Responders serve a critical role in emergency operations whether preserving lives, protecting property or providing other essential services. It is vital that you and your agency take the steps necessary to prepare and plan. By ensuring that agencies have properly outlined how they will support staff and responders ensuring that their families are safe and protected, full attention, without distractions, can be turned to the life-saving missions that support the community.
Considerations in an Emergency for Response Personnel:
- You may have special concerns as a single parent, pet owner, or care provider for a dependent loved one.
- Lack of preparedness at home will impact your ability to do your job effectively and safely.
- Your family members will likely have to survive on their own without you to make important decisions.
- Preparing with your family ahead of time will reduce stress and uncertainty on all of you in the event of an emergency.
- Working with your neighbors, relatives, and friends will improve your ability to care for your loved ones following a disaster.
- Families where both parents are responders have special circumstances. You will need to have a family support network that can care for your children, pets, property, dependents or those with special needs, and should notify their supervisor of their family situation.
- Communications with your loved ones may be difficult.
- You may be separated when an emergency occurs and may be unable to care for your family.
- You may be working in very stressful conditions for extended amounts of time.
- You may be required to work extra shifts without knowing where or how your family is.
- You may not know the condition of your home or other property.
Considerations for Agency’s Preparedness:
- Members may not respond if they are unsure of the safety of their families.
- Agencies should determine disaster policies and clearly communicate them to members so there is a clear understanding of what will occur.
- Past experience and recent studies have enforced the importance of organization sponsored programs for their members.