Emergency Management: A Reference Handbook

By Jeffrey B. Bumgarner | Go to book overview

2
Problems, Controversies,
and Solutions

Any activity of government is prone to be shrouded in problems and controversies. The functions and practices of government—particularly in democratic countries—are unendingly up for debate. Why? Because government actions and inactions have the potential to affect many people (in both positive and negative ways). As we have seen, emergency management is generally concerned with events—natural and manmade—that themselves affect many people. We know that disasters kill and injure people. This facet of disasters is devastating enough. But in fact, disasters affect society in additional ways as well. Disasters have a tremendous mental and emotional effect on survivors. Disasters are horrendously expensive and can cost taxpayers billions of dollars that could have been spent on other public goods and services. And disasters tax the human and capital resources of governments.

In this chapter, readers will have an opportunity to consider some of the problems associated with disaster victimization. Further, the chapter explores the merits of different government approaches and responses to disasters. Indeed, whenever governments make choices about how to deal with the public crises of the past, present, and future, controversy necessarily ensues. Bureaucratic and political bickering can certainly be very unpleasant—especially when the real lives and property of victims and survivors are involved. However, such bickering might alternatively be viewed in its most favorable light—namely, as a symptom of a free and dynamic society that cares enough to

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Emergency Management: A Reference Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - Background and History 1
  • 2 - Problems, Controversies, and Solutions 33
  • 3 - Worldwide Perspective 73
  • 4 - Chronology 105
  • 5 - Biographical Sketches 129
  • 6 - Data and Documents 155
  • 7 - Directory of Organizations 199
  • 8 - Resources 237
  • Glossary 267
  • Index 277
  • About the Author 293
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