Dec 7, 2018 in Economics

Earthquake Budget Essay

Introduction

An earthquake is a natural catastrophe that is inevitable. The occurrence of earthquakes leads to adverse impacts, especially when there is non-preparedness to handle a disaster. Earthquakes result in negative effects such as loss of lives, injuries, and destruction of property. However, the impacts of an earthquake can be minimized through mitigation. Disaster preparedness should be made a priority in all areas prone to earthquakes. One way of preparing to handle any case of disaster is through having emergency supplies which are very diverse. All of them should be up to date. This proposal looks into an earthquake budget. Additionally, the proposal outlines the earthquake policy that the organization came up with, and the challenges the association is probable to experience in case of implementing the operations of the emergency earthquake preparedness.       

The Budget

The population magnitude of the region being served by the organization is of 10000 people. A higher percentage of the population is made up of people of ages between 15 and 40. The other populace consists of the young and the old. A large part of the population is literate. The subpopulation of the area consists of the old people. The old find it hard to respond to any earthquake because of their slow nature. Thus, they would require special attention in case that an earthquake occurs. The area is located next to the sea shore and experiences strong winds most of the time. The winds are usually strong to the point of making trees fall. Considering that the area is located by the seas shores, it experiences rains almost all year round.

Assessing the extent of the unpreparedness that the organization experienced while the last earthquake occurrence, it found out that it requires new emergency supplies. The reason of this is the fact that the existent emergency supplies are outdated, and most of them have malfunctioned. Others including medicines have expired and are no longer useful. Moreover, there has been a rise in the number of staff in the organizations, which has necessitated more emergency supplies for the acquisition  for all. Emergency supplies must be available beforehand to increase survival and reduce health impacts of an earthquake. The emergency supplies make it easy for any disaster management organization to provide the necessary help during those difficult times. Additionally, when disaster occurs, the pathways to shopping centers or even the shop stores may close down (Bersch, 2010). Hence, having emergency supplies in store will aid in doing away with such inconveniences. The organization would have twenty staff members subordinated to the emergency department. There will be a manager who will be in charge of overseeing all operations regarding preparedness and response to an earthquake disaster. Five of the twenty employees will be appointed to ensure that all supplies are in stock. The rest of the fifteen will be in charge of responding to earthquake disasters.      

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One of the emergency supplies will be that the organization will consider obtaining is emergency food. Such food should have a shelf life of over five years. Additionally, it should not induce one into thirst. It is said that the most appropriate product are the food bars. Enough food supplies should be stocked in the organization as the emergency provision may take too much time, up to almost two weeks. The foodstuffs are required to provide the necessary nutrients and calories for the emergency provision. It should be of a three-day supply per employee, at minimum. The other emergency supply is emergency water. Water is necessary for drinking and sanitation purposes when earthquakes occur. Hence, it would be wise to have enough of it for use during such times. The organization could arrange to purchase bottled water the expiry date of which is beyond five years. However, since water for sanitation purposes would be required, too, it would be cheap to obtain water barrels and water purification tablets, and preserve the water in large quantities within the organization. The reason of that is the fact that in case of any earthquake, water may not be available or may be unsafe for use (Baldwin, 2012).

The other emergency supplies would include an emergency shelter supplies. After the earthquake, the houses and other buildings may not be safe for  residence. Thus, people displaced together with the organization’s employees may be forced to stay out for weeks as the rescue operations continue. Thus, to protect themselves from adverse weather conditions during those times, shelter equipment would be necessary. Such supplies include emergency thermal blankets, emergency rain ponchos, and canopy shelters, body warmer pads and tube tents, which would be very efficient (Bersch, 2010). The other emergency supplies are emergency lights. The area affected by an earthquake is most likely to have a blackout. Hence, to facilitate navigation through debris in the process of rescue, emergency lights will come in handy. However, the organization should not purchase battery powered lighting equipments since the batteries expire in a very short time. The best lighting equipments should be solar powered. Examples of such devices include torches, emergency light sticks, and solar powered lamps (Miller, Adame & Moore, 2013). 

Other emergency supplies would be emergency radios which are used by employees to communicate in the rescue field. Messages such as where to go for safety can reach the rescue team in the earthquake stricken area. The most appropriate emergency radio would be solar powered one. Additionally, emergency first aid kits would be required by the organization. Though the first aid kits are present, they are not fully equipped, and most items there have expired. Hence, there is a need to renew all the first aid kits. They are necessary to treat the employees or even the populace injured in the process of evacuation. The first aid kits should be complete and should be capable of being moved to safety. The most recommended is Trauma Central Supply Kit, which is used to treat over 75 people. Furthermore, emergency search and rescue supplies are needed. During the rescue process, employees may get injured trying to rescue others, and someone may get trapped within the building. The injuries can be caused by glass and other debris in the building. Thus, to avoid such injuries, emergency search and rescue supplies such as safety goggles, hand gloves, dust masks, hard hats, crowbars, ropes, and ladders should be available. Additionally, the organization will buy fire extinguishers that will be utilized in extinguishing any fires that may result from the earthquakes. Lastly, emergency sanitation supplies would be sourced. During the time of an earthquake, people are forced to stay outdoors and may be forced to share things. That may expose them to various illnesses. Thus, to ensure that sanitary conditions are maintained, the organization will consider purchasing toilet bags, toilet chemicals, rolls of tissue, and toilet lids (Baldwin, 2012).    

