Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word paper that includes the following:
•Analyze the effect of legislation on emergency management funding and operations.
•Analyze legal issues that affect the function of emergency management agencies.
•Evaluate an after-action report identifying the use of resources during emergency response.
•Evaluate the available technology for Emergency Management during times of disaster.
•Generate recommendations for the advancement of the field of Emergency Management.
Format your paper according to APA guidelines.
Cite 3 peer-reviewed, scholarly, or similar references to support your paper
Disaster Response Plan
Every organization must have a way of organizing and managing its resources to deal with emergencies by responding and recovering from them in addition to finding ways of lessening their impact. This essay address various issues that should be an integral component of a disaster response plan. Some of these issues include management of the resources required in emergency response, legislation involved, technology, and recommendations for the advancement of the field of emergency management.
Legislation on disaster management programs has had far-reaching effects on many aspects of emergency management including funding and operations. The main aim of legislation in these processes is to give guidance and to establish good practice in terms of response and recovery from emergencies (Canton, 2007). This guidance further helps in developing a number of aspects including the establishment of a coordinated multi-agency framework for emergency response and recovery. This aspect helps in the identification of the roles of all individuals in an organization during disaster response. It also helps in bringing coordination between the different levels of emergency organizations, that is, local, sub-national and national levels in terms of how they should work together.
Furthermore, legally sanctioned guidance creates a common frame of reference that includes concepts for those involved in emergency response. (Abbott & Hetzel, 2006). Moreover, it helps in the assigning of the required resources to the required sections involved. For example, a lot of funding may be allocated to areas prone to disaster so as to facilitate prevention and recovery. It also helps in making sure that people get enough awareness on how to act in case of emergency and who they should contact. Legislative efforts also help in ensuring that the resources required in emergency recovery, for example, transportation services, are adequate. Lastly, it provides is a transparent framework for the development of an elaborate compensation scheme for disaster victims.
In efforts to manage disasters, many legal issues may arise. To begin with, administrative challenges may arise in the form of problems in the management of the organizations involved in emergency response. Examples of administrative challenges include things like lack of participation by all the individuals involved, disagreements between different entities leading to a dysfunctional organization, and lack of collective experiences in problem-solving.
Furthermore, the existing legal system in a country may pose problems in disaster management. For example, some court decisions may be unfavorable for some of the parties involved in recovery efforts. Also related to this issue is the problem of government bodies where their domination of operations may cripple emergency management activities. This problem arises when some officials receive government, but make falsified claims through a web of corrupt activities. Similarly, liability can affect disaster response, particularly when a person or organization who has the obligation to do a specific part as stated by the law, only to do a poor job on it.
Additionally, the problem of tort has been widely highlighted in disaster response efforts. It entails an action by a person, group or organization to harm another by infringing on one’s right. It can easily occur when a person or group fails to act wrongly thereby harming another directly or indirectly. For example, tort claims can be made if an organization promises compensation but fails to, leading to suffering among disaster victims. One way to resolve these issues is through incident study which involves the analysis of a disaster/emergency in order to identify any incident that may lead to careless actions such as the allocating of the unrequired assets or failure to allocate essential resources. Failure to make practical considerations may also become a major problem. Examples of such problems include poor, unrealistic or outdated plans, lack of enough training, absence of legal assistance, and inadequate government immunity. In the latter case, the government may be subject to some forms of liabilities.
Every disaster recovery effort should be followed by an after-action report, which is an exhibition or compilation of previous developments during the emergency. It provides an analysis of the actions that were taken. An after-action report is important because it identifies the strengths and shows the areas that require improvement while simultaneously providing countermeasures for dealing with problematic areas in the future (Savoia, Agboola & Biddinger, 2012). In terms of structure, the report starts an overview of the situation, followed by goals or objectives of critical actions. Next, it provides an analysis of action and corresponding outcomes, followed by a performance analysis of critical tasks. It then outlines a summary of the situation before finally offering recommendations for improvement purposes.
