The National Preparedness Goal outlines five mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. These mission areas are the cornerstone of preparedness, focusing on preparedness to respond to all hazards, incidents and emergencies. Preparation is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective action. Prevention is the first step in emergency preparedness.
It refers to measures or actions that can prevent an emergency, reduce the possibility of an emergency, or reduce the harmful effects of inevitable emergencies. This includes developing mutual aid agreements and memorandums of understanding, training both response personnel and interested citizens, conducting disaster exercises to strengthen training and testing capacities, and launching campaigns for Education above all. Protection is the second step in emergency preparedness. This includes notification tools such as email, voice and bursts of text which are now common on university campuses and businesses.
It also includes taking refuge in an office or other secure area if you don't know the shooter's whereabouts. Mitigation is the third step in emergency preparedness. This includes every hospital focusing on healing and patient safety as well as disaster preparedness being considered a secondary activity. Mitigation also includes the ability to keep their facilities open and treat patients during a disaster as an enormous asset to the community.
Response is the fourth step in emergency preparedness. Response actions may include activating the emergency operations center, evacuating threatened populations, opening shelters and providing mass care, emergency rescue and medical care, firefighting, and urban search and rescue. Recovery is the fifth step in emergency preparedness. This includes taking a closer look at mission areas from prevention to recovery as well as learning about some of the emergency preparedness and situational awareness technologies available to help protect people, property and business operations.