The Preparedness Cycle:
The preparedness cycle is a model dedicated to continuous improvement. Emergency management works with it's partners integrating the preparedness cycle to identify risk, evaluate current capabilities, build capabilities, delivery planning, validation (through exercise,) review, update and improve.
Each year the emergency management agency works to develop risk reduction through pre-incident planning (preparing.) Preparing along with mitigation works to avoid or lessen the impact of incidents. Through planning, capabilities, direction and responsibilities are assigned to manage the task at hand. Planning and preparedness for the whole community is supported by emergency management.
In addition to the planning efforts of local jurisdictions, emergency management is also responsible for maintaining a comprehensive emergency plan (CEP) in accordance with Iowa Code. The CEP follows an emergency support function (ESF) framework of 15 sections. A listing of the ESFs can be found on page 2-4 of FEMA's Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101 document.
Training is an essential part of building capabilities and is sometimes overlooked. Following the planning process, training is an essential component to provide expectations to those operating within the scope of the created plan. Beyond specific plans training, Dallas County Emergency Management works to host a variety of course offerings in an effort to enhance local preparedness. Find out more about upcoming offerings by contacting us. Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management also hosts a training website that includes local and statewide training being offered.
Exercise is the component that brings months of planning, mitigation and training together. Exercise can range in form, from a full-scale (moving parts) to a simple table-top discussion. Exercise is the evaluation component of the preparedness cycle that ensure objectives are being met as anticipated within the plan. Following an exercise, an after-action review of the exercise is conducted to examine successful operations in addition to areas for improvement. Through this examination, the process continues by modifying those issues and re-evaluating.
Dallas County Emergency Management Agency is also involved in a progressive exercise strategy. For more information, please contact us!