Public and private organizations that are responsible for the organized analysis, planning, decision making, assignment and coordination of available resources involved in the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and/or relief/recovery from a major disaster or large-scale emergency that disrupts the normal functioning of a community. These organizations have a formal role in developing overall emergency policy within their jurisdictions; establish coordination with other agencies active in disaster situations; develop action plans for emergency response; coordinate facilities, services, personnel, equipment and materials that are required before, during and immediately following an incident; and/or are involved in disaster relief and recovery activities.
Activities, programs and systems developed prior to an emergency that support community readiness and resiliency assessment; development and testing of disaster plans; training of staff in plan implementation; establishment of collaborative arrangements with other services; provision of suitable warning systems; identification, procurement and/or collection of the facilities, equipment, supplies and trained personnel that will be necessary for responding to an emergency; and development and dissemination of information and/or training about how individuals and organizations can prepare for a major disaster or large-scale emergency that disrupts the normal functioning of a community.
Programs that provide services which enable individuals and organizations to make physical preparations prior to a disaster or large-scale emergency which will prevent or reduce loss of life, personal injury and destruction of or damage to property when an incident actually occurs. Mitigation includes any activities that prevent or reduce the chance of an emergency occurring or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies.
Programs that issue alerts, advisories and warnings to inform the public of an impending event such as a major fire, flood, hurricane or tornado which has the potential to cause loss of life, personal injury, property destruction or damage and wide-spread community disruption. Disaster warnings may include safety instructions for people who are likely to be affected by the event, may communicate information about measures, such as curfews, that the authorities have taken to minimize the effects of the incident, and may provide crucial information about the status of the physical environment (e.g., roads and bridges that are impassable) following the event.
Organizations that are responsible for taking actions before, during and after the onset of a major disaster or large-scale emergency that will end the emergency, preserve lives, limit damage, ensure the availability of critical services and reduce the probability of secondary effects.
Programs that facilitate the exchange of information and/or provide short-term assistance, usually in the form of food, clothing, blankets, temporary shelter, furnishings, small appliances or temporary financial aid, for people who have suffered injuries or incurred losses due to a major disaster or large-scale emergency that disrupts the normal functioning of a community. The objective of disaster relief is to help individuals sustain their lives during the immediate aftermath of the event. NOTE: "Disaster Relief" is a category of services utilized by community human services agencies involved in disaster work. Government organizations do not recognize disaster relief as a formal part of the disaster cycle. Most of the services classified as disaster relief are considered by government to be part of disaster recovery and a few (e.g., disaster welfare inquiries) are categorized as disaster response.
Programs that provide longer-term assistance for people who have suffered injuries or incurred losses due to a major disaster or large-scale emergency that disrupts the normal functioning of a community with the objective of facilitating the return of the community to its pre-disaster condition and/or rebuilding the community in a way that makes it less vulnerable in the future.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.