Emergency and Risk Management

Emergency and Risk Management

Emergency and Risk Management

​​​Emergency Risk ManagementEmergency Risk Management is a systematic process of identifying, analysing, assessing, treating and mitigating risk to people, property and the environment.

The purpose of this effort is to develop an Emergency and Risk Management Case Studies Textbook designed to provide a resource for practitioners and students in the crisis, disaster, and risk management disciplines that displays various best practices, lessons learned, and success stories, through in-depth case studies.  The result of this effort will be the authorship of a college-level crisis, disaster, and risk management textbook containing numerous real-world case studies of disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery actions.

The textbook will be developed in electronic format to support upper division undergraduate college and graduate-level emergency management classes within an emergency management major or certificate program to students who may someday enter an emergency management related profession.

The planned book will include the following ten chapters:

Chapter 1.       Introduction to Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management Concepts

Chapter 2.       Preparedness

Chapter 3.       Mitigation

Chapter 4.       Response

Chapter 5.       Recovery

Chapter 6.       Communications

Chapter 7.       Statutory Authority

Chapter 8.       Business Continuity Planning

Chapter 9:       International Disaster Management

Chapter 10:     Future Trends and Issues

Text chapters will support a minimum of ten three-hour blocks of instruction, unless otherwise agreed upon by the contractor and FEMA.  Information derived from published sources shall be properly cited within textbook chapters, either within the text or by utilizing footnotes.  Numerous information and data sources will be consulted in drafting the case studies including but not limited to:

* Reports by Federal, State and local government organizations

* News reports developed by the media

* Studies and reports developed by academic institutions

* First hand accounts by participants and witnesses

* Official testimony to government bodies

* Previously published emergency and risk management textbooks

* Interviews with available participants and officials

* Reports prepared by voluntary agencies

* Reports and information developed by business community sources

* Data collected by public and private sector sources

Each Chapter will include:

  • Chapter Outline - Bulleted-format outline detailing major topics to be discussed in each chapter
  • Chapter Introduction - Introduction of topics and concepts to be discussed in each chapter. Each chapter will explore a disaster management concept through the medium of one or more case studies
  • Full Instructional Text - Generally, this will consist of one or more case studies
  • Sidebars - Interesting commentary and important concepts that are provided in the outer page margins to expand upon the case studies and other instructional material
  • Discussion Questions - Questions that challenge readers to consider how the events and actions described in the cases would apply in their local context
  • Illustrations - Photographs, charts, graphs, diagrams, and other material that adds visual enhancement to materials provided
  • Information Resources and Website Links - Additional sources of information available in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, both conventional and on-line
  • Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
  • Suggested Out-of-Class Exercises - Additional projects, to be assigned at the discretion of the instructor, that provide students with additional practical experience with the material discussed in the comprehensive chapter material


