According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), since World War II emergency management has focused mainly on preparedness. Civil defense in the 1950s and 1960s focused on preparing for enemy attack. Later, with the establishment of FEMA, the focus was on an all hazards approach where communities prepared by identifying resources and expertise in advance and planned how to use them in a disaster. Today, the focus is on a complete process, where preparedness is only one phase of emergency management. Current thinking defines four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. There are entire courses on each of these phases.
For more information download the document The Four Phases of Emergency Management at
Photos and Description of the Disaster Management process