Management of emergent outcomes is probably one of the tough assignments of those people who have been delivered with the task to foresee the future. Any government must be prepared for emergent issues such as flooding, deadly disease outbreaks, terrorism, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. Prior planning is thought to be the best form of managing dangerous issues. For example, if the government introduces enough measures to handle terrorism, terrorists would not have any room to strike whenever they wish. The 2001terrorist attacks in the United States of America could have been averted if there had been prior proper planning for such issues. The consequences may be grave for any group or for the response teams if they are not well prepared. The focus of this favor is on the best way to prepare for and handle emergent issues. An emergency manager has a definite task, especially while handling issues that are not manmade, for instance floods. The point of this paper is that an emergency manager must be well equipped to handle flooding in the country.
It is an instance of the emergency responses that occur in the world. It is also a situation that requires a prompt reaction. It is important for managers and members of the response team to make sure that they do the right thing. There are policies in the world that have been developed in order to have the correct procedure while handling instances of floods. However, it is important for the response teams to focus mostly on some past failures and try to avoid these mistakes as much as possible. It is important because it hints to the response team at adequate measures of handling a disaster such as flooding. Flooding is recognized as one of the most dangerous phenomena in the word.
Being an emergency response manager, a person has to be aware of some authorities and responsibilities. First of all, he or she is assigned with the task of notifying a safety officer in the “on-call” room as well as of giving to the officer correct contact details for equipment and people who can handle the issue. He or she is also tasked with giving the safety officer in the “on-call” room details concerning the whole issue and the best way of directing everyone concerned. An emergency response manager is also tasked with initiating or coming up with some evacuation techniques in a particular building or field. He or she is also required to ask for additional resources and request for assistance from other authorities regarding evacuation of people who may have been trapped in a building or even in a field when floods strike. This person must be well informed about right materials that have to be used in handling flooding, and if possible, he or she may personally handle particular issues of flooding depending on their nature and personnel available for handling the issue. He or she is generally the coordinator in the cases of such disaster.
A flood happens when there is a mass of water sweeping across a field, a mountain or when there is a massive destruction of properties. Flooding is associated with the submersion of land and huge overflow of water. Floods directive of the European Union has defined a flood as covering or submersion of water on a land that is not normally covered by it. If land is known to be always water logged, it is defined as a swamp or simply a water body. However, flooding can occur in rivers. When there is excessive rainfall, river water is likely to break the banks and overflow on the land that is normally not under water. Any river has specific water levels in cases of rainfall and drought. However, when excessive rainfall occurs, water goes beyond the upper levels. Such situation is dangerous because adjacent lands are submerged, and properties are destructed in the result.
Flood Risk Management
In managing floods, it is paramount for people to have prior knowledge and information on how to act. Usually, flood risk managers enquire information from metrological departments concerning possible amounts of water in a certain rainy season. If the information coming from the national weather station indicates that there would be excessive raining, the flood risk management team equips themselves in order to be able to handle the situation. They also warn possible victims and ask them to relocate. The main reason for enquiring the information about such a possibility is the purpose of putting enough measures for mitigation. For example, the team can build dams to hold running water in order to avoid excessive water destroying properties. It is significant how the response team responds to the situation. If a flood strikes in a particular area, the way of action is to evacuate residents from the affected areas.
