The implementation of the six-stage planning phase by FEMA was meant to provide input on how to deal with risks, challenges, and accidents (Seeger, 2006). Nevertheless, the plan was designed to provide planners with feedback on how to approach the multiple stakeholders effectively through the use of a properly specified process.
The Six-Step Mechanism
The six-step mechanism was intended by FEMA to act as a coordination method, to ensure the provision of mutual objectives, to help set goals, to promote preparation, and, eventually, to provide a medium by which knowledge can be shared by different stakeholders. It is important to highlight that FEMA also intended to ensure that a common culture of planning is inculcated to ensure consistent disaster management (Frazier et al 2013).
The First Step: Establishing a Team
The process begins with the establishment of a team. Why was this the first step? The best planning practices have been proven to be very effective when they are undertaken in a team. The diversity provided by the different team members can be very crucial in the planning process which therefore makes it important to establish a collaborative effort in the planning process.
The Second Step: Understanding the Situation
The second process which involves understanding the situation is important as it allows for the analysis of threats and hazards that may arise. From such an analysis a risk assessment is conducted to identify areas that require special attention.
Establishing Goals and Objectives
Goals and objectives are then established which is critical to any planning process as it provides targets which the collaborative team ought to achieve in the future.
Preparing the Plan
The achievement of the goals would not be possible without there being a plan. Such a plan would provide a course of action to be undertaken. The preparation of the plan is essential as it provides steps to the achievement of the goals.
Implementing the Plan
Finally, implementation of the plan is undertaken and this would involve the training of the different stakeholders. From the following steps, it is clear that FEMA intended to provide an easy and effective step by step approach that can fit different situations.
Frazier, T. G., Walker, M. H., Kumari, A., & Thompson, C. M. (2013). Opportunities and constraints to hazard mitigation planning. Applied Geography, 40, 52-60. Seeger, M. W. (2006). Best practices in crisis communication: An expert panel process. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 34(3), 232-244.