The Earthquake Policy

In case of an earthquake, many damages occur. Unsecured objects such as books, chemical bottles, and plants, unfastened light fixtures and ceiling panels could fall down to the floor. Chairs and tables that are unsecured are moved from side to side in the room. Fires could also result from electric faults. Injuries and even deaths do occur. Emergency policies are formulated to guide people in case that a disaster like an earthquake is to occur. The following policy was formulated to guide all people in the organization, both during and after an earthquake. During an earthquake, everyone should stay still wherever they are. No one is to make any move to rush outside or to another room. One should sit, or stand against the wall or on the doorway. However, someone could consider going under a table or a bench to take cover from any falling objects. Additionally, a person should stay further from glass surfaces such as windows, mirrors, and doors. Furthermore, during an earthquake, one should let falling objects such as glass to fall and not try to stop them. If an individual is out of the building when the earthquake occurs, he or she should not rush into the building. Rather, they should find an open ground, far from any trees or simple shelters (Miller, Adame & Moore, 2013).

After the earthquake, all people should assemble at the evacuation point. All people should report to the check-in desk to confirm the presence of everyone. If anyone is missing, the team leaders will have to be notified. They should always be distinguishable from the rest of the crowd. They could be wearing big hats of a certain color, just for identification. Additionally, people from the building should check for any injuries, both on their bodies and their colleagues’. Any person whose injuries are severe should not be handled carelessly. He or she should not be moved anyhow unless it is away from further harm. The building should be evacuated orderly to avoid any accidents from occurring. Moreover, the policy also points out that no flames should be lit, not electric switches and telephones be operated, in case that gas leaks are noted (Miller, Adame & Moore, 2013). If any gas leaks are observed, all people should be moved away from the area, and team leaders notified. After the earthquake, everyone should ensure that they are wearing closed shoes to prevent any cuts from broken glass. All spilled chemicals and poisons also need to be wiped away. People need not flash toilets since earthquakes may have resulted in the busting of sewer pipes. Everyone should wait patiently until the authorities have confirmed the safety of the building before gaining access again (Naito et al., 2014).

The organization also plans to carry out drills to provide education on handling an earthquake to its employees. The drills are expected to be done once in three months. However, for new entrants, the organization will provide training for two consecutive Saturdays of their first month in office. The organization has also planned to test the knowledge and mastery of the emergency preparation and policies by the employees, through a set of questions (Simpson, 2002). The questions will be given to the employees on random days. A group of five people will be appointed, and a team leader from the group would be selected to oversee the stocking of the emergency supplies. A sheet containing all the required supplies will be provided to both the team leader and the rest of the group. They will be required to check and ensure all necessary supplies have been provided, by confirming through ticking against the items on the sheet. In case that any supply will be missing, the selected group should inform the team leader, who will then inform the organization’s manager (Naito et al., 2014). The emergency preparedness budget is maintained by the department concerned with the earthquake response in the organization. In order to maintain a budget, the department must realize that the preparedness is only for an earthquake. Additionally, the department must go through the preparedness list of supplies and only select the ones that would be necessary for earthquake response. Furthermore, the department must only consider replacing the expired and malfunctioned items, and not buy a new kit altogether annually. The organization must also learn to think ahead and save money for preparedness.

Challenges of Implementation and Maintaining of Emergency Preparedness

Implementation and maintenance of the emergency preparedness is not an easy task. It faces a number of challenges. One of the challenges is the lack of education of the population of the area on the earthquake disaster. The members of the population may not have received any insights on how to handle him or herself in the event of an earthquake. Another challenge would be the lack of finances. Financing emergency preparedness can also be so costly. The emergency supplies are always required in bulk. Additionally, the supplies are always processed, and custom is made for such emergencies. That makes them expensive. Thus, the organization would depend on funding from government of well-wishers (Naito et al., 2014). 

The other challenge would be the lack of cooperation between the community and the organization. The organization might have sent individuals into the community to educate them on how to act in case when an earthquake occurs. The community might have been educated on how to prepare for such a disaster. However, the community members might overlook the education offered to them, and consider it useless. Thus, when earthquakes occur, the community is caught not ready to handle it. Additionally, constructors are beginning to build houses that are not strong enough to stand out the earthquake tremors. Thus, regardless of how the organization and people may be prepared for any earthquake, deaths occur, and property is still destroyed as the houses easily crumble to the ground, even with a minor earthquake (Simpson, 2002).    

Conclusion

Scientists have studied earthquakes to an extent of predicting when one is expected to hit. That has made it possible for people and organizations to prepare well for the earthquakes. In every organization, it is paramount that all necessary emergency supplies are put in place for any disaster. The only way of ensuring all emergency supplies are bought is through the formulation of the budget. Additionally, every organization should have a policy to guide people in case of an earthquake. Even though such policies exist, others fail to stick with those procedures, which pose a challenge to the maintenance and implementation of the emergency preparedness program.

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