Comprehensive Emergency Management is often described in terms of 4 phases - loosely and incorrectly term as 4 phases of disasters, more correctly as 4 phases of emergency management. This phase based model was developed as 1 of the 3 core components of Comprehensive Emergency Management, based on an understanding that disasters are events that continue over a period of time and that can be described in terms of a life cycle. In this context it made sense to describe the management of an emergency management program in phases tied to the disaster life cycle especially as the basis for programmatic allocations of resources and funding. Each phase should involve actions at the federal, state, and local level guided by an all hazards approach.
Emergency Response Phases

4 Phases of Emergency Management

  1. Mitigate

    Personal mitigation is mainly about knowing and avoiding unnecessary risks. This includes an assessment of possible risks to personal/family health and to personal property.

  2. Prepare

    Personal preparedness focuses on preparing equipment and procedures for use when a disaster occurs, e.g., planning.

  3. Recover

    The recovery phase starts after the immediate threat to human life has subsided. During reconstruction it is recommended to consider the location or construction material of the property.

  4. Respond

    The response phase of an emergency may commence with search and rescue but in all cases the focus will quickly turn to fulfilling the basic humanitarian needs of the affected population.