  1. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the reader to current and historical crisis, disaster and risk management concepts, to define the four phases of emergency management, and to highlight issues concerning communications, business continuity planning and international disaster programs
    1. Emergency management is an essential role of government.  The Constitution tasks the States with responsibility for public health and safety – hence they are responsible for public risks.  The Federal government assumes a secondary role.
    2. The profession of emergency management was attracting a different type of individual.  Political and management skills were recognized as critical to the position, and candidates for State, local and private emergency management positions were now being judged on their training and experience rather than their relationship to the community’s political leadership. 
    3. During this period, a significant piece of emergency management legislation was passed by Congress.  The Flood Control Act of 1934 gave the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increased authority to design and build flood control projects. 
    4. George W. Bush, a new FEMA Director was named to head the Agency; Joe Allbaugh.  As a former the Chief of Staff to Governor Bush in Texas and President Bush’s Campaign Manager in the 2000 Presidential race, Allbaugh had a close personal relationship with the President
    5. n January 24th of 2003, Tom Ridge and a small initial staff commenced work at the Nebraska Avenue Center (NAC) headquarters, a facility shared with the US Navy in Northwest Washington, DC (that had previously been used by the Office of Homeland Security.)
      1. When a disaster event such as a flood, earthquake or hurricane occurs, the first responders to this event are always local police, fire and emergency medical personnel.  Their job is to rescue and attend to those injured, suppress fires, secure and police the disaster area and to begin the process of restoring order
      2. Over the last decade the social and economic costs of disasters to the United States, and throughout the World have grown significantly. During the 1990’s, FEMA spent over $25.4 billion to provide disaster assistance in the United States. During that decade, the economic toll of natural disasters, world wide, topped $608 billion
      3. Preparedness is not, however, only a state of readiness, but also a constant theme throughout most aspects of emergency management.  If one looks back into the history of the Nation, they will see the predecessors of today’s emergency managers focusing most heavily upon preparedness activities. 
      4. There is often a theoretical debate over when the response function ends and the recovery function begins.  For our purposes we will classify the response function as the immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs.  The recovery function is not so easily classified
    6. Communications has become an increasingly critical function in emergency management.  The dissemination of timely and accurate information to the general public, elected and community officials, and the media plays a major role in the effective management of disaster response and recovery activities.
      1. An essential element of any effective emergency management system is a focus on customers and customer service.  This philosophy should guide our communications with the public and with all partners in emergency management. 
      2. No government emergency management organization could ever hope to develop a communications network comparable to those networks already established and maintained by television, radio, and newspaper outlets across the country
    7. Business continuity planning provides focus driven preparedness for businesses. At its simplest, business continuity planning (BCP) is the act of setting up a plan to ensure the very survival of an organization.  Since the early concern with the restoration of computer data, the concept of continuity has evolved in response to a changing environment.
    8. The capacity to respond achieved by individual nations can been linked to several factors, including propensity for disaster, local and regional economic resources, organization of government, and availability of technological, academic and human resources. 
    9. A similar shift of focus in FEMA occurred in 1981 at the beginning of the Reagan Administration.  Then the shift of focus was from disaster management to planning for a nuclear war.  For the remaining years of the Reagan Administration and the four years of President George H. W. Bush’s administration,
      1. Other customers include elected officials, community leaders, volunteer and non-governmental groups and the media.  These groups are also considered stakeholders and partners.  There are internal customers within every emergency management organization including fellow employees and staff
      2. Outside of government, the leadership of members of the business community and the community at large both play a critical role in making communities safer and better equipped to respond to major disaster events. 
      3. In every facet of a successful emergency management system or function, partnerships leverage resources and technical skills, promote the exchange of accurate and timely information and ensure that all the resources of the government, the community and private sector are brought to bear on disaster issues.
      4. Good communications relies on the collection, analysis and dissemination of accurate and timely information.  Good communications accurately defines the task, identifies how it will be accomplished and in what time frame.
      5. New advances in technology occur daily and emergency management must embrace new technologies that enhance the ability to serve the public.  Recent technological advances in tracking hurricanes have improved evacuation and warning protocols
  2. Implementing enhancements or retrofitting incomplete systems allows for the bridging of  these identified shortfalls.  Exercises and training is then utilized to test how effectively the enhancements or new systems are meeting the standards determined in earlier stages and addressing the organization’s risk. 
  3. One of these public education programs is The Community and Family Preparedness Program operated by FEMA that educates the general public about disaster awareness and preparedness. The core message of the Community and Family Preparedness Program is the Family Disaster Plan
  4. The American Red Cross has long been a proponent of preparedness training.  The Red Cross has partnered with FEMA for years to develop preparedness programs and to distribute literature and information to the general public on how to prepare for all forms of natural hazards. 
  5. An important part of the effort to reduce the impacts of tsunamis in these high-risk areas has been public education and community preparedness.  Early efforts included the identification and marking of public evacuation routes, teaching supplies provided to schools, and literature distributed to the population at large.
    1. Through the TsunamiReady program, NOAA’s National Weather Service gives communities the skills and education needed to survive a tsunami before, during and after the event. TsunamiReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local tsunami operations.
    2. The Training Section develops and conducts emergency management training designed to improve the skills and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of emergency management personnel.  Section staff develops, conducts, and evaluates emergency management training and exercises to test the capabilities of contingency plans and the abilities of emergency personnel. 
  6. This document has been designed in the format of an open-paneled calendar (traditional wall calendar format).  On the top panel of each month is information about an action that can be taken to reduce hazards, information about a specific natural or technological hazard,

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