Case Studies Paper on Comprehensive Emergency Management

Comprehensive Emergency Management


Comprehensive Emergency Management refers to the actions, decisions, responsibilities, and tasks that are undertaken by the pertinent authorities with the sole aim of preparing, recovering, responding, or mitigating the effects of a disaster, which could be manmade or caused by natural phenomena. A Comprehensive Emergency Management plan requires that the responders follow the four phases of emergency plans (Rubin, 2009).

All Hazards

The shared characteristics around different varieties of technological and natural disasters recommend that a significant number of the same administration techniques can apply to all such crises. An all-hazards methodology to crisis preparedness supports viable and predictable reaction to any disaster or crisis, paying little attention to the cause. Emergency Managers will coordinate the advancement of a danger based, all risks method that make those basic proficiencies important to get ready for, react to, recover from, and keep or decrease misfortunes coming about because of natural and human borne crises (FEMA EMI, 2009).


Preparedness includes steps to diminish defenselessness to disaster effects, for example, damages and misfortune of life and property. This may include changes in nearby building regulations to sustain structures; changed zoning and area use administration; fortifying of open framework; and different efforts to make the group more flexible to a disastrous occasion (FEMA Working Group, 2007). Activities involve;

  • Includes plans or arrangements made to spare lives and to help reaction and salvage operations.
  • Evacuation plans and stocking nourishment and water are both cases of readiness.
  • Preparedness exercises occur before a crisis happens.


Readiness monitors seeing how a disaster may affect the group and how training, effort and preparing can manufacture ability to react to and recover from a disaster. This may incorporate captivating the business group, pre-disaster key arranging, and other logistical status exercises. The disaster readiness exercises aide gives more data on the best way to better set up an association and the business group for a disaster (FEMA Working Group, 2007).These includes:

  • Includes any exercises that prevent a crisis, diminish the shot of a crisis happening, or lessen the harming impacts of unavoidable crises.
  • Buying surge and flame protection for your house is a relief action.
  • Mitigation exercises happen prior and then afterward emergencies


Reaction addresses quick dangers displayed by the disaster, including sparing lives, helping (sustenance, safe house, garments, open wellbeing and security), cleanup, harm evaluation, and the assessment of asset appropriation. As the reaction period advances, center shifts from managing quick crisis issues to directing repairs, restoring utilities, creating operations for open administrations, and completing the cleanup process (FEMA Working Group, 2007). Activities include;

  • Includes moves made to spare lives and avoid further property harm in a crisis circumstance. Response is putting your readiness plans without hesitation.
  • Seeking sanctuary from a tornado or turning off gas valves in a tremor are both response exercises.
  • Response exercises happen throughout a disaster.


Recovery is the fourth phase of disaster and is the rebuilding of all parts of the disaster’s effect on a group and the reappearance of the nearby economy to some feeling of regularity. By now, the affected area has accomplished a level of physical, natural, monetary and social strength. The recovery phase of disaster could be broken into two periods. The transient stage commonly keeps going from six months to no less than one year and includes conveying prompt administrations to organizations. The long haul stage, which can extend up to decades, requires keen vital arranging and movement to address more genuine or lasting effects of a disaster (FEMA EMI, 2009). Activities entail;

  • Includes moves made to come back to an ordinary or a much more secure circumstance emulating a crisis.
  • Recovery incorporates getting money related aid to help pay for the repairs.
  • Recovery exercises occur after a

Case Study Issues

There is an issue with coordination and implementation efforts of the rescue teams as evidenced in their 36-hour search for the missing girl. The lack of power in the three counties has occasioned a deficit and availability of gasoline to be used in the backup generators. Consequently, hospitals, orphanages, and nursing homes for the elderly have been adversely since they cannot operate and function normally.

There is also a lack of ample communication equipment and procedures. The communication infrastructure is down which hampers search and rescue efforts. Additionally, it is almost impossible for the disaster management teams to inform the public of its operations, advise them on emergency procedures, among other issues (Stehr, 2007). The poor road network especially for the rural areas is of concern since it is difficult for the disaster management operatives to send some of the basic needs for these residents such as food, water, blankets, among others. These poor road network, coupled with the poor communication equipment means that it is difficult for the rescue teams to ascertain the total number of people in need of assistance within the county.