Technology plays a critical role in emergency response and recovery, whereby the latest available gadgets are used to make disaster management faster and more efficient. Examples of the gadgets that may help in this undertaking include the simulation deck, Intellistreets, and the iDAWG (Intelligent Deployable Augmented Wireless Gateway) (Marsden, 2012). The simulation deck was introduced following the increased use of social media as a method of communication. Through this platform, the technology offers a means of obtaining information and creating public awareness about any ongoing emergencies and the easiest way of getting out of harm’s way. The technology, an idea from Nusura consulting firm, is not yet to be fully completed for large-scale use.
On the other hand, Intellistreets is an invention that Ron Harwood came up with to help people to respond to chaos arising from disasters. Its development was heavily inspired by the chaos that ensued during the unfortunate 9/11 incident. It consists of a dual-mesh wireless radio system embedded to microprocessors for fast sensing and interpretation of graphics and language prompts which Harwood says are faster than those provided by responders in the analysis of an emergency situation. Intellistreets has access to a web-based system, such that operators will be the first to get a trigger whenever there is an environmental disturbance. Similarly, it can alert citizens about a developing emergency faster than the first responders, witnesses, and victims.
The iDAWG (intelligent deployable augmented wireless gateway), is also another useful technological tool helps a lot in case of a worst-case scenario communication breakdown among responders. It is an important tool because unlike other communication gadgets, it does not depend on cell towers or internet networks for communication to take place. Thus, it has a first-hand advantage in terms of uninterrupted communication. The iDWAG is installed normally in responders’ transport system and each responder is equipped with one to ensure that communication during a crisis is faster and uninterrupted.
There following are the main recommendations for improving the emergency management field:
- Information technology use should be harnessed to boost disaster management since it provides a faster, less costly way of reducing the harm caused by disasters to the economy and to people’s lives. Moreover, its use minimizes responders’ proneness to errors by providing capabilities that people can cling on in case of disasters in order to make quicker and better decisions.
- Having a better situational awareness and the common operating ground is also an excellent way of improving emergency management, the ability of both citizens and emergency responders to get information should be promoted.
- Decision support, resource allocation, and tracking should be enhanced so that decisions are made quickly and efficiently based on relevant information. Such improvements will greatly inform the choice of resources to use and the follow-ups to be made.
- Public engagement needs to be fostered to ensure that the public gets actively involved in saving the situation whenever there is no emergency response.
- Lastly, infrastructural improvements are needed given that most disasters tend to destroy critical infrastructures such as the electric grid and road networks. Improving existing transportation systems and establishing new ones is an excellent way of promoting logistical excellence particularly in times of emergencies such that in the event that one mode of transportation is destroyed, victims and responders can readily switch to the next one.
In summary, the development of a disaster response plan is a crucial undertaking that requires the utmost attention. The legal frameworks put in place should be implementable and well-thought-out. They should facilitate the allocation of the required resources such as infrastructure and a system for financing response and recovery efforts. Moreover, the use of technology should be emphasized so as to ensure a faster response, efficient communication, as well as the effectiveness of preventive and recovery measures. Finally, the implementations of the aforementioned recommendations should be prioritized in efforts to improve the overall advancement in the field of emergency management.
Abbott, Ernest B, and Hetzel, O. (2006). A Legal Guide to Homeland Security and Emergency Management for State and Local Governments. Washington, DC: American Bar Association.
Canton, L. (2007). Emergency Management: Concepts and strategies for effective programs. Baltimore, MD: John Wiley & Sons.
Marsden, J. (2012). Dynamic emergency response communication: The Intelligent Deployable Augmented Wireless Gateway (iDAWG). Syracuse, NY: IEEE.
Savoia, E., Agboola, F. & Biddinger,P. (2012). Use of After Action Reports (AARs) to Promote Organizational and Systems Learning in Emergency Preparedness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(8), 2949-2963.