Issues, Principles and Attitudes

Is an education really necessary andor a substitute

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Unformatted text preview: all-hazards" with a "one-hazard (terrorism) fits all" perspective that is fundamentally wrong.1-4 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Concur ~ Politics again. 1-8 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Concur ~ 1-9 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhat Concur ~ 1-11 II Appreciation that guiding principles are articulated through legal enactments. 1-8 Do Not Concur ~ 1-3 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 49 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 Somewhat Concur ~ This raises three issues: 1) other community practices and principles (e.g. land-use planning) are supported in law so emergency management's should be too 2) professions protect their practices by enshrining them in law (e.g. the medical profession's protection of its rights to practice) and 3) emergency management is intertwined with community management and therefore other laws are also relevant. 1-4 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Concur ~ Not sure that I can accept the language here but the idea is a key point. 1-7 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do Not Concur ~ It is more than legal enactments. 1-9 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhat Concur ~ 1-11 II Most emergency managers are former First Responders who have moved into an emergency management position. Education in emergency management is lacking. Many managers view emergency management from their specific perspective without the education preferred for an emergency manager. The All-Hazards approach seems to be lacking, especially at the Federal level of DHS. The words are spoken but the action is lacking. 1-9 Do Not Concur ~ I don't concur with the first item. I do concur with the second and third. What is wrong with experience as the stepping stone to EM positions? Is an education really necessary and/or a substitute for experience? If I am not mistaken, James Lee Witt did not have a college education and did OK as an EM. I am not anti education by any means, but experience does matter and is equally if not more important. 1-3 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhat Concur ~ The old vision of a `jack of all trades" emergency manager must be replaced by a range of professional expertise developed off some base principles. This must include, however, recognition that response expertise will always be needed, not just solely. 1-4 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Concur ~ YES YES YES 1-7 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhat Concur ~ 1-8 II ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Concur ~ 1-11 II In my opinion, I think we need to shift emphasis from hazards to vulnerability, and we also need to simplify the central purposes of emergency management. First, let me discuss the problems of focusing on hazards. Focusing on hazards is ironic since we cannot stop an earthquake (but only limit the impact from an earthquake). It is also misleading since it tends to generate a technocratic approach to disasters (improved warning systems and engineering won't solve every disaster problem). Hazards neglect the human element in disasters 50 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 (Stephen Bender reminds us that it is the vulnerability stupid!). A hazards approach is limiting (it downplays psychology, culture, law, politics, economics, etc.). Focusing on hazards leads to dramatic shifts in policy (as I have described earlier). A vulnerability approach* resolves all of these problems. It centers attention on that which we can control in a disaster (our vulnerability). It takes a comprehensive view of why disasters occur and suggests a broad view on how to address them. It is explicitly based on peoples' attitudes, values and practices. And, it is comprehensive looking at every possible variable that may impact a disaster (e.g., land-use planning, construction, warning systems, perspectives of threat, poverty, planning, response capabilities, demographics, public heath issues, environmental degradation, public policy, law, business practices, preparedness of the populace, etc., etc., etc). * My perspective of vulnerability includes the radical/structural interpretation that is popular in the literature (e.g., focusing on the poor, disabled, elderly, women, etc). However, I also include many other variables relating to vulnerability (e.g., exposure to a hazard, culture, engineering, land-use planning, etc.). I think it is imperative to view disasters holistically and accept complexity. So, what is vulnerability? Discussions of vulnerability cover many variables from the physical/built and social/organizations environments. If you examine definitions of vulnerability, you will also notice that they discuss proneness factors or limited capacity to prevent, prepare, respond or recover. Vulnerability seems to be increasingly related to notions of risk, resistance, susceptibility and resilience. Putting all of this together in an attempt to simplify emergency management, we may say: 1. Emergency managers need to address our vulnerabilities in the physical/built and social/organizations environments. 2. The...
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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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