Former Chief Scientist Officer

Martin Lloyd Sanders | Fundamentals of Emergency Management

Martin Lloyd Sanders | Fundamentals of Emergency Management

Capt Martin Lloyd Sanders served as Director of Division of Environmental Health Services for Federal Occupational Health (FOH). As Director, he led efforts for providing nearly 25 million dollars of environmental health and emergency response services to multiple federal partners. He also participated in strategic management for FOH and the Program Support Center (PSC), and likewise served as Director of Occupational Preparedness and Emergency Response for FOH. From this bit of information, one can rightly assume that Capt Martin Lloyd Sanders is highly skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable in emergency management. Here he shares the fundamentals of emergency management.

In a nutshell, emergency management entails strategic planning and organization of tools and resources to prevent and address emergency situations with the goal of averting crises and disasters. To put it another way, it’s preventing an emergency situation from escalating into a full-blown disaster, Martin Lloyd Sanders shares.

“To give you an example, a recent emergency situation comes to mind,” says Martin Sanders. In the early hours of January 9, residents in Montecito, Southern California were roused from their slumber as they felt their beds shaking, like that of an earthquake. As they ran to the door, they were greeted by the sight of thick, heavy mud flowing through their house and along the streets in their quiet neighborhood. Heavy rains caused mud (and even boulders) from the Santa Ynez Mountains to flow down, reaching the creeks and valleys first and then the neighborhood of Montecito.

The emergency response of the California Office of Emergency Services was to fly a helicopter over houses to rescue the residents trapped in their homes. Some of them were already waiting on their roofs, while others had to be helped up the roof so they can be air-lifted to safety.

Emergency response is one of the fundamental aspects of strategic emergency management, says Capt Martin Lloyd Sanders. The effectiveness of the emergency response plan depends on several factors, from the tools, equipment, and method to preparedness; which is the first fundamental aspect of emergency management.

Preparedness focuses on first assessing risk factors, identifying possible emergency scenarios and procuring the proper tools and equipment for emergency response. It also involves developing a strategic plan for the response/rescue methods in order to reduce the risks during a disaster, or avert one altogether.

The third fundamental aspect of emergency management is recovery. Here, strategic planning is also needed to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the recovery plan. The main objective of recovery, shares Martin Lloyd Sanders, is to bring normalcy back to the affected area, individuals, and families. Recovery methods are applied when the threat to the lives of those affected has been mitigated. These methods may involve helping individuals and families clean and rebuild their homes (as in the case of the California mudslides), rehabilitation, and even counseling or therapy.

In the case of public safety, emergency management is undertaken in federal, state and local levels. Occupational emergency management, on the other hand, is the responsibility of the business owner, company leader, or top management. Federal, state and local guidelines and regulations, if and when applicable, need to be followed, adds Martin Sanders.