Emergency Management Doctrine Discussion & Responses
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Topic: Emergency Management Doctrine
Which phase of emergency management do you find most important and why: mitigation, preparedness, response, or recovery? Where should the emergency manager and his or her staff be housed within local government and why there? It is often found in various places such as a stand-alone agency, part of fire or police. What might it tell you based on where it is and the staffing level and resources allocated to the emergency management function? Next, where does an emergency operations center (EOC) and Fusion Center fit into the overall process. Finally, apply at least 1 biblical passage to the concept or practice of emergency management. Explain why you picked the passage and what it means to you.
Peer Response #1
Emergency management is made up of four phases which make up the core of its function to respond to disasters. The four phases of emergency management are mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Mitigation is what to do where a risk to society has been identified and devising a risk reduction program. Preparedness involves developing a response plan and training first responders to save lives and reduce disaster damage, among many other tasks. Response entails providing emergency aid and assistance, reducing the probability of secondary damage, and minimizing problems for recovery operations. Lastly, recovery involves providing the immediate support during the early post-disaster period necessary to return vital life-support systems to at least minimum operational levels and continuing to provide support until the community returns to normal. Of the four phases, preparedness becomes the most important as it is what sets the tone for how an office of emergency management(OEM) responds and recovers from a disaster. Wolf-Fordham stated, “the critical element of successful disaster recovery is a close relationship with emergency management developed prior to the event” (Wolf-Fordham, 2020). If an office prepares well, developing strategies and tactics for specific areas of the community that may fall victim to a disaster, while training members of the OEM team to carry out those strategies, the response will be quicker and handled more smoothly. After carrying out a well-prepared response plan, the prepared recovery plan can begin resulting in restoring the community to minimum function as quickly as possible. Without being prepared, each of the phases become negatively impacted.
The emergency management officer and their staff should be housed in an OEM building if the locality budget and service area allow it. State and larger counties should be able to give the OEM Director the available building to have an area to conduct preparation planning meetings, as well as small level training for response and recovery. If in a local municipality where the budget and service area do not allow it, the OEM director should either be a member of the Police, or Fire Department so that they can have access to radios and interagency communication between fire, police and EMS in the event of a disaster. Being that funds are not readily available in smaller local municipalities; it is important for the first responders to be all on the same page until they can request help from county and state agencies.
Often times in small towns and cities where the population is dense, like in New Jersey for example, emergency management cannot be conducted solely by the county because the population would be too much for one county agency to handle, but also a small city cannot provide an OEM office on its own due to budget restrictions. In this case, either the fire department or police department will house the OEM director and at times it may be the chief of either agency. This shows that a generic OEM plan will not work because a city like Los Angeles may be able to have an entire Emergency Management agency, like a small scale FEMA, whereas a smaller city like Long Branch, NJ (population 30,000) houses their OEM within the fire department. In a more rural area, such as southeastern Kentucky, disaster response has been an issue since 2002, according to Oppizzi and Speraw (2016) where they stated:
Disproportionate shares of responsibility for community well-being fall on rural hospitals and health centers, despite the reality that these entities have fewer resources, a greater geographic area to serve, and far less surge capacity than is found in larger cities.
While every city and small town would love to be able to afford to have an OEM building, and the staff to go along with it, it is just not feasible with the drastically smaller budgets. Housing the offices inside of an already operating agency will allow for quicker response times to be able to manage a disaster until a larger agency can intervene and provide assistance.
Preparing, responding and recovering from man-made disaster such as terrorism, or a natural disaster require information form the federal level down to the smallest agency. How this is done is through the use of fusion centers and emergency operations centers. The Department of Homeland Security described these offices responsibility as, “fusion centers empower homeland security partners through the lawful gathering, analysis and sharing of threat-related information, while EOCs primarily provide information and support to incident management and response/recovery coordination activities” (DHS, 2020). Relying on federal, state and some larger counties to have these centers will allow for smaller agencies to be able to have access to the information required to prepare for a disaster.
