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Fire Station Buddies, Inc.
Po Box 879
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
[email protected]

Frequent Natural Disasters Influence
the Need for Emergency Preparation

As disasters – natural or man-made – are more frequent than ever, the need for emergency management grows steadily.  Earthquakes, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, terrorist activities, hurricanes, all produce the need for the public to be served by both local emergency management personnel and FEMA personnel. These people have a two-fold function: (1) To instruct the public on self-preparedness, such as having a disaster kit and storage area and (2) to actually respond and manage natural disasters and emergencies when they occur.

Emergency Management has it beginnings in the early 1940s, when World War II was just becoming a full-fledged global conflict. President Franklin D. Roosevelt developed the Civil Defense Department of the US Government to act as an emergency management and information agency. The people of the Civil Defense Department would advise the public on emergency supplies that should be kept on hand, as well as other aspects of preparation and behavior in an emergency.  During the Cold War of the late 1950s and 1960s, the CDD emergency management included developing drills and for how to handle a nuclear attack and advising school children about how to behave in the event of such an attack. The CDD also developed and distributed complete information on bomb shelters, how to make one, how to stock it with emergency supplies, providing information on local emergency management agencies in the event of such an attack and other forms of preparedness and awareness.

Today, the field of Emergency Management (EM) has become a full-fledged individual profession, with degrees available from 180 colleges and universities and 100 more higher learning institutions considering adding EM degrees to their catalogs.

Of course, many of the first-responder professionals in the field -- fire fighters, policemen and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTS), feel that the only way to really learn how to manage emergency situations and preparedness is to volunteer and work with professionals. Participating in exercises that allow skills to be used and tested is the best way to find out if a plan will be successful or not. The entire family can participate and learn valuable lessons.