Broken Arrow Emergency Management's mission is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect our nation's critical infrastructure from all types of hazards, through a comprehensive emergency management program of risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery.
What does Emergency Management (E.M.) do?
Emergency managers prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond to them when they occur, help people and institutions recover from them, work to reduce future risk of losses and prevent disasters, when possible, from occurring in the first place.
The four phases of comprehensive emergency management are Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, Recovery. Each phase links to the others. Activities in one phase may overlap those in the previous. Preparedness moves swiftly into response when disaster strikes. Response yields to recovery at different times, depending on the extent and kind of damage. Similarly, recovery should help trigger mitigation, motivating attempts to prevent or reduce the potential for a future disaster. The disaster phases have no beginning or end, so recognition of a threat can motivate mitigation efforts as well as an actual emergency can.
Mitigation includes activities that eliminate or reduce the chance of occurrence or the effects of a disaster. FEMA pre-disaster mitigation programs have shown that communities can do a lot to prevent major emergencies or disasters from affecting them negatively. If communities cannot prevent disasters, they can at least reduce the damaging impact. For example, requiring roof reinforcements will reduce damage from hurricane winds. Preventing new construction in floodplains or placing structures on columns in them can reduce the chance of flooded homes.
Preparedness is planning how to respond when an emergency or disaster occurs and working to marshal the resources to respond effectively. These activities help save lives and minimize damage by preparing people to respond appropriately when an emergency is imminent or hits. To respond properly, a jurisdiction must have a plan for response, trained personnel to respond, and necessary resources with which to respond.
Response is the third phase of emergency management and covers the period during and immediately following a disaster. During this phase, public officials provide emergency assistance to victims of the event and try to reduce the likelihood of further damage. The Broken Arrow Fire Department, Police Department, Rescue Squads, and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) units are first (primary) responders. The City's Public Works Department supplements first responders with support resources.
Recovery is the fourth and final phase of the emergency management cycle. It continues until all systems return to normal or near-normal operation. Short-term recovery restores vital life-support systems to minimum operating conditions. Long-term recovery may go on for months-even years-until the entire disaster area returns to its previous condition or undergoes improvement with new features that are less disaster-prone. For example, a town can relocate portions of its flood-prone community and turn the area into open space or parkland. This illustrates how recovery can provide opportunities to mitigate future disasters.