Emergency Management is a term used to describe the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with emergency scenarios. While emergency management is often defined narrowly as the immediate response and reactive management of a disaster, we recognize that a great deal of the impact of emergency situations can be lessened through prevention and preparation.
There are four phases of emergency management: prevention and mitigation, preparedness and resilience building, response and relief, and recovery and redevelopment.
Equity in emergency management is a civil and human right that belongs to everyone.
We believe and operate under the certainty that everyone has a right to fair and equitable treatment in times of emergency and the concerns and needs of all communities should be known and adequately addressed in emergency management practices. As it is, not all communities experience equal treatment in emergency management. Even though communities of color are more likely to experience disasters, they tend to be less prepared and underrepresented in disaster response design and implementation. Thus, the systems and protocols established to address disasters often don't fully take the cultures and circumstances of African Americans into account, resulting in response mechanisms that often fall short of meeting our needs.
Core Principles of Equity in Emergency Management
The NAACP plays a unique and essential role in the implementation and administration of emergency management in disaster situations. As a national advocate for the civil and human rights of communities around the world, the NAACP aims to ensure that emergency prevention, preparation, response, and recovery efforts are conducted in a just and equitable manner. The following core principles should be incorporated into every phase of the emergency management continuum:
- Ensure that principles of equity, justice, inclusion, transparency, and accountability govern all aspects of emergency management.
- Measures must be taken to ensure that human rights and civil protections are safeguarded and prioritized during times of disaster, including using international human rights law to shape policy on the federal, state, and local levels.
- People have a right to the resources required to create productive, dignified, and ecologically sustainable livelihoods. Emergency management should uphold peoples' rights to land, clean water,food, and other resources needed to survive and live well.
- All phases of the emergency management must be built on principles of deep democracy, participatory decision-making, and self-governance.
- Measures to mitigate and prevent emergencies and disasters must be prioritized even while all other phases of the emergency management continuum are taken seriously and adequately funded.
- Climate justice demands doing everything possible to prevent climate disasters from happening. This includes incorporating climate change projections into risk assessment and mitigation.
- Emergency management practices should embody a spirit of care, cooperation, and collectivism among peoples and communities. This is embodied by practices such as knowledge and resource sharing and mutual aid.
- Community leadership should inform every aspect of the emergency management continuum, including community-designed planning, response, and recovery.
Help build equity into the four phases of emergency management to protect Black communities before and after disaster strikes.