What are planning functions in emergency preparedness? Where can I find information on the planning function within emergency preparedness?
On a nationwide level, the primary organization and support coordination effort for emergency preparedness comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The stated mission of the Agency is
"to reduce loss of life and property and protect our nation's critical infrastructure from all types of hazards through a comprehensive, risk-based, emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery."
Because there are many potential types of emergencies, each of which brings a unique combination of challenges to the preparation process, there are subdivisions within FEMA to deal with different types of emergencies. The potential risk of a flood in a given area, for example, requires a different type of preparation than does the threat of a chemical accident at a major factory. In either situation, however, plans for how to deal with an emergency should be in place.
FEMA works with state officials and with local authorities to create emergency preparedness plans and to publicize that information. If you are interested in emergency preparedness for a specific type of emergency or in a specific location, try contacting your state's office for disaster planning (which may be called by a different name). Another possible contact would be your state's connecting office with the Department of Homeland Security, since it is also involved in preparing for many types of emergency situations.