Do you concur with the opinion that the city’s fire department should be the lead organization for disaster management in a typical city in the United States?

Module 1 – Case

Introduction to Emergency Operations; Types of Emergencies and Disasters

Case Assignment

You have been assigned by the City Manager to develop an Emergency Management Plan for the city. Although you have experience in emergency response this is the first time that you are involved in the planning process. You read that effective emergency planning begins with the following:

  • Defining an emergency in terms relevant to the organization doing the planning.
  • Establishing an organization with specific tasks to function immediately before, during, and after an emergency.
  • Establishing a method for utilizing resources and for obtaining additional resources during the emergency.
  • Providing a recognizable means of moving from normal operations into and out of the emergency mode of operation.

Although the above steps to develop an effective emergency plan appear to be reasonable and necessary, you have doubts about which item is most important in the initial planning stages. You agree that defining an emergency in terms relevant to the city is important; however, you believe that the city already has an organization with specific tasks to perform immediately before, during, and after an emergency. That organization is the city’s fire department.

Question 1: Do you concur with the opinion that the city’s fire department should be the lead organization for disaster management in a typical city in the United States? State your position and justify it in terms of authority, responsibility, and the organizational position the fire department must assume in order to be effective.

Question 2: Which of the above stated steps to develop an effective emergency plan do you believe would be well outside of the scope of duties assigned to the fire department? Justify your response.

Regardless of the type of crisis, there are a series of common requirements that must be taken into account for an organization to be successful when a critical incident occurs. These include:

  • Deciding policy
  • Assessing threat
  • Identifying resources
  • Selecting crisis team personnel
  • Locating the crisis management center
  • Equipping the crisis center
  • Training crisis team personnel
  • Testing contingency plans and emergency procedures

The city’s fire chief recently appeared before city council and presented a strong recommendation that a specific organization with a well-defined line of authority for planning, mitigating, and responding to emergencies and disasters be established. The fire chief justified this position with the above stated common requirements that must be considered for an organization to be successful when an emergency occurs.

Question 3: Which of the above stated requirements should involve participation and approval well beyond the authority usually granted to a department head such as the fire chief? Justify your response.

Question 4: Which of the above stated requirements do you consider to be critical to the effective development and implementation of a disaster/emergency planning and coordination program/unit in the city? Which of the above stated requirements do you consider to be rather unimportant or insignificant, if any, to the success and effectiveness of the city’s Emergency Management Plan? Justify your response to both questions.

Submit your assignment when it is completed by the last day of this module. Papers should be at least three pages long.

Assignment Expectations

Critical analysis of the complex management issues relevant for emergency response should be provided. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the multiple requirements of an effective emergency response plan.

References: At least two references should be included from academic sources (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles). Required readings are included. Quoted material should not exceed 10% of the total paper (since the focus of these assignments is critical thinking). Use your own words and build on the ideas of others. When material is copied verbatim from external sources, it must be enclosed in quotes. The references should be cited within the text and also listed at the end of the assignment in the References section (preferably in APA format).

Organization: Subheadings should be used to organize your paper according to the questions.

Format: APA format is recommended.

Grammar and Spelling: While no points are deducted for minor errors, assignments are expected to adhere to standard guidelines of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence syntax. Points may be deducted if grammar and spelling impact clarity.

The following items will be assessed in particular:

  • Relevance: All content is connected to the question.
  • Precision: Specific question is addressed. Statements, facts, and statistics are specific and accurate.
  • Depth of discussion: Points that lead to deeper issues are presented and integrated.
  • Breadth: Multiple perspectives and references, and multiple issues/factors are considered.
  • Evidence: Points are well-supported with facts, statistics, and references.
  • Logic: Presented discussion makes sense; conclusions are logically supported by premises, statements, or factual information.
  • Clarity: Writing is concise, understandable, and contains sufficient detail or examples.
  • Objectivity: Paper avoids use of first person and subjective bias.

 

Module 1 – SLP

Introduction to Emergency Operations; Types of Emergencies and Disasters

Project Summary

The Session Long Project for this course will involve developing an emergency response plan (ERP) for a specific community which is subjected to at least three major emergencies or disasters each year. The plan is not required to be detailed but should focus on the operational requirements for managing these disasters or emergencies. The ERP will include a hazard analysis, and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery plans.

The outcome for the SLP will be a completed ERP that you would present to the city council and others during public hearings on its implementation. This completed ERP is due in the Module 4 SLP.

Module 1 Assignment

  1. Select a community for your Session Long Project.
  2. What are the three types of disasters or emergencies, other than routine emergencies, that you intend to plan for in your ERP?
  3. Briefly discuss why you selected these disasters.
  4. Remember to include graphics such as maps, charts, photos, tables, and figures to supplement your writing.

Note

You will use the remaining four modules, as well as this one, to build the presentation piece by piece. In the Module 4 SLP, you will synthesize materials from the Module 1-4 SLPs into a final project of 15-20 pages.

This Module 1 SLP paper should be no longer than three pages.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Selection of a community and critical assessment of three types of potential disasters faced by this community are to be provided.

References: At least two references should be included from academic sources (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles). Required readings are included. Quoted material should not exceed 10% of the total paper (since the focus of these assignments is critical thinking). Use your own words and build on the ideas of others. When material is copied verbatim from external sources, it must be enclosed in quotes. The references should be cited within the text and also listed at the end of the assignment in the References section (preferably in APA format).

Organization: Subheadings should be used to organize your paper according to the questions.

Format: APA format is recommended.

Grammar and Spelling: While no points are deducted for minor errors, assignments are expected to adhere to standard guidelines of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence syntax. Points may be deducted if grammar and spelling impact clarity.

The following items will be assessed in particular:

  • Relevance: All content is connected to the question.
  • Precision: Specific question is addressed. Statements, facts, and statistics are specific and accurate.
  • Depth of discussion: Points that lead to deeper issues are presented and integrated.
  • Breadth: Multiple perspectives and references, and multiple issues/factors are considered.
  • Evidence: Points are well-supported with facts, statistics, and references.
  • Logic: Presented discussion makes sense; conclusions are logically supported by premises, statements, or factual information.
  • Clarity: Writing is concise, understandable, and contains sufficient detail or examples.
  • Objectivity: Paper avoids use of first person and subjective bias

 

 

Required Reading

Eshghi K, and Larson, E. (2008). Disasters: Lessons from the past 105 years, Disaster Prevention and Management. 17(1), 62.Retrieved from ProQuest.

Puget Sound regional catastrophic disaster coordination plan (2013). Retrieved from http://mil.wa.gov/uploads/pdf/PLANS/coordination%20plan.pdf [sample coordination plan].

State of Maryland response operations plan (2015). [Sample of a state’s operations plan].

 

Required Websites

Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System: http://www.gdacs.org/

Homeland Security Presidential Directives:http://www2.epa.gov/emergency-response/homeland-security-presidential-directives

National Response Framework (NRF).Department of Homeland Security.https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/117791

 

Optional Reading

2009 Global assessment report on disaster risk reduction (2009).United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/gar/report/index.php?id=1130&pid:34&pif:3

 

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