Running head: MITIGATION MEASURES FOR THE UNIVERSITY 11
Disaster Mitigation for the University
Quintin C. Strawder
Dr. Jeffery Fox
25 September 2021
Table of Contents Risk Mitigation Measures for the University 3 Mitigation overview 3 Enabling and guiding policies and legislation 3 Legislation 3 Emergency guiding policies 4 The role of the locals, state, and federal government in mitigating disasters 5 Stages in risk assessment process 7 Risk analysis and mitigation strategies 7 Risk assessment tools 8 Mitigation measures for meteorological, hydrological, geological, and human risks 8 Meteorological 8 Hydrological 9 Geological risks 9 Human risks 9 Fitting Continuity of Operations Planning into cycle 9 References 10
Mitigation is efforts put in place to reduce the loss of life and/or properties by minimizing the impact of the disaster and emergencies. It is hard to predict emergencies and disasters with certainty; therefore, organizations tend to come up with mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the tragedy in case it happens (Abbott, 2008). There are two broad categories of mitigation measures that include structural and non-structural mitigation measures which limit the impact of the event of the disaster. Risks or emergencies common to universities include outbreaks of fire, earthquakes, and human accidents such as the collapse of the building and human made risks such as mass shootings. To have successful mitigation management, it is essential to ensure that the plan includes all possible activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the probability of emergency occurrence, and minimize the impact of the complex that the organization cannot avoid. This paper addresses emergency management mitigation for the university.
According to Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003 requires all employees in different institutions to meet the standards needed for fires safety within the organization., proper managing of fire safety. The organization needs to implement appropriate policies and guidelines to ensure that operational procedures conform to the legal requirements. Additionally, The Safety, Health, and Welfare at
Work Act 2005 made it a legal requirement for all organizations to have plans for emergency remedies to reduce the danger associated with the predicted risks. It is a legal requirement for each department within the organization to have first aid kits that are essential in disasters by supporting first aid activities. There is also need for the organization ton be able for firefighting by installing fire extinguishers in different locations to respond to fire outbreak that minimizes the impact of the fire outbreak. It is also a legal requirement that each organization has the first assembly point where employees can meet at a time of disasters that is useful for counting and evacuating those affected by the catastrophe considering the selected place must be safe.
According to the fire services act, it made it a responsibility of every individual working within the organization to implement measures that are proposed through the legislation as a way of preventing the breakout of fire that protects the life of workers within the organization and destruction of valuable assets owned by the organization. For the university management to comply with the legal requirement on fire safety, it is recommended that it appoint an officer to charge the quality assurance and risk mitigation office. The officer in charge of risk control is responsible for managing all the risks that may hurt the university.
There is a need for the university to train its employees on risk mitigation measures to understand how to report near misses at the workplace for proper mitigation measures to be implemented to reduce the probability of risk occurrence. The risk of collapse of the building within the organization
The board of the university needs to understand its roles in ensuring that health and safety within the university are given the priority by initiating and implementing an administrative structure where duties are delegated down to ensure that all safety precautions are implemented and followed by all the employees with the main aim of ensuring that the workplace is safe and secure. Regularly, it is recommended that the board of directors within the university reviews its structures, including the building and training tools, to ensure that they are structurally okay and safe by providing that repairs are done regularly on worn out parts to ensure the safety of the building hence minimizing the risk of collapsing of the building. To ensure that the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the properties and people within the university is guaranteed, there is a need for proper coordination between the director of estates and facilities within the university, safety committee, and finance committee. The collaboration is essential because it allows smooth running and implementation of safety measures proposed by the safety committee. The university operates with a functional organizational structure where each department works with exclusive powers and responsibility but collaborates to meet the overall objectives of the university because the goals of the departments are derived from the university’s overall
The safety committee needs to focus on the formulation of strategies that ensure safety within the university. Before implementing, the fiancé department needs to determine where there are enough financial resources to implement the proposed changes. Therefore, the collaboration between the health and safety department and fiancé department determines the effectiveness of the disaster management practices where weak linkage results in poor implementation of disaster management. In contrast, strong association results in effective implementation of disaster management. To minimize the probability of fire breakout and other physical distress, each department must appoint a disaster warden responsible for identifying, reporting, and evaluating any possible risks that may negatively impact the university by destroying property and killing lives.
Locals within the community play an essential role in ensuring that the impact of disaster outbreaks is minimized hence having a positive effect on the organization’s operation. The university should be encouraged to have a good reputation with the members of the public so that the locals can be involved directly during the emergency disasters by evacuating people in case of a collapsed building or help the university personnel and state personnel in fighting the fire in case there is fire outbreak. With an excellent reputation to the locals, the organization can get positive assistance from the community members during disasters (Coppola, 2015). Therefore, the university has a role of strengthening its relationship with the locals to result in a good corporation, sustainability, and robust disaster management mechanism.
