|Community Emergency Preparedness: A Manual for Managers and Policy-Makers (WHO, 1999, 141 p.)|
|Chapter 4 Emergency planning|
The vulnerability assessment describes the vulnerability of a community and the effects of hazards and recommends certain actions. The potential problem analysis suggests some response and recovery strategies. It is now necessary to determine what resources can be applied.
A resource, as the term is used in this manual, is anything of value or use in emergency management, including people, training, equipment, facilities, materials, and money.
Why analyse emergency management resources?
There are a number of reasons for analysing emergency management resources. One is to ensure that possible preparedness, response, and recovery strategies can be supported by the appropriate resources. Another is to ensure that preparedness is coordinated. There are many possible preparedness strategies, and a number of organizations will potentially be involved. The act of analysing resources will provide these organizations with shared information and goals, and will lead to greater coordination without which many organizations may well be poorly or inappropriately prepared. It is also crucial to know which resources are available for use in emergencies and who is responsible for supplying them.
How to perform a resource analysis
In a resource analysis, the following questions are asked (in the order given):
· What are the possible or proposed strategies?
· What resources are required?
· What resources are available?
· Who is responsible for these resources?
· What is the difference between the requirements and availability?
· If there is a shortfall, who is responsible for correcting it?
· Is the use of the resources in this area cost-effective?
Resource requirements should be identified for preparedness, response, and recovery. The potential problem analysis will have suggested some strategies, and these should be listed along with resources necessary to support them. If the planning group can think of any more strategies that may be required they should write them down. A five-column table can be constructed using the following headings: Strategies, Resources required, Resources available, Difference, and Responsible organization. At this stage it is best not to reject suggested resources, but to write them down uncritically.
When some required resources have been listed, available resources should be identified. The expertise and knowledge of the planning group are invaluable in determining what is available.
The third part of the resource analysis is to determine the difference between what is required and what is available. If the resource is available or in place, responsibility for providing it should be noted. If the resource is not available, the following further questions should be asked:
· Who should be responsible for providing this resource?
· Will it have a significant effect on the hazard or vulnerability?
· Will it be cost-effective?
If resources are available that are not required, the following questions may be asked:
· Has the resource requirement been poorly described?
· Are time and money being spent on resources that are not required?
· How can the time and money be used better?
It may be worthwhile to discuss the benefit of possible additional resources and weigh this against the cost. Resource-sharing with other organizations or communities may be considered. If a decision is made to acquire additional resources, it should be justified in a rational way. Similarly, a decision to shed apparently unnecessary resources should also be justified.
Resources for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery may also be assessed by comparing what already exists with checklists of resources and strategies found useful elsewhere. However, it should be remembered that checklists are closed systems, meaning that they are finite and limited to the resources and strategies that have been found useful in some locations. Not all of the criteria will apply to a given community, and there may be gaps in the checklist as far as that community is concerned. Annex 3 contains checklists for emergency preparedness.