Despite the advancement in technology used for anticipating them, disasters still occur at the unexpected time. Mitigation, preparation and response measures, can determine the magnitude of impact when a disaster strikes. This is evidenced by the Hurricane Katrina that struck the United States a few years ago. It was one of the most devastating disasters ever recorded in the country. It proved that the lack of plans for dealing with disasters could be too costly, in terms of both fatalities and finances. Another example is the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company had a plan to respond to a ten times bigger spill off, but still failed. It was clear the company had overestimated its ability and under delivered. Therefore, public administrators and managers need to have realistic mitigation, preparation and response plans put in place and ready for tackling such disasters when they strike.


     Good mitigation, preparation and response plans, can determine the level of damage that results. It is due to the lack of such measures in the Hurricane Katrina period that so many people lost their lives while a lot of property was damaged. The first step is implementing appropriate mitigations measures, which are responsible for reducing disaster impact. One of them includes having evacuation measures to move people from the scene of the disaster. This can be fire escape routes in factories, backup generators in case of power outages and a safe place where people can take cover until the disaster subsides. In order to have good mitigations measures, the administrators and managers need to anticipate the kind of hazards that can occur depending on each disaster. For instance, a chemical spill would require having gas masks to protect the people within that area before evacuation (Kapucu 2013, 13).

     The next step in disaster and crisis management is the preparation phase where response measures are availed at the most accessible areas. Preparation includes readiness to tackle any disaster that comes along. Like mitigations, it also requires anticipating the kinds of disasters that can occur depending on the area (Fink 2013, 10). For instance, some areas are more prone to earthquakes than others are which would require the public administration to prepare adequately. Preparedness can increase the speed of response (Clements 2009, 1). In order to make this possible, the response teams must always be ready and aware of their responsibilities to avoid confusion during a disaster.

     The next stage is to create a response strategy, which defines the actions needed to prevent too much damage during a disaster. Such actions can include providing the basic amenities required to support affected people, medical emergencies, evacuations and ensuring safety of the residents. These actions help in ensuring that lives are not lost, and damage is minimal. In addition, they also include activities meant to restore the damaged areas. This can be rebuilding and repairing infrastructure. After response activities, it is essential to have recovery measures that ensure people have their lives back. These actions are heavily dependent on the mitigation and preparation measures (Schneider 2011, 5). For instance, the lack of mitigation could cause a lot of damage, which will require funds and time to make a response (Burke and Friedman 2011, 8).


    As discussed above, disasters can be unpredictable and hard to manage. In order to ensure minimal damages and loss of life, it is essential to have mitigations measures. These measures should anticipate the likely hazards depending on the area. Preparation measures should put the required infrastructure and facilities in place, as well as ensure a response team. Finally, the response actions represent the real actions taken after a disaster to minimize the damages, as well as restore an area. These phases of disaster and crisis management are very crucial in determining the impact a tragedy can have on people and the affected area. Implementing appropriate measures not only ensures minimal damages but also minimum loss of life.


Burke, Robert E., and Leonard H. Friedman. 2011. Essentials of management and leadership in public health. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Clements, Bruce. 2009. Disasters and public health: Planning and response. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Fink, Sheri. 2013. Five days at Memorial. New York: Crown Publishers.

Kapucu, Naim and Ozerdem, Alpasian. 2013. Managing emergencies and crises. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Schneider, Saundra K. 2011. Dealing with disaster: Public management in crisis situations. 2nded. Armonk: New York: M.E. Sharpe.

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