Online Custom «Introduction to Emergency Management» Essay Sample

Introduction to Emergency Management

A well-documented summary offers a preview of what the section of the book entails. In this preview, the authors introduce emergency management and its origin. The parliament introduced discipline in the 1960s into the American curriculum. The main aim was to equip disaster managers with skills on how to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from disasters. There are many disasters that the world has faced in the past, and many more are coming. Therefore, there is the need to have the right skills to reduce suffering, save lives and prevent damage to property. In the preview, the authors talk about the future of disaster management. They claim that President Obama promised the nation to renew FEMA and make it independent. The president has not fulfilled most of his promises, but the author hopes that he will still address the issue. The writers quote Jean Karr, who argues that innovations remain the same even though they continue changing. Reflecting on this statement, the authors of the book claim that the emergency management discipline faces the same challenges that it has faced in the 1980s. In their opinion, disasters are more or less the same, and they require the same response to save lives and reduce pain. Therefore, the discipline is not awaiting many changes (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2011).

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The writers explain the history of emergency response and the functions of each phase in the disaster management cycle. What concerns mitigation, disaster managers anticipate possible hazards that have the potential to cause harm. When disaster managers predict that there is the possibility of a crisis that will overwhelm the community, they start mitigating it. In this phase, they put in place measures to prevent the occurrence of the hazardous event. However, in case it is not possible to prevent the occurrence of the hazardous event, they work towards reducing the negative impact on the community. In the preparedness stage, the community as well as the disaster managers are certain that the hazardous event will occur. The authors point out that the disaster managers - both the authority and humanitarian agencies - prepare the community to deal with the consequences of the event. In this case, the community is trained in evacuation, sheltering, in-shelter activities, lockdown, and other preparations. Disaster managers mobilize the government, FEMA, community and relevant bodies to be resilient to the hazardous event. According to the book writers, response is the most visible phase. At this stage, the disaster has already occurred. The vulnerable community that cannot handle the impacts of the disaster using the available resources is overwhelmed. Therefore, the military, police forces, the government, international organizations, observers and humanitarian organizations come in to help save lives. This stage requires immediate action to reduce the impacts of the disastrous event. After the repose, the authors argue that it is necessary to help the community recover. Recovery requires funding from the government as well as private organizations in order to help the community go back to its normal life. In most cases, recovery aims at strengthening the community, reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience. Disaster managers should ensure that the affected people are in a better position than they were during the disaster. In case the hazardous event reoccurs, the community should be able to handle its consequences using the available resources (Haddow et al., 2011).

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As the chapter unfolds, the authors describe the hopes that President Obama has shared with the emergency managers. He promised to make FEMA an independent agency and strengthen it. However, Obama faced economic and political challenges in this process. The writers of the book pointed out that the problems did not allow Obama to concentrate on disaster and emergency management. Therefore, he let FEMA remain part of DHS. Obama continued with the program that his predecessor Bush had started. This arrangement has improved emergency management, but it still requires more funding and support. The authors cite scholars who have conducted credible research in the sphere of emergency management. For instance, he cites the work of Daniel Alesch, who has researched the emergency response plan in a business organization. Alesch has found out that businesses that lack an effective emergency response plan are at risk of losing their property (as cited in Haddow et al., 2011). They may take time to recover and end up losing the initial business focus. The authors point out that NDRF has the responsibility to ensure that disaster management process is effective. However, NDRF failed to prepare an effective ERP. It did not indicate what each stakeholder would need to avoid confusion in different disaster phases. Therefore, most of the problems that have existed earlier in emergency response are still evident (Haddow et al., 2011).

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According to the chapter summary, emergency management department has a lot of risks. It requires cooperation of all stakeholders as well as effective management. The authors argue that each phase of the disaster cycle should not have the same weight, because they involve different activities. In this case, FEMA and other humanitarian organizations should reconsider the disaster management framework. They should come up with a structure that analyzes the activities in each phase and gives each stage the required attention. Communication is an important aspect of emergency management. FEMA and DHS should continuously communicate with the communities and the government to understand the challenges of these both groups. There are many challenges emergency management faces at the local, state and federal levels (Haddow et al., 2011).

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The authors conclude the chapter summary with a quick look at the concepts discussed in the chapter. This approach stimulates the mind of the reader and reminds him of the ideas discussed. There is a brief discussion of the risks in disaster management that include evolving realities, climate change, and changes in the political, economic and social environments that demand effective leadership and innovative approaches. The chapter introduction ends with hope that every leader takes the challenge positively.

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