Only a prepared community can respond to an emergency
What you need to know:
- Like if we detect a looming fire and explosion, we need to find ways of stopping or managing the likely scenario that it happens
Emergencies are so predictable nowadays that we can tell that something undesirable is imminent very easily. That is the reason for putting in place a robust emergency response to manage the situation and reduce all the undesirable consequences like losses. For every high-risk event, we equip ourselves with mitigation measures.
Like if we detect a looming fire and explosion, we need to find ways of stopping or managing the likely scenario that it happens. Or when heavy rains are lurking, we must move people away from the most vulnerable locations and take them to the less risky places to avoid suffering the losses that we dread.
So, where risks are high, the likelihood of undesirable occurrences are high and we prepare better to deal with the emergencies and consequences. We are lucky that we can fairly predict that something bad will happen. We are lucky that now we can get alert messages and warnings for some events to inform us of the imminent bad situation early. But what do we do upon getting these messages?
We get tempted to think we can keep these events on hold or postpone them for another day. Such an attitude is a sign of poor emergency preparedness. That we are not prepared and not ready to face adversity and manage emergency eventualities that are becoming inevitable nowadays.
For our safety and security, I tell you, we can no longer afford to be unprepared by trying to postpone them.
It is now that we must start to strengthen our capacity to deal with imminent adversities. You see firefighters struggling to put off wildfires. You see countries trying to manage displacements caused by a war. You see medical workers labouring to be professional when an epidemic strikes.
A lot takes place prior.
So, even when an epidemic knocks on the door, it better finds us ready to manage. These events are now commonplace, for which we need some minimum level of preparedness, like resources put in place to handle them. That is why we need a community that is organised.
We need a community that is willing to work as a team to address the common situation collectively and immediately.
Immediate community members must first get the minimum basic needs to be comfortable while offering such services to affected communities.
They are the ones on the frontline. You cannot entrust a needy community to control the resources required to manage an emergency when they clearly lack basic needs. You saw what happened to the beans and posho that the government gave out to people during the lockdown that was forced on us, thanks to the Coronavirus disease! You now see how responsible people shamelessly steal basic needs that should address shocks of poor livelihoods in northeastern Uganda!
So, first, address the basic needs of the local people. Then they will go out to work for a humanitarian cause. We also must collect all our preparedness, prevention, detection, and response tools together for the inevitable likelihood of an emergency.
Equipping people with the right tools and making sure that they have the skills to properly operate these tools will help. It will eliminate the act of responding without appropriate tools and equipment. Since we know that certain emergencies happen every year, we need to be able to manage them with the minimum tools that we have. By being prepared, we reduce the impact of bad events on people.
So, let us take the next step towards being prepared. For if we are not prepared and ready to manage any emergency, we cannot respond efficiently.
Simon J. Mone, [email protected]