Productivity entails the discipline of identifying a task that needs to be done, outlining the process and procedures needed to complete the task, and the eventual completion of the task in an effective, efficient and timely way. Before taking any action, goals have to be set. A goal can be professional or personal in nature, or it can be a team or groups general purpose. In most instances, a goal represents what we want and the process of goal setting can help guide our actions and activities and can help us in getting what we want out of a particular plan or procedure. The process of goal setting assists an individual to determine where he/she wants to go in life. By knowing clearly, what you want to achieve, you know the areas where you have to direct all your efforts. Through goal setting, an individual or team can detect the distractions that can, so easily prevent them from achieving the set goals. Goal setting is widely used in successful emergency management.

Generally, the primary aim of goal setting approach in the emergency management sector is to establish and suitable and reliable level of safety. Goal setting ensures preparedness because effective and efficient emergency management and incidence response undertakings begin with a number of preparedness activities, which are always undertaken prior to the occurrence of any incident. There is no doubt that resources such as equipment, personnel and relevant supplies are needed to support incident and emergency management objectives. Moreover, the availability and flow of the resources must be flexible and adaptable to the needs of particular incidents. Therefore, goal setting defines and outlines the standardized procedures and establishes the process of resource management to mobilize, identify requirements, acquire and order, report and track, recover and demobilize, inventory and reimburse resources. Therefore, goal setting ensures disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.            

The most important or fundamental elements of goal setting include:

  • Stating the goal positively
  • Outlining the importance of the goal
  • Identifying the steps you need to take to reach the goal
  • determine the deadline for accomplishment of the goal
  • Identify the additional abilities and skills necessary for achieving the goal
  • Outline the problems you might face
  • Outline the ways of dealing with the problems
  • Set realistic goals
  • Drafting an action plan
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It is important to note that emergency management is not a onetime activity or event but a perpetual process of training, planning, execution and revision. Therefore, the goal setting process is very critical in ensuring that all the phases of emergency management are undertaken in an organised and effective manner. In addition, all the fundamental aspects of goal setting must be included to ensure that the emergency management program is successful. The primary aspects of goal setting can be applied in emergency management as follows.  

The overall goal of any emergency management programs is to achieve and sustain a very satisfactory level of readiness to respond to various situations through programmes that bolster the managerial, technical capacities of organizations, governments and communities. Readiness to respond to various disasters is very critical as it has the potential of saving lives and protecting property. Indeed, for disaster management programmes to success the responsible individuals must understand the prevailing situation. Threats and hazards are very general and every region faces specific disasters. Therefore, analysing and researching information about the potential threats and disasters that a region may face guarantees the specificity to the goal setting process. Moreover, risk identification is also a very critical process and this is achieved through the identification of the various disasters that are prevalent in a particular region.

The disasters can include hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. After the identification of the problems that may hit a specific area, the ideal ways of dealing with the problems are then established. That is, what should be done if a disaster occurs? In the emergency management programs, this stage is referred to as emergency preparedness. Further, the various processes used in the identification of potential problems are used to develop a possible course of action or plan of action. For example, various protection and prevention courses of actions that require some initial action may be introduced. These may include activities such as the checking of identity cards or fire fighting trainings. After developing the plan, it has to be reviewed and approved after which it is refined and executed.             

In conclusion, goals are very critical and important aspects of everyday life as it provides direction, long-term vision and short-term motivation. They draw the line between the important and the irrelevant. Most importantly, the goals should be smart, that is, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

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