Issues, Principles and Attitudes

As a result they have become less selfsufficient in

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Unformatted text preview: rather than focusing on the ability of elected officials to make decisions at the time of crisis. The farther you pull decision making away from those that are directly involved, the more the bureaucracy stifles the ability of local government to conduct effective programs. Successes in programs such as COPS & Assistance to Firefighter's Grants are countered by the overwhelming bureaucracy of State Administrative Agencies to administer the DHS State & Local Homeland Security Grant Program and Emergency Management Performance Grant to conduct Training, exercise and planning programs and effective equipment purchases. Planning as a Document rather than a result Examples of this topic include the development of Multi-Hazard Mitigation plans where state and federal officials were more interested in holding communities to shifting standards and grammatical review than seeing them follow through and effectively use the planning process. With most planning efforts the plan is the historical documentation of the decisions made, while the process allows the community to come together to chart a course most beneficial to the community. The result of the planning process is to identify and prioritize mitigation projects. There are many communities that have engaged mitigation activities without documenting these activities. Oftentimes, failures in policy and response are a result of apathy by senior elected officials to understand their role in disaster response as well as their role to protect life safety of the community as a whole. Individual Responsibility Advancements in transportation, technology, and changes in family structures have created an upwardly mobile society that utilizes resources (food, banking, water, fuel, shelter, safety) in an immediate on-demand philosophy (fast-food model). As a result they have become less selfsufficient in surviving with interruptions in supply chain that may result from a major disaster. Through the media, federal, state and local governments initiate promises to support the individual rather than supporting the infrastructure to support the individual. While agencies mention the individual's responsibility for supporting themselves for the first 72 hours of a disaster, they initiate political promises to the contrary, sending a volley of mixed messages that are frustrating and emotionally damaging to local response efforts. An example of this is comments made at Katrina that individuals did not take the impending hurricane as a serious threat until the mayor/governor declared a mandatory evacuation of the City of New Orleans (The Great Deluge). If senior political officials and citizen's require significantly more support in dealing with disasters then the emergency management and emergency response community will require significantly more resources to conduct adequate operations. 3-5 Concur ~ 3-6 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Concur ~ 3-9 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 85 Issues, Principles And Attitudes Oh My! Examining Perceptions from Select Academics, Practitioners And Consultants on the Subject of Emergency Management Carol L. Cwiak, North Dakota State University Concur ~ Some great points were made, but not having any examples or details of situational or geographical setting limits my full appreciation of them. 3-10 II There are four pressing issues for practitioners in emergency management at this time: leadership, structure of the EM system, role of voluntary agencies, NGOs and the private sector in EM, and focusing on mitigation. There is little if any leadership at any level of government in EM at this time. FEMA, and the position of FEMA Director, has been reduced in stature and authority effectively removing any Federal government leadership in EM. No other State or local official has stepped into this leadership vacuum nor has anyone from the volunteer, NGO or business sectors assumed a leadership role. There is no individual or institution advocating for EM or promoting EM issues. Without such leadership, EM issues will be further removed from consideration by decision makers and the general public at a time when the frequency and severity of disaster events are increasing dramatically. The next President could provide this leadership and we will learn a lot about the next President's priorities through the next President's selection to be the Director of FEMA and if the next President decides to reestablish FEMA as an independent Executive Branch agency reporting directly to the President. At this time, the structure of the nation's EM system is in disarray. The role of FEMA and the Federal government continues to be reevaluated. The National Response Plan is under review. Federal support for State and local EM operations is being debated. The question of who is in charge that haunts the Katrina response and recovery efforts to this day has yet to be settled on for future disaster events. Roles and responsibilities among Federal agencies and between the Feds and State and local EM that was very well defined in the 1990s are currently unclear. The nation's EM system needs to be rebuilt. In rebuilding the nation's EM system, consideration must be given to the expanded role of voluntar...
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2008 for the course EM EM-2212-26 taught by Professor Arlenemacgregor during the Spring '08 term at Mass Maritime.

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