Case Study And Journal
Field: Social Science
Unit II Case Study
You are the new emergency manager in a city that is prone to tornadoes. In fact, the city has just completed recovery efforts after a storm spawned three different tornadoes at once, causing major damage to the city’s buildings and infrastructure. Many people within the city believe that the recovery efforts took way too much time to complete because the city was simply unprepared for a storm of that magnitude. In addition, the multi-jurisdictional agencies that were brought in to help the city recover would not cooperate or collaborate with one another. Each agency leader seemed to have his or her own way of handling recovery issues, and many times, their efforts would work against one another, which delayed recovery efforts by months.
The mayor of the city has called upon you as the new emergency manager to study these issues and determine how the city’s disaster response can be improved.
In your written response to this case study, you will address the following topics:
Challenges the former emergency manager likely faced regarding collaboration and coordination among multijurisdictional agencies while managing the tornado disaster event
Ways that you, as the new emergency manager, can overcome barriers regarding the possible lack of collaboration and cooperation among multi-jurisdictional agencies and foster a better working relationship among them, so that the city can recover more quickly when the next disaster strikes.
Your response should consist of at least two pages and should incorporate at least two sources, one of which can be your textbook. All sources used should be cited and referenced properly using APA formatting.
Text book: Kapucu, N., & Özerdem, A. (2013). Managing emergencies and crises. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Thinking about the community in which you reside, do you believe that your community is prepared for a disaster event? Why, or why not? If you were your community’s emergency manager, what steps would you take to ensure that your community is prepared?
Community used is Killeen, Texas.
Your journal entry must be at least 200 words. No references or citations are necessary.
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Course Learning Outcomes for Unit II Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
3. Assess emergency planning strategies aimed to reduce risk. 3.1 Describe the challenges an emergency manager may face regarding collaboration and
coordination among multi-jurisdictional agencies during the management of a disaster event. 3.2 Discuss how an emergency manager can overcome barriers to collaboration and coordination
among multi-jurisdictional agencies when responding to a disaster event.
Course/Unit Learning Outcomes
3.1 Unit Lesson Chapter 3 Unit II Case Study
3.2 Unit Lesson Chapter 3 Unit II Case Study
Reading Assignment Chapter 3: Prevention/Mitigation and Preparedness for Emergencies and Crises
Unit Lesson Hazard mitigation is an integral part of any community disaster-management plan. The integration of the mitigation plan into latter phases of emergency management can be beneficial when numerous resources are needed from other local jurisdictions and also from the state and federal levels (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). The basic foundations of emergency planning and assessing the types of emergency responses that will be implemented are emergency assessment, hazard operations, population protection, and incident management. Mitigation is the first or primary step in overall emergency management. It is the key component to acquire stakeholder buy-in and is an integral piece of ensuring risk reduction when a hazard occurs. Preparation, on the other hand, is a type of insurance policy against the hazard occurring. In essence, it is how the community and emergency mangers are going to respond to emergencies (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). Mitigation is one of the most valuable activities of emergency management. It involves taking preventive measures in order to minimize the impacts that a hazard may have upon the community. Mitigation can be advantageous in not only reducing the risk to the physical economy, but also strengthening the social structure of the community. In order to have effective mitigation processes in place, there needs to be collaboration amongst the community members and other key stakeholders. Emergency managers who are facilitating community stakeholders at meetings should also include a discussion on both current and future hazards that may impact the community. Politicians, public response agencies, non-profit organizations, industry, and local community members from private businesses should also be included in the mitigation process. Disasters not only impact the lives and homes of community members, but also impact the business community as well (Armenakis & Nirupama, 2013; Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). Funding is crucial to the efforts of mitigation, and political figures are imperative to the success of allowing those funds to be used in addressing community hazards. One of the key areas that emergency managers should take into consideration is educating and training community officials concerning previous disasters, the likelihood of disasters occurring again in the community, what are the respective losses that can occur, and what types of recovery efforts would be needed based on the type of hazard that may occur. The reason for training and
UNIT II STUDY GUIDE
Emergency Management Phases: Mitigation and Preparedness
