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The mission of the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is dealing with the strategic organizational management processes used to protect critical assets of an organization from hazard risks that can cause disasters or catastrophes, and to ensure their continuance within their planned lifetime. Assets are categorized as either living things, non-living things, cultural or economic. Hazards are categorized by their cause, either natural or human-made. The entire strategic management process is divided into four fields to aid in identification of the processes. The four fields normally deal with risk reduction, preparing resources to respond to the hazard, responding to the actual damage caused by the hazard and limiting further damage (e.g., emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), and returning as close as possible to the county before the hazard incident. The field occurs in both the public and private sector, sharing the same processes, but with different focuses. Emergency Management is a strategic process, and not a tactical process, thus it usually resides at the Executive level in an organization. The office serves as an advisory or coordinating function to ensure that all parts of an organization are focused on the common goal. Effective Emergency Management relies on a thorough integration of emergency plans at all levels of the organization, and an understanding that the lowest levels of the organization are responsible for managing the emergency and getting additional resources and assistance from the upper levels.
The four phases of Emergency Management are:
Mitigation efforts are attempts to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether or to reduce the effects of disasters. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases in that it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk. Futher information about Mitigation can be found on the OEM Hazard Mitigation Planning page by clicking here.
Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluation and improvement activities to ensure effective coordination and the enhancement of capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.
The response phase includes the mobilization of the necessary emergency services and first responders in the disaster area. This is likely to include a first wave of core emergency services, such as firefighters, police and ambulance crews.
The aim of the recovery phase is to restore the affected area to its previous state. It differs from the response phase in its focus; recovery efforts are concerned with issues and decisions that must be made after immediate needs are addressed. Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, re-employment, and the repair of other essential infrastructure. Efforts should be made to "build back better", aiming to reduce the pre-disaster risks inherent in the community and infrastructure.