Members of El Paso VOAD provide a variety of services, which address the four phases of disaster.

Mitigation is the cornerstone of emergency management. It is the ongoing effort to prevent, avoid, control or lessen the impact out-of-course events have on people and property.

The intent of Mitigation is to reduce risks and minimize damages, which may occur in the event of a disaster. Mitigation also minimizing the cost of disaster recovery. Mitigation work may be such as increasing elevation, installing storm windows and shutters, removing trees away from the home, etc.

Preparedness involves developing plans for responding to out-of-course events, training personnel to perform their assigned function during the response, and practicing that response before the event occurs.

When preparing for a disaster, we recommend gathering important documents (insurance papers, lease agreements, deeds, car titles, etc.), gathering prescriptions and medication, boarding up windows, placing animals in a kennel, making arrangements for a place to stay in case you are told to evacuate. It is also important that families check to make sure their elderly and disabled family members and neighbors are taken care of in this sort of event.

When a disaster or emergency strikes, a coordinated response aimed at saving lives and protecting the environment and property is critical. The elements of a response plan include effective leadership and a resource center and communication hub from which to operate; hazard stabilization plan; personnel evacuation, sheltering and welfare plans, emergency medical services and strategies for providing effective public information.

Response begins as soon as it is safe to enter the community that saw the disaster. During this stage, volunteer organizations provide needed services to the communities affected by the disaster. Services may be: help with evacuation, Search & Rescue, medical care, road clearance, debris removal, mass sheltering, feeding, communication, pet rescue, counseling/Chaplaincy.

Ensuring critical systems and services are in place in order to restore operations is the focus of the recovery plan. Pre-structured procedures and arrangements enable a continuity of activities during the period consequences are in effect. Recovery plans are intended to mitigate the impact, consequences and affects of the event, and restore as intended function to the institution.

Recovery is the longest of all the stages of disaster. It can take months, sometimes years, depending on the size of the disaster. Most communities in the recovery stage develop Long-Term Recovery Committees (LTRCs) in order to help rebuild the community.


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