The government protects the lives and the property of the citizens. During emergencies, the government must act responsibly to prevent loss of life and limit the destruction of property as much as possible. Management of emergencies is not an easy task, and as such, the government must devolve its functions to the three levels of government. The presence of the three levels ensures that management of emergencies is conducted professionally. The three levels of government play unique roles that ensure that there is good management of disasters whenever they occur.
At the local level, the government through established authorities respond to emergencies of a smaller magnitude such as small fires in buildings. These disasters require a swift response at the local level and institutions set at the local level can do this. The federal government or the state government cannot be able to manage such kind of emergencies considering the location, and the time it would take federal authorities to respond. As such, the government should respond locally (Sylves, 2014).
State governments address emergencies of significant magnitude in particular states. State governments should manage disasters within the vicinity of the state. These governments have well-established disaster response units, which help in the management of disasters. The federal government manages emergencies of a high magnitude such as terrorism, wildfires, and earthquakes. The federal government usually manages emergencies that require substantial resources to contain. The federal government is prepared for such emergencies (Sylves, 2014).
American Red Cross is the other organization that can be able to fulfill the roles of government in the management of disasters. The organization is present at all levels of the government, and its response rate is exceptional. The organization has been involved in providing relief and helping individuals affected by disasters.
There are different approaches to mitigating hazards. Land use planning is one of how hazards can be mitigated. Land use planning refers to designing the manner in which land should be used for development and other economic activities. Planning can help to avert the dangers of hazards when they occur. Planning is conducted based on the suitability of an area and the impact on human life if a hazard occurs. Land use planning ensures that land is used for the right purpose preventing it from use on activities that can worsen the impact of hazards.
Zoning is a planning technique, which involves dividing the land into different uses. Zoning is done with detailed considerations of some issues. Zoning ensures that heavy commercial activities that lead to land degradation are conducted far away from residential areas. Zoning ensures that settlements are built in high areas that reduce the risk of flooding. It additionally ensures that commercial activities are conducted within places of residence. Zoning is a technique used in land use planning that helps to identify how various activities should be allocated land. A practical example is a manner in which military training and testing have been zoned to areas where human activities are prohibited. Individuals are usually warned for accessing such places (Renaud, Sudmeier-Rieux & Estrella, 2013).
Local governments are at best positions of implementing land use planning. Local governments understand local needs and are in the best position of coming up with plans of lands use on previous experiences of disasters. The local governments put the interests of the citizens first and planning on how land is used best suited to the local level. The federal government might not have enough information to be involved in planning on how land should be used (Renaud, Sudmeier-Rieux & Estrella, 2013).
Emergencies and disasters are two words that are often confused where one can be used for the other. These words are however different and reflect two separate issues. An emergency is a threatening situation that requires swift action to contain or reduce its effects. A disaster is a hazard of greater magnitude that has the capability of destroying property and human lives. The first similarity between the two is that they have the potential of destroying human lives and property. Emergencies are unplanned and inadequate response leads to the destruction of life and property. The same applies to a disaster, which brings damage and loss of human life. The other similarity is that they can be controlled through adequate preparedness. For emergencies, individuals must follow established strategies of responding to predetermined emergencies. For disasters, established government agencies are always prepared to manage hazards that are likely to occur (Lindell, 2013).
The main difference is that an emergency can affect a single person unlike disasters, which affect many people at the same time. Responding to emergencies can be done by individual units of police, but disasters require coordinated efforts of government agencies to for a swift response. It is easier for individuals to prepare for emergencies but they cannot be in a position of responding to disasters. Emergencies are normal occurrences in the society and individuals to have a mechanism of responding to them when they occur. Disasters occur occasionally, and its impact is much felt (Lindell, 2013).
Lindell, M. K. (2013). Emergency management. In Encyclopedia of natural hazards (pp. 263-271). Springer Netherlands.
Renaud, F. G., Sudmeier-Rieux, K., & Estrella, M. (Eds.). (2013). The role of ecosystems in disaster risk reduction. United Nations University Press.
Sylves, R. (2014). Disaster policy and politics: Emergency management and homeland security. CQ Press.