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education for political figureheads is to minimize the feeling of complacency if a hazard has not presented itself for a number of years. It is up to the emergency manager to ensure politicians receive the up-to-date information and research regarding present and future hazards (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). Emergency managers and stakeholders should approach mitigation practices from an all-hazards approach in dealing with the potential threats that may impact the community. After the mitigation phase, preparation follows in the line of actions to be taken concerning planning and equipping emergency response agencies for the types of responses needed when the emergency happens. Communities need to have in place not only a comprehensive, concise plan, but also an emergency operations center (EOC) that will be fully operational when there is a disaster. The EOC is the main location that includes an emergency response organization network (ERON). The network includes officials from all sectors and also provides critical resources for continuing open communication, business continuity, and a network of partnerships for channeling resources. Planning includes training through exercises and drills (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). The three most utilized types of exercises are tabletop, functional, and full-scale exercises. The tabletop exercise involves community stakeholders coming together and discussing a narrative for the overall hazard that has been provided. It involves the definitions of how the community stakeholders will respond. Functional exercises will test a specific area of community response and how those responding agencies will operate. The full-scale exercise will test all facets of responding agencies (e.g., logistics, communication, and staging) (Pfurtscheller & Thieken, 2013). The expectation is greater in preparing for disasters and hazards after an event has taken place in the community. It is not uncommon to have community residents lose confidence in their leaders after an event has taken place, depending on how it was handled, the response, and the outcome of returning to normalcy. Another key component to mitigation and planning is flexibility (Armenakis & Nirupama, 2013). Periodic reviews and revisions concerning the emergency management plan should be viewed as a continuing process in an effort to maintain current safety measures. Emergency managers need to take into account the changes in political officials and economic factors impacting funding for supplies, training, and equipping the community with disaster related needs to handle the emergent hazard. Disasters are not just prone to occur in the United States. Other countries around the world also should be prepared to adopt mitigation and planning strategies in order to approach disasters and hazards from different levels (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). It is important for countries to approach disasters and hazards by addressing risk detection, risk recognition, risk communication, and the ability to operationalize, organize, and implement a community response system. The United States uses the National Response Framework (NRF) outlining the key principles for all the stakeholders involved in an emergency response. The NRF indicates the types of actions that will be taken at the local agency level, but also provides other instances where involvement with the federal government will take place. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) was initiated (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). This new component to emergency response includes an all-hazards approach and response, but also one that requires the use of common terminology and language for all responding agencies to understand what may be occurring in an incident. The NIMS framework includes: (a) preparedness, (b) communications, (c) resource management, (d) command, and (e) continual management and maintaining necessary mechanisms for successful response. Unfortunately, even with a well-organized structure, there are political agendas that can influence the outcome of using NIMS and implementation during hazard response (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). Another noteworthy framework that has been developed is in the United Kingdom (UK). Once again, after the terrorist attacks in the United States, the development of an integrated emergency response system was initiated in the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA). The efforts supported by this Act fall into the category of resilience in the UK. The CCA is separated into two parts: handling the local civil protection and addressing emergency powers. Those who are responding to an emergency are considered Category 1 responders (emergency services). On the other hand, those who are cooperating responders, or Category 2 (utilities, health needs, and other governmental agencies), fall into this type of response. Category 1 responders are responsible for handling risk assessments, and these are then listed for the National Risk Register. The CAA does have some pitfalls, and questions have been raised regarding the real level of readiness and preparedness for the hospitals involved in an incident. The plan also appears to be lacking in continuity of operations after an event (Kapucu & Özerdem, 2013). A successful mitigation plan includes the ability to be flexible, but one that also allows sustainability regarding the planning for future events and hazards. Mitigation, in this case, is developed to minimize the risks, if not eliminate those risks, and be able to sustain life, property, and future safety within the community
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(Pfurtscheller & Thieken, 2013). It should be noted that mitigation and sustainability are interdependent on one another. Through the combination of mitigation and sustainability, there is a greater chance of minimizing the risks to the community regarding hazards. The clear need is to plan in advance for hazards and disasters. It takes a community-wide effort along with the comprehensive emergency management skills from local, state, and federal officials. Collaboration and commitment to the community are two keys in order to prepare for disastrous events that may take place (Pfurtscheller & Thieken, 2013).
References Armenakis, C., & Nirupama, N. (2013). Prioritization of disaster risk in a community using GIS. Natural
Hazards, 66(1), 15-29. Kapucu, N., & Özerdem, A. (2013). Managing emergencies and crises. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett. Pfurtscheller, C., & Thieken, A. H. (2013). The price of safety: Costs for mitigating and coping with Alpine
hazards. Natural Hazards & Earth System Sciences, 13(10), 2619-2637.