The state plays an essential role in guiding and facilitating recovery efforts in disasters that occurs within the local boundaries located within the jurisdiction of the state. Additionally, it helps the local governments when faced with a tragedy that negatively influences the regular operation of organizations situated in the state. Furthermore, the state help in providing the enabling environment that facilitates organizations within the state can implement measures that ensure safety. The state has officers in charge of assessing the buildings before being allowed to be used. The state also helps in the certification of different organizations based on the valuation report on safety. Therefore, to have adequate disaster management measures, the university needs to understand the role played by the state in promoting safety for its citizens. Lastly, the state is responsible for coming up with legislation that aims to reduce the probability of disaster occurrence.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the body responsible for disaster management by the federal government to minimize the impact of the disaster on the community (Rivera, 2021). Its mandate involves the implementation of legislation aimed at mitigating the effects of the disaster. It responds to the request made by the affected states and provides the necessary support for the state, territories, tribes, and local jurisdiction affected by the disaster. The effective response by the federal government is planned through a national response framework that deals with safety regulation at the national level and acts to a disaster threatening the development of the states.
Although the locals and the state mainly determine the responsibility of disaster management, the federal government plays the role of supplementing what the local and state governments implement to mitigate the predicted risks. In case the magnitude of the disaster is enormous and forms and locals are unable to control, it becomes the responsibility of the federal government to coordinate the 26 federal agencies responsible for disaster response and the Red Cross to ensure that the lives are protected through effective disaster response.
The first step is gathering data to improve emergency decisions during disaster management. The quality of the collected data determines the effectiveness of the selected decision as a mitigation measure to the disaster.
Research and evidence gathering that aims at collecting the evidence that relates to the occurrence of the disaster. The evidence-based crowd should guide the data collection process so that when the disaster mitigation risks are implemented, they aim to address the real cause of the problem, resulting in the successful implementation of the disaster management process. Therefore, the quality of the collected data should be guided by research and evidence-based data collection method (Valcik, & Tracy, 2017).
Critical thinking in risk analysis is an important stage that ensures that the collected data about the risks are correctly analyzed to ensure that the possible causes and alternative solutions are brainstormed and thoroughly discussed so that the optima mitigation measures can be selected to be used the implementation stage.
Mitigation strategies through risk analysis are the next step. For effective risk mitigation measures, it is encouraged that both qualitative and quantitative methods need to be used to understand the risks well. Through quantitative risk analysis, the cost-benefit analysis is used to determine the positive impact of the risks and compare them to the adverse effects. When the negative influences out ways the positive impact then serious and immediate mitigation measure is needed. Through risk analysis, the organization has to rank the risks based on the effect it causes to the organization and stress the risk best on the ranking. The qualitative risk analysis analyzes the dangers in non-numerical figures and covers the impact of the risk on the organization. The third strategies are the countermeasure strategy of analyzing risks where the risk is identified and analyzed in terms of the best alternative strategies to neutralize the impact of the identified risk to the organization (Phillips, 2015).
Risk assessment tools for the organization during disaster management include CARVER, which is the tool that evaluates and ranks the threats and opportunities that are associated with the risk so that the risk can be categorized and the best alternative solution decided. It is the best way of evaluating the organization’s weaknesses and come up with the best possible course of overcoming them. Other alternative risk assessment tools to be used by the university to compare the result include Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), risk matrix, decision tree method, and Bowtie model.
The nowcasting method is the best for forecasting events few hours before by observing signs and live radar data to combine into numerical data prediction. Through accurate forecast about the climatic condition enables the university to implement strategies before the happening of the risks or implement risk reduction measures to minimize the impact of the unavoidable risks.
Geo-hydrological risk mitigation measures are the best strategies to mitigate hydrological risk. Data about hydrology is gathered and analyzed to identify the common dangers and mitigation measures put in place.
Structural measures are the best strategies for mitigating geological risks. The management needs to ensure that structural measures are implemented based on the requirement and impact of beach risk. Examples of structural measures include earthquake-resistant design, building codes, and retrofitting. Other strategies that best help in mitigating geological risks include early warning signs that must be taken seriously and prevention measures implemented early, construction of physical protection so that in case it happens, life and property are saved, and land use plan so that all measures are considered before the use of land to ensure proper drainage system that prevents risks from occurring.
Human risks need to be mitigated by using individual training where people are trained on the importance of conserving the environment and the possible negative impact of not saving the environment. Additionally, it is essential to encourage people to identify risks at early stages and report for analysis and evaluation so that mitigation measures can be implemented to reduce the negative impact of the identified risks on the organization.
Fitting Continuity of Operations Planning into the cycle is the next step of risk mitigation measures. Organizations need to identify critical departments and their prioritization so that each potential risk at different stages of operation and processes is analyzed and mitigation measures identified. The risks mitigation plan needs to include the scope objective and strategies that need to be implemented to solve the potential risks at each stage of operation.
Abbott, P. L. (2008). Natural disasters. (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Coppola, D. P. (2015). Introduction to international disaster management (3rd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann.
Phillips, B. D. (2015). Disaster recovery (2nd ed.). CRC Press.
Rivera, J. D. (2021). Disaster and Emergency Management Methods: Social Science Approaches in Application. (1st ed.). Routledge.
Valcik, N. A., & Tracy, P. E. (2017). Case studies in disaster response and emergency management. (2nd ed.). Routledge.