Emergency Management


_ Please just write from NEMA Handbook, Sec. F1-F6
pp. 79-97.


Emergency Management

Name of Student:

Institutional Affiliation:

  1. Describe the main purpose of the assigned reading, including the key question at the heart of the reading that guides the author’s work. What is the author trying to accomplish?

The assigned reading is the National Emergency Management Association (2011); it outlines the different types of issues emergency management directors are likely to face and how they should address them. It draws upon the collective experience of emergency management directors to address a wide range of issues, including management of an emergency organization, preparedness, response, mitigation, recovery, and how to build relationships during the implementation of various programs.


The key question in the book is: what are the professional foundations of Emergency Management that Emergency Management directors need to know? To answer this question, the handbook begins with a historical overview of the history of emergency management in the United States. It also highlights the various things that the directors should know regarding the role of tribal, state, and federal government during emergencies (National Emergency Management Association, 2011). Having examined the overview of emergency management, the handbook shifts attention to the various operational aspects all emergency management directors need to be aware of, including disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery. In other words, the handbook serves as an all-important reference point for career emergency management directors, designed to help them deal with the day-to-day challenges of the profession.

  • Identify the key concepts (e.g., ideas, theories, models, definitions) within the assigned reading used to support the author’s reasoning. These concepts are typically the most central and important ideas presented in the reading.

The main idea that the author uses is that every disaster is local. Based on this idea, the author goes ahead to explain why the US Constitution confers immense powers to governors of states in times of emergency. The presupposition, in this case, is that the best way to succeed in emergency management is to put local people at the forefront of preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery efforts. On the other hand, the federal government is given the primary authority in dealing with threats arising from without the country’s borders. These ideas are important because they underscore the ad hoc and vague manner in which federal authorities and responsibilities are outlined whenever disasters hit various states and communities. The relevance of these ideas is also demonstrated by the occurrence of major disasters that lead to the evolution of the approaches adopted by emergency management authorities.


The handbook also contains a model that it argues should be adopted to promote preparedness. This model contains five elements: planning, organizing/equipping, exercising, and evaluating/improving. Regarding mitigation, the book emphasizes the need to strike a balance between social-political realities on the one hand and efforts of governments and individuals on the other in taking measures that can save lives and protect the country’s economic base. Moreover, at the start of each chapter, a section on the definition of terminology is provided. For example, proactive mitigation is defined as actions that authorities, individuals, and government take prior to the occurrence of a disaster to decrease the level of vulnerability.

3. Select one concept and clarify the concept using the SEE-I process, which stands for:

S: State it

One concept that needs to be clarified is emergency management using the “whole community” approach (National Emergency Management Association, 2011). This concept was introduced by Craig Fugate, the Administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

E: Elaborate or explain it more fully in your own words

            The “whole community” approach simply means that everyone in the community has a role to play in promoting emergency preparedness. It is wrong to sit back and wait for the government to do everything. For example, the private sector should come in and contribute to programs that promote preparedness. Similarly, faith-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, youth groups, special interest groups, professional associations, and political leaders should look for ways in which they can help to work together as a community in coming up with collective frameworks of mutual support to minimize the potential impacts of disasters.

E: Exemplify or provide a good, original example

            A good example of the “whole community” approach at work is the move by the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) to introduce programs aimed at promoting communication with linguistically isolated populations (LIPs) in order to create trusted relationships that can lead to cooperation in the sharing of information and ideas regarding disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

I: Illustrate the concept through the use of an analogy, diagram, metaphor, etc.

This concept can be illustrated through proverbial analogy; there is an African saying which states that “it takes the whole community to raise up a child”. Similarly, it takes the whole community to establish a country that promotes all aspects of emergency preparedness.

  • List at least two questions raised by the assigned reading for class discussion. These questions are ones not addressed in the text that you would like to discuss in class.

Question 1: how can emergency management directors contribute to the improvement of the emergency management system in the United States?

Question 2: How can FEMA harness the professional skills of emergency management directors to improve the outcomes of its Federal Response Plan?

5. Current Event Reflection:

a. Title and date of the current event. Note that the story should have been published in the last six months.

            The current event under analysis is about a volcanic eruption in the American island state of Hawaii on October 30, 2014. The title of the story is: “Hawaii: Guard Provides Volcano Security” (The New York Times, 2014).

b. Synopsis/Abstract: Provide one or two paragraphs outlining the main points of the story.

            The story is about the US National Guard’s response to a volcanic eruption in Pahoa town, Hawaii. The National Guard deployed 83 of its service members to assist in security issues across the town of Pahoa following the eruption of slowly-crawling lava flows that threatened to isolate the town(The New York Times, 2014). This story relates to emergency management by providing insights into the American approach to response, mitigation, and recovery during disasters.

c. Source:

The source for the event is:

The New York Times, October 30, 2014. Hawaii: Guard Providing Volcano Security.


National Emergency Management Association. (2011). State Emergency Management Director Handbook. Lexington, KY: National Emergency Management Association.

The New York Times. (2014). Hawaii: Guard Providing Volcano Security.October 30, 2014.

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