Issues, Principles and Attitudes

This then holds true for events triggered by either

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Unformatted text preview: we had a good process set up prior to 9-11 when we referred to Crisis vs. Consequence Management. Homeland Security blurs those lines leading to the belief that the two are one in the same and clearly they are not." 2-10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Homeland Security has distinguished itself by more openly recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of the field, FEMA, and the FEMA Higher Education project more specifically still appears to be focused on far too few issues and areas and continues to be exclusionary on a minimum of two dimensions." 1-7 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "As law enforcement pushed FEMA and natural hazards planning further and further to the back of the room, it was clear to emergency managers that there would come a day of reckoning...and that was Katrina. Unfortunately, the leadership at Homeland Security has the single tool syndrome: I have a hammer so every problem is a nail. That is not meant to be curt or funny. It is a sad truth. I've worked within the programs of Homeland Security and found them to be ominously bloated and fatally unfriendly to local and state government, especially the grant and assessment programs." 3-9 A handful of participants noted a significant difference between terrorist events and natural or technological hazards. The comment below offers the most interesting dialogue on this point with recognition that part of the difficulty lies in a fragmented identity. "I believe the emergency management principles I proposed above are derived from the basic assumption that a community's risks are the result of social, economic, political, physical and environmental factors and decisions in which the community plays the dominant role. This then holds true for events triggered by either natural or technological causes. Emergency management then becomes more than just the response to the consequences of these events. However, the community's broader decisions and actions may be less relevant when the risks are derived from hostile human intent, such as terrorism. These security driven risks need a different set of management practices. Unfortunately many of the same community responses work for both scenarios and therefore I believe there has been misunderstanding that general 29 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 management practices are also interchangeable and, more unfortunately, that a `protect us from the enemy' attitude is equally applicable to the risks we generate in our own communities. Some of this difficulty comes from the current development of the emergency management profession that allows it to be pulled in different directions by practitioners with ties to particular risks (e.g. IT for Y2K, health for pandemic, security for terrorism, engineering for earthquakes etc) rather than its future position as a stable profession, focused on its own principles, that these other sectors seek advice from, rather than influence over". 1-4 CONCLUSION At the outset, there was a belief on the researcher's part that significant differences might be evident between the participant groups. These differences did not evidence themselves; indeed, the levels of topical consensus across groups were quite high. This consensus points to a shared understanding across the groups of what the salient issues and directives of emergency management are. It is hoped that the dialogue that began within this study generates greater discussion as it continues across the emergency management community and into arenas where it can become a tool for change. It is this shared dialogue that is needed to advance emergency management and promote the necessary evolution of the field. Special thanks to Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard for sharing his ongoing desire to gather the knowledge in the field and to utilize it to advance the profession. His own encyclopedic knowledgebase coupled with his never-ending thirst to know more is an inspiration and constant motivator for the rest of us in emergency management higher education. Thanks also to my patient and dedicated team at NDSU: Dr. George Youngs, Dr. Daniel Klenow, Dr. Gary Goreham, Dr. Elaine Lindgren and Dr Tim Sellnow. It is the environment that exists within our program and department that creates the framework within which we can seek the answers to the questions that intrigue and challenge us. Finally, thanks again to the participants who gave of their time to contribute to this study. Your desire and commitment to advance the field is noteworthy and sincerely appreciated. 30 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 APPENDIX A A debt of gratitude is owed to the participants of this study for their viewpoints, time, consideration and candor. Ralph Waldo Emers...
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