The mitigation phase takes place primarily before a disaster has occurred.

Posted: November 8th, 2022

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In July 2021, a major disaster was declared for the state of Arizona related to severe storms and flooding across multiple counties; this event was a federally declared disaster by the President of the United States (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2021). The four phases of emergency management include mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery (National Association of Counties [NAC], 2017). The mitigation phase takes place primarily before a disaster has occurred. Because Arizona is prone to heavy monsoon rainstorms and subsequent flooding, the mitigation activities for this emergency should have included an analysis of particularly vulnerable areas, floodplain management, emergency drills, and public education and outreach (NACO, 2017). The preparedness phase should include a comprehensive emergency management plans specific to each county and its needs during a flood disaster, development of mutual aid and collaborative working groups to establish good communication that will prove critical during an emergency, training and emergency exercises for professionals, and maintenance of critical supplies for use in flood disasters (NACO, 2017). Activities during the response phase for a flood disaster should include an early response coordination at the first sign of significant flooding; activation of and communication among emergency medical services, public health officials, community agencies, and emergency management offices; early evacuation of residents and animals in areas at imminent risk of flooding, and ensuring availability of critical services, such as emergency medical services; triage of injured or ill persons; and search and rescue of missing or deceased persons (NACO, 2017). Finally, the recovery phase refers to the period of immediate aftermath of the disaster in which critical services and infrastructure, such as power, water, sewer, natural gas, law enforcement, government, and other services, are restored; debris is cleaned and removed; temporary housing is set up for those who have been displaced; and mitigation for the next disaster is begun again (NACO, 2017).

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