Michigan Model for Health®
What Is Emergency Preparedness?
Emergency preparedness is the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities to respond to public health emergencies, such as natural disasters, severe weather, bioterrorism, disease outbreaks, mass casualties, and chemical or radiation emergencies.
Notable examples of public health emergencies include the terrorist attacks on 9-11, the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, and the Salmonella outbreak due to peanut butter contamination. More commonly occurring public health emergencies involve flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, power outages, E coli outbreaks, and shootings in public locations. In each of these situations, widespread public health and safety are threatened. Quick responses by individuals and organizations are required in order to minimize damage to lives and property.
Emergency preparedness equips individuals with the plans and resources they need to ensure personal and family safety in a crisis. Organizations, such as schools and day care centers, must also have plans and resources ready so they can respond quickly to ensure the safety of students and staff if a crisis occurs. In addition to individuals and organizations, entire communities must coordinate efforts among families, schools, law enforcement, emergency personnel, and other community organizations to develop comprehensive emergency preparedness plans.
Why Teach Emergency Preparedness?
Schools face multiple demands on limited instructional time. In addition to teaching the academic subjects, schools are charged with preparing students to be productive and contributing members of society. Teaching emergency preparedness is one way schools fulfill their responsibility for teaching lifelong skills students will need to be positive citizens. The following are additional reasons schools should teach emergency preparedness:
© Educational Materials Center 2011