Finally, there seems to be a problem in the management of the fire department. This is due to an impropriety in the acquisition and disbursement of equipment for use for rescue operations. For instance, there is an issue regarding the location for some equipment that had been bought the previous year. The poor search and rescue missions seems to indicate that the department leadership is either unaware of its mandate and duties, or has a poor strategy for search and rescue missions. As evidenced from the case study, resources for search and rescue such as the National Guard, nonprofit organizations, and volunteers are in plenty but there is a lack of equipment and leadership structure to adequately control, monitor, and coordinate the efforts of these resources. The county should engage in a planning process that follows the four phases by ensuring that the lessons learnt in this scenario are alleviated through preparedness, response, and recovery operations.


Communication is an essential tool used for the flow and relay of data and information through different channels such as people and infrastructure. The latter involves such channels as media, radios, social media, internet, telex, among others. Communications are likewise a fundamental variable in accomplishing precision, great timing, and right evaluating of an occasion’s extent. There are a few paramount parts of correspondences. One is the specialized capacity to convey rapidly and proficiently. This means having designated phone, radio, telex, and other electronic systems accessible, on perfect frequencies, and with reinforcement frameworks if there should arise an occurrence of disappointment of the essential framework. Capability to convey over a wide and broad range is likewise essential. An alternate significant part of correspondences is brief, well-disposed relations with the media, all of which could be of huge administration in times of crisis (FEMA Working Group, 2007).

Media (electronic and print) are extremely useful in a debacle administration related correspondences. They serve as extremely functional course between the individuals and the Disaster management faculty. At the point when power is off, telephones go out and the web is down, when police, firefighter, and doctor’s facility administrations are overpowered, novice radio specialists are there to consume the slack as crisis communications volunteers

In this case study, coordination and invitation of relevant bodies such as the Red Cross and the National Guard indicates that communication channels were open and effective during the onset of the disaster. However, following the breakdown of the communication infrastructure, it became difficult for the search and rescue operations to coordinate their efforts. Additionally, it is more difficult for the county emergency manager to request for outside assistance such as to the governor of the state to increase emergency assistance efforts (Smith and Wenger, 2006). However, in spite of this poor communication, there seems to be an open and highly effective communication channel between the county manager and other pertinent institutions such as the hospitals and orphanages. Therefore, it is paramount that the strategy being used for communication with these institutions be applied to other search and rescue operations to enhance their operational effectiveness.

Management, Leadership, and Decision Making Needs

Management is the process of learning, using, and acquiring resources, both infrastructural and human, for the purpose of the accomplishment or execution of a decision or action that achieves a predefined goal or objective. Leadership is simply the ability for one to inspire or instill confidence on his subjects to accomplish certain defined tasks. The increase of recurrence and extent of regular and human-made disasters throughout a decade ago made it clear that conventional crisis, emergency, and catastrophe administration instruments have ended up being ineffectual. In this respect, accepted methodologies portrayed by progressive system and centralization have been supplanted by decentralized crisis administration frameworks (FEMA EMI, 2009).

There, is coordinated effort and organizations in emergency, disaster, and crisis settings underlining decentralized and adaptable structure alongside significant managerial and administration conveyance changes, presents to its own particular notable issues to the table. One of such issues is synergistic choice making (FEMA EMI, 2009). The key components of superb reaction in such circumstances is having a pioneer who can lead and to settle on informed, reasoned choices in a group environment is indispensable to the achievement of any endeavor in emergency management (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011).

In this case study, preparedness and mitigation plans for the aversion of such a disaster seem to be poor since it is clear that the county emergency manager did not have ample and effective warning systems, evacuation plans, and standby emergency response teams. The response to the needs that the disaster has arisen indicates good management. However, there seems to be a poor decision-making and leadership structures since the search and rescue operations are not achieving their desired results. Additionally, the county emergency manager seems to lack effective management skills to identify the extent of the resources capabilities.

In this case study, one of the means for addressing this issue could be through the communication with the governor of the state requesting for additional resource assistance such as equipment and personnel (Berman, Moss and Schellhamer, 2009). Since three counties are already affected, the governor has two options. First, he can declare a state of emergency, which would compel other states to step in and offer assistance, or he can request the president to step in, assist with the search, and rescue operations through FEMA (Fugate, 2010). Under title II of the Stafford act, the president can assess the situation and direct FEMA to begin assistance of the counties through emergency aid, medical assistance, and equipment provision, among others. Therefore, since the county emergency manager has not sought this strategy, it shows poor decision and management skills.

