Revitalizing Emergency Management after Katrina: A Recent Survey of Emergency Managers Urges Improved Response, Planning, and Leadership and a Reinvigorated FEMA-The Federal Government Has Responded by Making Most of the Recommended Changes

By Daniels, R. Steven | The Public Manager, Fall 2007 | Go to article overview

Revitalizing Emergency Management after Katrina: A Recent Survey of Emergency Managers Urges Improved Response, Planning, and Leadership and a Reinvigorated FEMA-The Federal Government Has Responded by Making Most of the Recommended Changes


Daniels, R. Steven, The Public Manager


In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the federal government and the State of Mississippi issued several reports criticizing and recommending improvements to federal and state disaster response. Common themes included the following:

* Accurate forecasts prevented further loss of life.

* All levels of government understood the potential consequences of a large-scale hurricane on the Gulf Coast.

* All levels of government were unprepared for a disaster so large.

* The state and local infrastructure-including flood protection, law enforcement, human services, emergency response, and medical care--was inadequate for the scope of the disaster.

* Response plans at all levels of government were inadequate for the scope of the disaster.

* All levels of government failed to execute existing response plans effectively.

* Massive communications failures undermined coordination.

* Lack of training, communication, and situational awareness undermined command and control.

* Military assistance was invaluable, but uncoordinated.

In general, the federal reports recommended a stronger focus on comprehensive emergency management; improved coordination through a national emergency operations center (EOC), regional strike teams, and interagency planning; better communications interoperability; greater commitment at all levels to the national emergency management system; better training and professional development at all levels; more comprehensive community preparedness; and more thorough planning for catastrophic disasters. The Mississippi report also emphasized smart growth and recognition of the long-term consequences of economic development decisions.

Did the events of August and September 2005 lead the emergency management community to reexamine the way it thought about and planned for catastrophic disaster? The author devised an online survey, the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)-National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Emergency Management Survey, to examine these questions.

IAEM-NEMA Survey

The survey examined "catastrophic disasters" from the perspective of local and state emergency managers. A catastrophic disaster is an "event having unprecedented levels of damage, casualties, dislocation, and disruption that would have nationwide consequences and jeopardize national security."The survey asked emergency managers to explore four themes: the most likely catastrophic disasters in their political jurisdictions, the effectiveness of their political jurisdiction's emergency operations plan (EOP), the causes of the policy failures of Hurricane Katrina, and suggested improvements for the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The author administered the survey to IAEM members and fifty-four state and territorial emergency management directors in early 2006. Despite a low response rate (3 percent), the survey reached all ten FEMA regions, thirty-five states and territories (65 percent), eighty-five counties (3 percent), and four Canadian provinces and one Australian state. The political jurisdictions (states and counties) in the survey represented 26 percent of the US. population.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Catastrophic Disasters

Since September 11, 2001, terrorism and homeland security have largely overshadowed disaster assistance in federal emergency management. Although comprehensive emergency management includes homeland security and national preparedness, national security issues have dominated priorities and resources for disaster assistance throughout FEMA's history. In contrast, the state and local emergency managers in the survey clearly do not rate terrorism as the most likely type of catastrophic disaster to confront their political jurisdiction (Figure 1). The disasters ranked as most likely were flooding (67 percent listed flooding as first to fifth most likely), tornadoes and associated storms (58 percent), winter storms (50 percent), wildfires (46 percent), and chemical accidents (41 percent). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Revitalizing Emergency Management after Katrina: A Recent Survey of Emergency Managers Urges Improved Response, Planning, and Leadership and a Reinvigorated FEMA-The Federal Government Has Responded by Making Most of the Recommended Changes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.