The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has carried out a comprehensive review of its emergency preparedness and response plan, in order to ensureeffective response to emergency situations in the Territory.
Speaking while declaring the review session open in Abuja, last week, FEMA’s Director General, Abbas Idriss explained that “emerging and complex disaster challenges have made the review of our plan a necessity, hence the need to organize this event.
“Furthermore, acting in an emergency situation or milieu is quite challenging even for trained personnel. Without this kind of document jointly put together and periodically reviewed by stakeholders, confusion and counter=productive actions will tend to set in, in the field.”
According to him, without making adequate preparation for disasters, the resultant scenario in an event of emergency could best be described as “cacophony of responders who are working at cross-purposes. No meaningful result could ever be achieved in this manner.”
Idriss noted that no emergency preparedness and response plan was meant to be static, but rather dynamic, so as to meet with societal dynamics, reminding that issues like suicide bombings hitherto thought to be far-fetched, only heard of or read about in the media were now living with us.
Furthermore, he explained that while they do not pray for emergencies, adequate preparations must however be made to effectively deal with them when they occur, adding that “as first responders to all emergencies in the FCT, the exercise is highly important and, therefore, no amount of sacrifice or contribution from stakeholders should be considered as too much.”
However, the FEMA boss commended the FCT Administration and other agencies for giving it all the necessary support, especially in financing disaster prevention and response.
On his part, a consultant at the event, Dr. Olusoji Adeniyi who made two paper presentations, introduction to preparedness and preparedness plan model, stressed the need for stakeholders to always work together before, during and after emergencies so as to mitigate the impact of any disaster, even as he called on both the public and private organizations and individuals to ensure buildings have entry and exit ways.
He also advised on the need to “always have plans costed for, instead of not having plans at all” and also ensures that policies on the “release of funds are emergency-sensitive.”
Adeniyi also urged that while planning, attention should be focused on “best case scenario, most case scenario and worst case scenario”, and always “workout the numbers and make adequate preparations” for all groups, such as health, camps, food and others to avoid protest by victims.