Regional floods and disasters do our organisations, City and Municipalities have up to date disaster plans?

Abdalah Abdulrahman

Senior Member
Aug 29, 2019
In deed so much has happened in different part of Tanzania recently: Beginning of this year on April 25th Tanzania Metrology Agency issued a weather alert on heavy rain fall, we also had El-nino floods in 2015-2016, the earthquake of magnitude 5.9 occurred in 2016 in Kagera region, the 2018 flood which has destructed infrastructures and caused number of death in Dar es Salaam. Those disasters and other not mentioned has caused great impacts to our economy and the individual impacts have persisted for long.

It is very true that, we as human beings cannot stop the forces of creation, but we certainly can control how much they will impact us as country. If we can get credible, precise and timely meteorological information, we can plan well our emergency plan and response in our organizations, cities and municipalities.

The emergency plan needs to be a living document that is periodically adapted to changing circumstances and that provides a guide to the protocols, procedures, and division of responsibilities in emergency response. The lack of this document or outdated one, could lead to severe losses such as multiple casualties and possible financial collapse of the induvial, community and country at large.

Some people have this attitude of "it can't happen here" other have document in shelf prepared 20 years ago without updating or customizing it to fit the present time. As a result no time and effort to review the plan, up-date it and sometimes change it completely based on the current situation. However, up-to-date emergency planning is an important part of any institution.

So long as we are living, we have to know that, emergenciescan occur at any time, therefore preplanning is necessary. An urgent need for rapid decisions, shortage of time, and lack of resources and trained personnel can lead to chaos during an emergency. Time and circumstances in an emergency mean that normal channels of authority and communication cannot be relied upon to function routinely. The stress of the situation can lead to poor judgment resulting in severe losses.

It’s true that, most of our communities and organizations have no emergency plan in place. For those who have one, they often overlook them until a disastrous situation occurs. However, if we begin to make plans to prevent, prepare, and respond to the situation, the impacts could be lessened; impacts such as loss of properties, damaged facilities, stress, and possible loss of life.

Proper disaster preparedness is about much more than giving emergency officials the tools they need or even having up to date plan. To be truly effective at preventing and responding to a disaster, cities, municipalities, and communities must create emergency protocols and work to explain them carefully to residents.

Additionally, officials must be sure that they have the right crisis communications systems in place to facilitate communication and help officials, business owners, and school administrators and residents share crucial information about the unfolding event.

Preparation for disaster can reduce the effects of disasters by preventing irrational and uninformed decision from being made. When the panic sets in, it’s important to have a simple, practiced plan in place to follow. The four elements of a good disaster plan start with prevention, preparedness, response and finally recovery.

means taking a serious look at your situation. This includes having aup to date disaster plan.

Preparedness means that communities, or staff in organization knows what to do when an emergency strikes. This includes having the disaster plan is in an accessible location and everyone knows what the contents of that plan are. Train staff and volunteers on what to do during and after the emergency. Practice! Drills are important for a reason.

Response is putting that plan into action! What are the emergency response procedures? What is the muster point? What are the priorities?

Recovery is the actions made after the disaster occurs to get back into working order. This is often the lengthiest process; it might take months or years to get back into working order.

Therefore it is important for organizations, cities municipalities and regulatory authorities to emphasis on having up to date disaster or emergency plan in place, inform communities and staff through practice and offer the necessary resources for better community disaster resilient.

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