Response Readiness: Emergency Response Plan
Response Readiness in humans is innate. It is something that originates from the mind and constitute the intellect. Although the brain filters all incoming information, humans interpret the information and react to the situation. But man’s nature is such that he reacts not only to theactual existence of dangers, but also to the threats and symbols of danger experienced in the past.(Territo and Vetter, 1981). Man wants to be prepared to meet any new situation from the time it appears. He does not want to be at blunder due to his being unprepared. He wants to be in control of the situation, no matter what it is, particularly during emergency.
This creates a situation where the organ’s function is adjusted not only to the needs of the organism under prevailing condition, but also to anticipated needs. Irrespective whether this preparedness is adequate or not, it may affect the adaptive – protective mechanisms of the living organisms. The organisms response pattern called stress involves the endocrine and psychic process. Stress is the adverse physical and emotional reaction to demands put on the individual by unsettling conditions and experiences. (Berger, 1988)
Our response readiness follows a pattern starting from the alarm reaction, stage of resistance, adjustment and stage of exhaustion. During emergency situation, we are alarmed of the impending danger. This alarm reaction has two phases. Phase one comprises a series of somatic disturbances. However, the body’s defenses are immediately mobilized to meet the emergency situation. The second phase is the stage of resistance. The defense now tries to make good the damage caused in the first phase of the alarm reaction; meantime, the fight continues on a more defensive level. The most important weapon at this stage are the hormones released by the body, known as the corticosteroids, which is produced by the pituitary gland. During this stage, there is already an adjustment. The last stage is know as the stage of exhaustion where the body’s defenses give way and the adjustment to the stressor is lost. The defense is no longer able to sustain the adjustment mechanism, thus, the individual succumbs. This will also present studies conducted in relations to the effects of response readiness in humans. Furthermore, this is intended to widen the scope and understanding on how the response readiness of an individual affect him during emergency.
In view of the above, the research intends to present the Emergency Response Plan that could aid a community or group of people in the Rescue Team in understanding the response readiness of humans during emergency situation. The Emergency Response Plan will be evaluated using some of the standards in FEMA website. This Emergency Response Plan for our city is based on the website found at
Review of Related Literature
Many studies have been conducted before regarding the response readiness in humans. This research investigated the effects of response readiness in normal subjects by manipulating the probability of their responses. The reaction time is fast for those people with high probability. It was hypothesized that the patients would demonstrate abnormal patterns of response force with manipulations of response readiness. It was further hypothesized that the patients would display evidence of inability to inhibit responses on no-go trials.(Franz and Miller, 2002).
The Otago Participant Pool used 20 undergraduates as their subjects, whose age ranges from 18 to 30 years old. All of these participants gave their consent that they will be subjected in an experimental study on response readiness. They were all placed in a dimly lit room where a microcomputer controlled the presentation of stimulus and recorded the response force. A set of written instructions was displayed prior to the trial. A pedal operated by foot was placed under the table to initiate the trial. The color cues flooded the entire screen in either green or blue. An arrow (8 x 12 mm) or an equals sign (=) (5 x 7 mm) was displayed at the centre of the computer screen subtending a visual angle of 1° degree horizontally and 0.75° vertically. Stimulus intensity was 85 cd/m2 against a dark background. .(Franz and Miller, 2002). Blocks were given in alternately using the left and right hands. The instructions were clearly given by the experimenter. After the instructions were given, a message on the screen flushed indicating that the foot pedal should be tapped to initiate the trial. Subjects were instructed to respond as fast as possible without any error. Upon the commission of an error, the word “incorrect” appeared at the screen, coupled with a tone. There was an interval of the auditory tone before another color will be flushed for the following trial.
The force–time patterns of both hands appeared relatively smooth and bell-shaped for the student controls (upper panels). In contrast, the averaged force–time patterns were quite variable for the uninvolved hands. .(Franz and Miller, 2002).
Considering previous studies made, the experiment proved that there is a faster response time among subjects with high probability compared to subject with low probability of responses among the normal and controlled group.
Based on the Emergency Response Plan with website address indicated above, I have evaluated it based on the following criteria. It incorporates the following elements such as the vital records, database, alternate facilities, orders of succession and delegation of authorities. It has clearly specified the evacuation assembly areas. The Floor Plan diagrams are posted in a conspicuous place for the easy evacuation routes. The copies of the Floor Plan diagrams and details of the posted locations are properly kept.
The Emergency Response Plan has an alternate operating facility to directions and map of routes from primary location to alternate operating facility. It also has an established roster of personnel by position, needed to perform the essential functions. There are identified personnel assigned for each position. The plan indicates and identifies the equipment including information technology, telecommunications, hardware needed to perform essential functions. There is also a documentation of the legal authority for officials, including those below the agency head, to make key policy decisions. To delineate the limits of authority, meaning, there is a specified authority who has been delegated to exercise directions, including exceptions, and authority to re-delegate functions and activities.
This Emergency Response Plan also ensures that the officials, expected to assume authorities are trained to carry out emergency duties. In fact, the Safety Coordinator is the one who is responsible for conducting the drill. The program/plan provides the training of the staff so that they will be fully aware of what to do in case of emergency. They have been assigned with respective duties and responsibilities to carry in case the situation calls for it. The Safety Coordinator leads the Safety Committee and organize the monthly meetings to update the emergency plan as needed. The Warden monitors the safety issues on equipments to support the essential functions. All the necessary communications are identified and made available during emergency situation. Adequate communications exists.
On the other hand, the Emergency Response Plan stills needs revisions and updates to be improved further. As I have evaluated it, the orders of succession has to be in detail.
In general, the plan has been designed to assign roles and responsibilities which could be of great help in times of need.
Territo, L., & Vetter, J (1981). Stress and Police Personnel. Massachusettes: Allyn & Bacon, Inc
Berger, K (1988). The Developing Person Through the Life Span (2nd edition). New York:
Worth Publisher, Inc.
Franz, E.A & Miller, J. (2002). Effects of response readiness on reaction time and force output in
people with Parkinson’s disease.Oxford Journals, 125. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from
Business Emergency Response Plan.City of Vancouver. Retrieved from