery Plans Made

1. Preparedness: This is the ability to do something, being ready or willing to do something before an event takes place. Preparedness training may be done by private or public organization such as Red Cross, Julius Berger Company or by the State Agency as in FERMA; NEMA etc.

2. Response: has to do with the ability of the agencies concerned to act promptly to emergency distress calls, and acting on time with the equipment and manpower needs such expert in the area of the disaster management including medical teams and social workers.

3. Recovery Plans involve the team and movement of the affected people to safer places such as medical centres, relief camps, etc. All aspects of disaster management deals with the processes used to protect the population or organization from the consequences of natural and man-made disasters such as wars, acts of terrorism, flooding, accidents, building collapse, political disturbances and the likes.

4. Mitigation: This involves putting in place preventive measures to avoid repetition of the same or similar emergency incident. It aims at achieving reductions of damage doen or avoidance of further loss.

The National Strategic House and Security Details on how individuals and varying levels of government can respond to different phases of disasters in Nigeria. The flood disaster which occured in Nigeria in 2012, sweeping away human lives, animals, crops, houses was comprehensively managed by all those concerned, etc. All the three levels of government in Nigeria were adequately involved in the management of the disasters.

Types Of Emergency Management In Nigeria

Emergency, as earlier discussed is an unplanned event that brings about surprises in the individual and his surroundings. Types of Emergency Management among others include;

1. Accident Emergency Management

This is an unpleasant event that happens unexpectedly and causes injury or death or both. Accidents can occur anywhere, anytime. Places where accidents can occur are:

1. Road
2. Air
3. Marine
4. Bush or Forest
5. Home
6. Factory
7. School

All accident cases require quick intervention to help out the injured to a safer place and the dead to the appropriate place. Contacts should be made with the appropriate persons –Federal Road Safety Corps in the case of road accidents, Fire Service Department, in the case of fire and other related events. Under the new guidelines, all persons in public transportation system passing from one local government area to the other must enter their particulars in the bus manifest. This, with the information contained in the hand-set, and that of the National Identity Card could help to get in touch with next of kins of accidents victims.

2. Fire Emergency Management

Fire refers to flames, light, heat and also the smoke produced when something or object is burnt. Fir outbreak can occur anywhere, anytime. Therefore, it is imperative to know the sources through which fire can come such as, matches, naked light, from stove, gas cooker, bush burning, lightning and thunder, electric faults, auto mobile crash, petrol tankers, etc, are examples.

Fire Emergency Management

Minor fire outbreaks could be put out with these elements:

1. Solid Container (not plastic) used to cover the fire to prevent it from having contact with air or oxygen.

2. Sand could also be used to put out the flames.

3. Pour detergent powder into a bowl of water and spray it out on the fire.

An individual that got engulfed by fire should roll himself on the ground, to immediately stop the body from burning. He should be moved to a medical centre for proper treatment.

Big Fire Outbreaks

Oblige, yourself to a safer place and raise alarm to attract neighbours. Make contact with fire service centres or stations, the Police, Civil Defence and other bodies that can help or could be contacted, mentioning correctly the direction to the place of the fire and the name of the place.

General Caution

1. Always put away mat boxes out of the reach of Children and others who carelessly pay or strike matches.

2. Watch out for adulterated kerosene before pouring into the stove.

3. Keep your stove in order always.

4. Put fire extinguishers where one could easily reach them in case there is fire outbreak.

5. Do not store or keep petrol or any inflammable liquid around your premises.

6. Switch off all electrical appliances before going out or going to bed.

7. Repair faulty electrical points such as lamp holders, switches, wall sockets, etc.

8. Do not erect buildings or shops under electric poles or wires. It is dangerous to do so.

3. Drowning Management

Drowning has to do with death as a result of being under the water for too long and cannot breath.

Places where drowning can occur are:

1. Underground water tanks
2. Man-made lakes such as ponds, dams.
3. Deep wells
4. Streams
5. Rivers
6. Lakes
7. Seas
8. Oceans
9. Swimming polls

To Avoid Drowning

1. Do not go under the water unless you can swim very well.

2. Use safety devices while swimming.

3. While making a trip through water bodies, use safety devices

4. When someone drowns, only good swimmers, divers or frogmen should go in search of the person under the water.

5. Departments, Agencies, stations that have underwater equipment should be contacted anytime one has fallen into a deep well, lake, sea, ocean etc.

6. The Police should be contacted.

7. Adhere strictly to the instructions on using water bodies such as streams, rivers, seas, oceans, etc.

Instruments Or Materials Used By Marine Transporters

1. Marine vessels
2. Life jackets
3. Life preservers
4. Life belt
5. Life vest
6. Flippers.

4. Building Collapse

Building collapse in the recent times has become a source of great concern to the entire people in the world. A building is a structure such as a house or school, church, etc, that has a roof and walls.

Building collapse therefore is the sudden falling down and breaking apart of a building structure, house or church.

Causes Of Building Collapse In Nigeria

1. Building without proper planning.

2. Building at wrong places.

3. Building with expired and wrong building materials such as cement and rods.

4. Use of unqualified civil engineers, mason, brick-layer. etc.

5. Indiscipline and corruption in the society. Many rich people in Nigeria, take advice from their money. Only their money can tell them what they will accept. Money is also used to bribe their ways into government departments and a square peg is used for a round hole. Indiscipline and corruption are at the core of building collapses in Nigeria.

