Emergency Management Response in Hurricane Sandy

Question

Resources: Internet, University Library

Find a current event article involving emergency management response.

Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper in which you discuss and address the following in your paper:
?The nature and background of the emergency response
?Outline terms related to emergency management utilized within the article
?Identify alternative courses of action and why
?Summarize the impact of emergency management I n relation to the article
?The overall outcome of the situation.

Sample paper

Emergency Management Response in Hurricane Sandy

The nature and background of the emergency response

Hurricane Sandy remains to be the largest ever recorded Atlantic hurricane in the United States history. It cost the country a total of over sixty five billion dollars which makes it the second most expensive hurricane in history. The winds, heavy rains and big storms characterizing the hurricane caused sixty nine deaths in the Caribbean and seventy two more lives after hitting the eastern United States. The coastal communities were among those that were hit hardest in the mid Atlantic. Those who responded first to the disaster had to navigate through life threatening conditions in order to save lives but the most notable thing is how the Americans united to help the affected families. The hurricane caused huge destructions to the infrastructure such as roads, energy systems water and sewage in twenty four states which brought about huge financial and physical damages. This was mainly due minimal investment in hardening the infrastructure. This raised a lot of questions regarding the nation’s disaster preparedness or the best response mechanisms and the role of local, state and federal governments, private sector and nongovernmental organizations in such incidents (Bucci et al., 2013).

The American Red Cross deployed a thousand disaster workers to help in the communities around the East Coast. The local Red Cross was in charge of providing shelter and other basics to the victims. The Salvation Army worked together with emergency management officials in the states to identify where people urgently needed most. They would provide thousands of meals in these states using mobile feeding facilities. Other faith based organizations and community groups also played a big role in responding to the emergency.

In response to Hurricane Sandy, the federal government allocated over sixty billion dollars to deal with the emergency, a move which was politically driven. The need to increase the funds allocated for emergency response was the rise in the number of disaster declarations given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the two past decades. Every time FEMA issued a disaster declaration, the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), which is a fund meant to manage emergencies which are beyond the state resources, would drain. The more FEMA increases the declarations, the more the funds needed replenishing. The president later issued an executive order to oversee the coordination among federal agencies and state and local authorities in preparing for the outcome of climate change. In addition to this, they are supposed to ensure that communities and infrastructure are resilient enough to withstand the impact. The directive also set up a task force comprising of tribal, local and state officials who report to the federal government and provide advice on climate change, disaster preparedness and resilience.

Outline terms related to emergency management utilized within the article

There are several emergency management terms used in the article such as A Zone, acceptable risk, advance readiness activities and accident. A Zone refers to an area prone to flooding in a hundred year flood. This is an elevation of floods with a one percent chance of showing equal or exceeded figures each year. Acceptable risk refers to a disaster level which a community can live with without endangering lives. Advance readiness activities refer to the times when impending events that require national attention can be anticipated.  Finally, an accident is an unanticipated occurrence loss or failure that can potentially cause harm to human life or the environment, destroy property

 Identify alternative courses of action and why

There are several other ways of dealing with emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy. First and foremost, one simple but very important concept is “do no harm”. In such incidents, individuals, community organizations and others involved should capitalize on this. This means that people who can take care of themselves should do so. This ensures that the first responders can concentrate on saving the injured, endangered and those who cannot make it on their own. Maximum time and resources are needed to save the vulnerable population which includes the elderly, children, the disabled and immigrants who do not speak English. In addition to this, proper communications channels such as through news should be used to relay information regarding any emergencies rather than using the internet. This ensures that everybody including those who have no access to the internet are informed. FEMA should focus on handling catastrophic and huge disasters such as Hurricane Sandy while minor and routine disasters are assigned to other local and state bodies. This ensures that there are enough resources and capacity to respond to major emergencies (Lidislaw, Kostro, & Walton, 2013).

Summarize the impact of emergency management in relation to the article

Hurricane Sandy caused a lot of destruction in all the states it hit and this challenged the disaster preparedness of the nation. The government had learnt from the previous disasters like Hurricane Katrina and thus responded quickly by providing relief services to the victims. As a way to reduce the damage, the federal government together with other agencies placed staff and provided resources to in some predicted areas before the storm struck. The emergency management response applied during the disaster was not satisfactory and this challenged the government to allocate more funds for emergency response. After the hurricane, the Federal government focused on making innovations, legislative reforms and partnerships with the private sector. The legislations made FEMA’s borrowing capacity increased to ten billion dollars for emergency response and allowed the agency to pay insurance and any other disaster claims. In addition to this, the Disaster Relief Appropriation Act provided fifty billion dollars to rebuild the areas destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force together with tribal communities, local and the state governments helped to rebuild the impacted places.

The overall outcome of the situation

Hurricane Sandy provided greats lessons about climate change, disaster preparedness, emergency response and resilience. Huge improvements in all these areas were noted after this disastrous incident. States began making plans regarding the requirements they need for response, relief and recovery. They also began establishing stronger ties with the private sector, media, community and nongovernmental organizations to sensitize business owners, residents and called in every available first responders and disaster management workers. These partnerships couples with disaster management funds and having organizations volunteer marked a vital element in the emergency response and recovery process.

References

Bucci, S., Inserra, D., Lesser, J., A., M., Mayer, & Slattery, B. et al. (2013). After Hurricane Sandy: Time to Learn and Implement the Lessons in Preparedness, Response, and Resilience. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 18 August 2016, from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/10/after-hurricane-sandy-time-to-learn-and-implement-the-lessons

Lidislaw, S., Kostro, S., & Walton, M. (2013). Hurricane Sandy: Evaluating the Response One Year Later | Center for Strategic and International Studies. Csis.org. Retrieved 18 August 2016, from https://www.csis.org/analysis/hurricane-sandy-evaluating-response-one-year-later

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