Chairman of the Nursing Council
Nursing Coordinator of the HPA - Alvor
Master in Public Protection
HPA Magazine 13
Public Protection is the responsibility of the central, regional and local authorities, but also of all citizens as well as all public and private entities, with the purpose of preventing collective risks inherent to situations of major accidents and/or catastrophes, to mitigating risks and also to protect and rescue persons and property in distress.
As such, no citizen can be unaware of his or her responsibility, as public protection is an ongoing process whereby any individual can be responsible for a dangerous situations. Managing the dangers involved in order to avoid or minimize the impact of the situation is each ones responsibility. Thus, it is extremely important that every citizen is familiar with the Municipal Public Protection Emergency Plan in his area of residence and work.
The disaster management plan, consisting of a preparatory phase, encompasses all measures that enable governments, organizations, communities and even individual citizens to respond quickly and effectively in disaster situations. A good example of preparation is of course the Family Emergency Plan.
The information contained in the Family Emergency Plan should be known to all members of the household and should always be carried by each member, for example, in the form of a card that can be easily placed in a wallet/backpack.
Since the family may not be together when disaster strikes, it is crucial to plan how each one must act or react. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the United States recommends that each individual should be prepared for a disaster to ensure the first 72 hours after the event, which involves having a family emergency plan as well as a three-day home emergency kit containing food, water and other items (www.ready.gov).
When preparing your plan, adapt it to your specific daily needs and responsibilities, without forgetting:
In order to deal with a disaster, it is essential that the family emergency plan contains a basic emergency kit, appropriate to the size and needs of each family.This kit should be reviewed every 6 months to ensure it is operational and, in particular, to control the shelf life of the items it co ntains (see table 1).