6. Not adhering to existing information guidelines on ground.

7. Over commercialization of land spaces in urban and semi-urban areas.

8. Conversion of originally built bungalows into storey buildings without proper feasibility study.

Building Collapse Management

1. Since everything in building collapse is sudden, all the people should be at alert and listen to the experts who are engaged in the rescue operation in collapse building.

2. The affected areas should be cordoned-off to ward off intruders into the area, and to ensure effective rescue operation.

3. The army, police, civil defense fire fighters, red cross, medical team, social workers, etc, should be contacted immediately, they should bring along them ambulances, evacuation vehicles, caterpillars, searcj equipments, etc.

4. Public address systems should be available to inform people in the area on what is expected of them and how to behave.

5. The injured should be sent to the nearest medical centre for adequate medical attention.

6. Those trapped under the building could be helped by making opening through which oxygen can get into the area where they are trapped.

7. It is only experts in building collapse that should be allowed to handle the search and evacuation.

5. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning occurs when poisonous or contaminated substances are swallowed or absorbed into the body through food. Food poisoning is better managed by medical experts than by the traditional healers or prayers houses who see only evil attack from enemies.

Anytime food poisoning is suspected, move the individual or victims to the nearest medical centre with the left-over meal or drink or liquid. Administering any unscientific concoction may compound the case or problem.

Safety Measures

To reduce the high risk of food poisoning, safety measures in the home and public places must be adhered to. Such safety measures among others include:

1. Avoid eating stale and poorly cooked food.

2. Avodi dirty and infected items.

3. Look out for expiring dates on processed or canned food drinks and medicines, before consuming some food.

4. Develop good table habits.

5. Avoid eating food in unhygienic environments.

6. Fruits should be thoroughly washed before eating.

7. Wash your hands with soap and water before putting anything into your mouth.

8. Always keep the kitchen and toilets clean. Also wash the cooking utensils.

9. Avoid eating unripe or over riped fruits.

10. Avoid eating anything in the streets.

11. Sweep the home apartments anytime it is dirty, and make sure there is general cleaning in the home once in a week.

Food should be properly planned and eaten. It should be mixed and varied.

6. Fake Drugs

Fake drugs are chemical substances that are not genuine. Fake drug often appear to be something which they are not. They are harmful, illegal and should be rejected. Fake drugs are substandard drugs that have done more harm than good in Nigeria.

Many have been sent to their untimely graves, some maimed for life, while others have countless symptoms of ill-health that cannot be identified or isolated through medical diagnosis.

Management Of Fake Drugs

Fake Drugs can be managed through:

1. Trace the fake drugs to the source of manufacture.

2. Destroy all those that have entered into the market and homes.

3. People should be given the names of the medicine they take and educated on how they can know the fake ones.

4. Encourage people to take natural fruits such as pawpaw, orange, guava, mango, water melon, etc.

5. Green leaf vegetables are very good in cleansing, such as utazi, uziza, broad leave pumpkin, etc.

6. Use of Pharmaco Vigilant Text Code By NAFDAC: Most standardized and genuine medicines like LONART DS has pin, Text the 12 digits pin to 38353 for free. You should get an SMS reply shortly. The reply could be “OK genuine” or “fake do not use”.

7. Production, sale and distribution of fake drugs is prohibited by the law. NDLEA, NAFDAC, Police, Customs, etc, should sit up against fake and substandard drugs, because who knows who would be going next victim to be claimed by poisonous substances.

8. Patronage by members of the public spur the fake drug manufacturers or distributors to continue to produce. Fake drugs are everywhere in Nigeria – At the patent medicine store, pharmacy shops, open market, luxury bus terminals, motor parks. Even in some churches, these fake substances are advertised, sold and bought.

As a matter of life and death, buyera should avoid stores, people, companies, etc., whose stock-in-trade is production, distribution and sale of fake and illicit drugs or medicines.

Strong campaigns should be used to stop the nefarious activities of these enemies of the society. The print media, grassroots organizations, civil society organizations, traditional institutions, etc, could be effectively used in this regard.

Appropriate Responses To Emergency Management

For efforts and planning in Emergency Management to be meaningful and worthwhile, there must be:

1. Adequate funding to establish and ealry warning signals, focused on emergency cases of accidents, fire, drowning, building collapse, food poisoning, fake drugs, etc. This would yield good results.

2. Establishment of a regulatory agency to enforce environmental laws, monitor building construction compliance, conduct environmental audits and impact assessments, and set up standards.

Appropriate Response To Emergency

In specific terms, emergency situation requires that people, both the victims who are strong enough, and passers-by or observers quickly make themselves availbale to render necessary assistance.

First aid treatment should be applied on the injured or wounded in most cases. The right agency that should offer professional service must be consulted immediately.

Police in addition to any other emergency agency, may be contacted where need be.

The appropriate agency communicated to intervene must ensure that it is adequately prepared to save the situation by ensuring availability of functional equipment/materials. There should be, in certain emergency cases, total clean up, to ensure the resumption and sustenance of normal activities.

Appropriate responses will remove wastes. Wastes in human and material resources. A lot is lost in carelessly handling of issues of great concern in Nigeria. Departments are created without adequate manpower and equipment necessary for the units.

For example, fire service stations exist in name – no motor vehicles to convery water, where water exists no motor, where the equipment exists, no qualified man-power.

Inappropriate responses create environmental hazards that retard growth and development.

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