Emergency Management: A Reference Handbook

Emergency Management: A Reference Handbook

Emergency Management: A Reference Handbook

Emergency Management: A Reference Handbook


A hurricane floods a major American city, leaving 1,800 people dead and thousands homeless. A tsunami in Indonesia kills 200,000 people in minutes. A sarin attack in the Japanese subway poisons 12 people and sends thousands more to the hospital. These are the life-and-death scenarios that the discipline of emergency management tackles -- with logistics, computer modeling, and ingenuity.

The monumental natural and humanmade disasters of the 20th century, which killed 25 million people in Asia alone, have underscored the need for professional and coordinated disaster response worldwide. This book examines the profession and practice of emergency management in the United States, at the United Nations, and around the globe.

Emergency Management explores the history and development of the discipline from the first federal disaster relief proclamation in 1803 to the present day. It also analyzes current debates over when and how emergency resources are best utilized, and the laws and public policies that govern emergencies. An essential source for secondary and college students, and for all citizens who want to understand emergency preparedness.


Like all titles in ABC-CLIO’s Contemporary World Issues series, Emergency Management: A Reference Handbook offers an introductory and exploratory examination of an important issue in our time. Emergency management is a vitally essential activity, discipline, and profession. The premise of the discipline is that there is a better way to deal with expected and unexpected natural and human-caused disasters than simply “winging it” and muddling through until the crisis abates.

Emergency management offers a better approach—a rational approach—for handling the calamitous natural events, unfortunate large-scale accidents, and murderous acts of terror and political violence that come our way. Through sound principles of mitigation and preparedness, communities and governments in this country and in others increase their chances severalfold that when potentially disastrous events do strike, the communities will endure less damage and suffering than would have been the case had no predisaster emergency management activities taken place.

Through sound and rational response procedures and activities, emergency managers can ensure that the rescue of disaster victims unfolds in an expeditious and well-equipped manner and that those with acute physical needs following a disaster will receive immediate and helpful attention. Further, the field of emergency management offers tried-and-true methods for the recovery of communities which, despite all preparations, may have been struck particularly harshly by natural or man-made ravages. Through emergency management recovery best practices and established policies, communities might quickly recover to a predisaster status or better, with the restoration of . . .

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