The Flood and Water Management Act of 2010 is in force in England. The provisions of this act spell the way to act in managing floods and water in England and Wales. The real issue is the level of preparedness that has to be put in managing situations and, especially, in managing the crisis before it strikes. While managing flooding crisis, the use of information systems is highly recommended. Modern information system of the metrological departments has helped to prevent occurrences of major catastrophes involving water. This paper will further discuss the Geographic Information System (GIS) and how it fits into the overall disaster management, response and mitigation of the crisis. Also, the paper will analyze how effective leadership is critical in emergency management, especially, leadership that incorporates collaborations. The paper will also look at how a people-centered approach as a form of integrated methodology can help in the overall management of floods in any particular area.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
Geographic information systems have been used for prompt responses, mitigation, disaster preparedness and for the emergency efforts. Building a GIS decision support system can enhance quality of responding to flood issues. Protection of lives and properties is critical in anything that is done to mitigate a crisis. In terms of flooding, it is very important that a more advanced method can be used. That is why, Geographic Information System is of great help. According to Gunes & Kovel (2000), disasters threaten life, materials, the environment and well being of humanity. Any effort put to mitigate a problem should be geared towards protecting the lives of people, the environment and property. During flooding, properties can be destroyed, and valuable human life is threatened as well. Modern methods of mitigating problems involve technology. Therefore, the Geographic Information System (GIS) has to be used as one of modern technological achievements.
Geographic Information System is a powerful technological tool that can be used in the management of any emergency. The system has capabilities of capturing data by scanning, digitizing, carrying out aerial photography, enhancing digital imagery, manipulating the data, storing the data, analyzing the data, formulating the data queries, and visualizing the data (Gunes & Kovel, 2000). It is possible to process, integrate, store and output geographic information in the most effective manner. Flooding has to be managed prior to the real crisis. It can only be done if there is received the prompt information concerning a possible occurrence. With the use of the GIS technology, it is possible to gather this information as well as to put it in a useful way. The information is put for the sake of reducing the magnitude of the problem and for reducing the level of damage to human life as well as properties.
Effective leadership is necessary in all instances of disaster management. A lot of catastrophic occurrences in the world have been blamed for poor leadership, especially the leadership that does not evaluate a problem before it occurs. According to Waugh & Streib (2006), an essential element of the effective leadership is collaboration. It is an important foundation for dealing with any kind of emergent issue as it is possible for different people to have collaborative information about something. It is the only way to understand the most effective way to handle issues. Effective leadership recognizes the use of modern technologies in enhancing the response. GIS is one of the most effective forms of technology intended for gathering information about a possible catastrophe. In terms of flooding, lack of such kind of information would mean that the crisis could catch people unprepared. Effective leadership also has a clear understanding of what has to be done in any kind of emergent issue.
Effective leadership is also regarded as the remedy for the implementation of critical policies. In managing catastrophes such as flooding, it is very important to have established frameworks. There are many policies that are developed for handling emergent issues. The real problem is that the critical department managers failed to implement them. An effective leader has to lead the way in implementing these policies. In terms of flooding, it is important for the leadership to review past occurrences and suggestions that have been aimed at mitigating them. It is the only way to ensure that when a flood hits a particular area, massive destructions will not happen. Personnel in the field of emergency management have to be professional and adequately qualified to handle any kind of crisis. It is a part of the effective leadership in the crisis management.
Integrated People Centered Approach
Effective leadership involves using available effective resources in handling emergent issues. However, effective leadership is not limited to consulting other leaders, but it is rather about using people in getting enough responses about the situation. People in the affected areas can provide quality information about what has to be done in order to manage the area. People can also be involved into mitigating the damage, for example, into building dams and constructing dykes. This way, the surety is that people understand what has to be done in order to stay safe. Flooding as one of the major disasters has destroyed countless lives and properties. The effective way of reducing the damage is to train people what to do when there is a flooding. Using quality information gathered through modern technologies such as GIS, it is possible to issue warning to people under threat. These people have to be trained to respond to such warnings in a proper way, for example, by planting enough vegetation in order to control running waters. Involving people is a part of effective leadership. Moreover, it is essentially one of the most effective ways of emergency responses.
When catastrophes hit an area, properties and lives are lost. When there is a flooding in the area, people and properties are likely to be swept away. Such damage has to be mitigated by using appropriate and effective ways of responding to the issues. It is critical to use information that is gathered for issuing warnings and for the preparedness purposes. This paper has acknowledged that the use of modern technologies such as GIS is critical for the process of gathering quality information about a possible flooding. The paper has also suggested that effective leadership and people-centered approaches have to be used while mitigating and responding to the issues.