Emergency preparedness policy
Policy development in relation to emergency preparedness can be
broken down into principles, form, content, and process.
The emergency preparedness policy principles recognize the
· the rights of
individuals and collective rights;
· the nature of the hazards,
community, and vulnerability in the geographical area covered by the policy;
· existing related policies,
including development, health, and environmental policy;
· existing legislative and
· resource limitations;
· accepted emergency management
- the comprehensive approach;
- incorporating emergency preparedness into development
- developing emergency management capabilities at the community
- community participation in emergency preparedness;
upon existing emergency capabilities;
- the multisectoral and intersectoral
- public attitudes.
The form of emergency preparedness policy will vary both from
country to country and between provinces in a given country. Policy may consist
of community agreements, sectoral or intersectoral agreements, a provincial
government decision, a national government executive decision, or legislation.
The form should, however, maximize multisectoral participation. It is essential
to emergency preparedness that all relevant organizations and levels are
consulted to ensure joint commitment to community safety and well-being.
One process for emergency preparedness policy development is
· A decision is made
that policy is required and policy development is authorized.
· A qualified person (with a
knowledge of policy development and emergency preparedness) is selected as the
policy process manager.
· The policy process manager
analyses the environment, culture, and administration of the area under his or
· A multisectoral team is
selected to represent all of the organizations with an interest in emergency
· The policy process manager and
policy team consider the various emergency preparedness policy issues and
document their decisions.
· The decisions on policy
directions are publicized and debated in as many forums as possible.
· Final decisions on policy are
made and formalized by the appropriate authorities (national legislature,
national executive, provincial government, etc.).
· Policy is disseminated
The next section, on emergency management policy, covers some of
the options and questions on issues in emergency preparedness policy. It is
suggested that the policy process manager does not give these lists of options
and questions to the policy team. Rather, she or he should use them to prepare
for policy development within the specific country context. The issues are
summarized in the left-hand column of Table 1, with the recommended options
shown in the right-hand column.
These policy issues may create considerable discussion and even
disagreement among those responsible for emergency management, and countries and
communities can choose any of numerous options to address them. The issues are
detailed below, with options and discussion questions that can be used as a
guide to policy and planning