Emergency Management Agency (EMA)
The Pacific EMA’s primary goal is to support citizens and emergency personnel to build, sustain, and improve local capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. We are integrated with the Pacific Police Department and are both supported by, and support, other City departments. Through common, collaborative planning with other local and Counties first responder agencies and non-governmental organizations (e.g. MVR-III, Tri-County Community Senior Center, local businesses) EMA maintains a pre-defined Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and administers the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). We implement the four phases of emergency management in order to be better prepared in the event of a disaster.
Mitigation refers to measures that reduce the chance of an emergency happening or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. This is achieved through risk analysis, which results in information that provides a foundation for typical mitigation measures to include establishing building codes, zoning requirements, and constructing barriers such as levees. Effective mitigation efforts can break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. Mitigation also creates safer communities by reducing loss of life and property damage. For
example, the rigorous building standards adopted by 20,000 communities across the country are saving the nation more than $1.1 billion a year in prevented flood damages. It allows individuals to minimize post-flood disaster disruptions and recover more rapidly.
Preparedness activities increase a community’s ability to respond when a disaster occurs. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) defines preparedness as "a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response." Typical preparedness measures include developing mutual aid agreements and memorandums of understanding, training for both response personnel and concerned citizens, conducting disaster exercises to reinforce training and test capabilities, and presenting all-hazards education campaigns. Unlike mitigation activities, which are aimed at preventing a disaster from occurring, personal preparedness focuses on preparing equipment, i.e. emergency supply kit and procedures for use when a disaster occurs, i.e. emergency planning.
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. One of the first response tasks is to conduct a situation assessment. Local government is responsible for emergency response and for continued assessment of its ability to protect its citizens and property within the community. To fulfill this responsibility, responders and local government officials must conduct an immediate rapid assessment of the local situation. Response actions may include activating the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), execution of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), evacuating threatened populations, opening shelters and providing mass care, emergency rescue and medical care, firefighting, and urban search and rescue. Response begins when an emergency event is imminent or immediately after an event occurs. Response encompasses the activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident. A well-rehearsed emergency plan developed as part of the preparedness phase enables efficient coordination of resources. Response actions carried out immediately before, during, and after a hazard impact are aimed at saving lives, reducing economic losses, and alleviating suffering.
The goal of recovery is to return a community to normal or near-normal conditions. Recovery 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. They are primarily concerned with actions that involve the restoration of basic services and the repair of physical, social and economic damages. Typical recovery actions include debris cleanup, financial assistance to individuals and governments, rebuilding of roads, bridges and key facilities, as well as sustained mass care for displaced human and animal populations. Individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public assistance programs are available to assist in long-term recovery, which can sometimes take years.