Technical Skills for Tackling the Issues

Barbra et al. (2005) portray competency as a “particular proficiencies needed for viable execution, inside the connection of a job’s obligations, which attains the objectives of the organization”(p. 3). Coordination among emergency managers and the whole community and all stakeholders at all levels is essential to effective emergency management. Mass content informing administrations, for example, Twitter, Facebook, mass robotized dialing administrations, for example, Invert 911, and normal siren frameworks that are utilized to caution for tornadoes, wave, air-assault, and so on (Etkin, 2006). Telematics, GIS mapping, GPS and cell correspondences are assuming an expanding part in managing groups, following advancement and allocating laborers in the result of snow squalls, electrical storms, surges, high temperature waves and occasions where the wellbeing of residents is a significant concern.

In this case study, one of the important strategies for addressing the disaster management issues is through zoning of areas. This will identify different areas that require different needs. For instance, if zoning had been previously done, the county emergency manager would have identified the poor road structures in the rural areas, and during the onset of the disaster, he/she could have requested for equipment from the state to assist in access, search, and rescue operations. To address the communication breakdown of equipment, the county could ask the state to provide satellite uplink vans. If the state lacks this equipment, under the FEMA operational guidelines, provision of such equipment is a necessity (Fugate, 2010). Proper firefighting equipment are a necessity in every country, the government should purchase well-structured and quality equipment to enable easy detecting and suppressing of fire both in the rural and urban areas.

Political and legal contexts

It is vital that the debacle managements be acquainted with the legitimate structure controlling disaster preparedness, administration, and moderation. The anticipation and administration of catastrophes needs a multifaceted methodology. This is on the grounds that there are diverse agencies included in the disaster reaction deliberations. The political setting has a telling impact on disaster preparedness reaction and mitigation (Wilson et al., 2007). Catastrophe supervisors must be prepared for the political actuality that shapes pioneers’ choices (Wilson et al., 2007). The political pioneers bargain with an extensive variety of dangers and the choices they make are reliant on the predominating political substances.

In this case study, the underlying political intrigues stem from the need for the leaders to maintain their current positions. However, the poor leadership skills and an oncoming election could result in a loss of their position. Legally, emergency managers are protected from the law by getting immunity from prosecution based on their actions during the disaster. However, this immunity does not cover acts of gross misconduct, bad faith, or negligence (Remer and Houston, 2011). The improper use of county funds has resulted in a lack of proper equipment that could be used to address the impending disaster. Therefore, since the EOC comprises of both the sheriff and county judge, it shows that the county has a concrete legal system. This could be used to investigate and prosecute the individuals identified to have misused public funds for the purchase of the firefighting equipment. Additionally, actions by the fire chief in not acting to put out the fire in the isolated home could be viewed as gross misconduct and could have legal ramifications. Some of the laws that can be applied during the disaster are such as the Disaster relief Act of 1970 and the Stafford disaster relief and emergency assistance act.

The Social and Ethical Contexts

Disaster supervisors need to settle on choices on the best use of the accessible assets.  Supervisors ought to pick a game plan that guarantees the insurance of the life of the biggest number of individuals (Hoffman, 2009). The coordination of disaster reaction, administration, and mitigation exertions happens inside the social circle. All persons have the right to a reasonable treatment and a powerful legitimate solution to guarantee the insurance, regard and happiness regarding their rights concerning the anticipation measures arranged or if the powers neglect to act to embrace aversion and disaster hazard decrease measures and to organize relief (Etkin, 2006) .All persons should receive prompt help in the occasion of a regular or innovative disaster, including the benefit of essential wellbeing administrations. Compassionate help is given reasonably, fairly and without segregation, indicating due respect for the helplessness of victimized people and for people’s and assemblies’ particular needs (FEMA EMI, 2009). This humane help meets the needs of the populaces concerned, as per worldwide models and the best existing practices.

Social welfare is being addressed through the large number of volunteers willing to assist in the search and rescue operations, which can be considered as a recovery phase (Peekand Browne, 2014). The donations being received also represent a need for the society to be responsibly involved in mitigation efforts of the disaster. The misuse of funds can be deemed as unethical and all pertinent officials responsible for this should be investigated and prosecuted. There is also an issue with leadership ethics as evidenced by the lack of execution of firefighting procedures for the burnt home. This is because the leader of the firefighting team failed to coordinate and issue or authorize provision of equipment to deal with the fire. Such an issue raises ethical uncertainty among residents, which induces a feeling of favoritism and bias in the allocation of resources within the local community. This can be alleviated through the application of normative ethics and practices in the disbursement and aid of victims (Soliman and Rogge, 2002).


Therefore, from the analysis, it is plausible to come to the decision that the disaster management team erred during the mitigation, preparedness, and response phases of disaster management. This situation can be averted by engaging in a meticulous analysis of the conduct and actions taken by the leaders and rescue teams, which will occur during the recovery phase of the disaster management (Rubin, 2009).




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