Introduction: Handling the Aftermath of Disaster and Preparing for the Future: Increased Collaboration Is Needed in Planning for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters

By Cigler, Beverly A. | The Public Manager, Fall 2009 | Go to article overview

Introduction: Handling the Aftermath of Disaster and Preparing for the Future: Increased Collaboration Is Needed in Planning for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters


Cigler, Beverly A., The Public Manager


Electricity and Emergency Management

Without communication, there cannot be collaboration. Disaster response and recovery is endangered if the power lines are down and organizations and individuals can't communicate due to a lack of land lines and cell towers. In the article "From Flower to Garden: Katrina--Electricity and Emergency Management," Lenneal Henderson focuses on the critical nature of reliable electricity in a disaster. He provides detail on the electrical problems during the Hurricane Katrina response and recovery and sets forth key elements of an electricity-emergency management strategy.

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GIS Technology and Emergency Management

Tammy Esteves explains how geographical information system (GIS) technology changes the way organizations do business and provides greater opportunities for collaboration across organizations. In "GIS: Wonder Tool for Collaboration and Sustainability," she traces the use of GIS in various phases of emergency management such as disaster response, as well as for community planning and policy study.

Ross Prizzia's article, "The Role of GIS in Emergency Management," dovetails with Esteves' overview. Hawaii is an outstanding setting to highlight the use of GIS. It faces a wide array of natural and human-made hazards. The state's relative isolation in the middle of the Pacific and its heavy reliance on shipped goods and products make it especially vulnerable to acts of terrorism by air and sea. The array of natural hazards includes volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and flooding. It may be that the high level of vulnerability to hazards of all types has prompted greater collaboration among involved emergency management entities, including the use of GIS.

Socioeconomic Status and Emergency Management

Carole L. Jurkiewicz, in "Class and Crisis: The Effect of Socioeconomic Status on the Ethics of Individual Experience in Crises," examines one-on-one communication to offer suggestions to those in charge of managing ethical violations related to disasters. Jurkiewicz draws on the works of classical philosophers and political theorists to frame potential approaches. Based on research, she explains ways to recognize the different lenses that various socioeconomic (SES) classes view a crisis. …

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