When thinking of scripture regarding emergency management, it is hard to not think of Noah building the ark to withstand the flood. This is in direct relation to emergency management preparedness where he devised a plan and placed it into action. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Peer Response #2:
The most important phase and why: Response
The most important phase is when the response begins when an emergency event is imminent or immediately after an event occurs. Response encompasses all activities taken to save lives and reduce damage from the event and includes providing emergency assistance to victims, restoring critical infrastructure (e.g., utilities), ensuring continuity of critical services (Arain, 2015). The response involves putting preparedness plans into action. One of the first response tasks is to conduct a situation assessment. The local government is responsible for emergency response and continued assessment of its ability to protect its citizens and the community’s property (Arain, 2015). To fulfill this responsibility, responders and local government officials must immediately assess the local situation. Rapid assessment includes all immediate response activities directly linked to determining initial lifesaving and life-sustaining needs and identifying imminent hazards (Arain, 2015). The ability of local/state governments to perform a rapid assessment within the first few hours after an event is crucial to providing an adequate response for life-threatening situations and imminent hazards (Arain, 2015).
Coordinated and timely assessments enable local government to prioritize response activities, allocate scarce resources, request additional assistance from mutual aid partners and the state quickly and accurately (Arain, 2015). Additionally, obtaining accurate information quickly through rapid assessment is key to initiating response activities and needs to be collected in an organized fashion. Critical information also called essential elements of information (EEI) (Arain, 2015). The EEI’s includes information about lifesaving needs, such as evacuation and search and rescue, the status of critical infrastructures, such as transportation, utilities, communication systems, and fuel and water supplies, the status of critical facilities such as police and fire stations, medical providers, water and sewage treatment facilities, and media outlets (Nemeth, 2013). All of these endure the best possible response to a crisis.
Location and staffing of emergency managers
In most areas, the mayors and governors often heavily rely on emergency managers in times of crisis. Mayors and Governors need notification about local /state emergencies and disasters for several reasons. Certain emergency circumstances require mayor-level or executive decisions. Second, due to the media coverage on local/state disasters and emergencies, they need to be apprised of these events at least as early as the news media, if not sooner (Sylves, 2019 pg26). The mayor’s public image may be at stake if handling a crisis is not done correctly (Sylves, 2019). Thus, one can tell much information based on where the emergency manager is sitting. Such as if the mayor or governor desires to keep their city safe. The allocating of funding to the emergency manager’s office location to ensure that mitigation, response, recovery efforts are appropriately cared for Kapucu, 2011). Furthermore, the staffing makes statements on how well the local or state is prepared to act in the event of a crisis (Kapucu, 2011). Having the right amount of personnel to prevent task saturation.
EOC and Fusion Center fit into the overall process.
The ECO and fusion center plays a vital role in the homeland security process. The fusion process is a cornerstone for the effective prevention of threats, including terrorism and other crimes, by State, local, tribal, and territorial governments. The term “fusion” refers to the overarching process of managing the flow of information and intelligence across all levels and sectors of government and the private sector (Monahan & Palmer, 2009). It goes beyond establishing an information/intelligence center or creating a computer network. The overall goal of the fusion process is to convert raw information and intelligence into actionable knowledge (Monahan & Palmer, 2009). Fusion Centers and Emergency Operations Centers play a critical role in linking state and local on-the-ground information with the federal government’s strategies and response (Monahan & Palmer, 2009). They must foster relationships to work together effectively and establish policies and protocols to coordinate and share relevant information and intelligence during daily operations and emergencies to enhance the public’s safety (Monahan & Palmer, 2009). Fusion Centers and Emergency Management efforts are enhanced with better interaction and information sharing. The two must develop a solid relationship to work together to achieve their respective objectives effectively. The relationships forged between these two entities will allow them to have continuous, meaningful contacts, which will enhance their ability to share information and intelligence regardless of the activation status of the EOC (Monahan & Palmer, 2009). Mutual trust and respect must guide interagency collaboration policies and protocols, allowing for effective and consistent collaboration during the steady-state or an emergency (Monahan & Palmer, 2009).
Ezekiel 38:7 states, “‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them.” (Ezekial 38:7, NIV) What this means to me in the context of emergency management is that we must always be ready as a crisis will happen. We must prepare and mitigate as much as possible. Additionally, we must take command using our processes and remain calm through the storm and respond appropriately.