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MSEM 6100 Week 1:Historical Context of Emergency Management

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MSEM 6100 Week 1: Emergency Management in the United States and the Historical Context of Emergency Management essay assignment

MSEM 6100: Critical Issues in Emergency Management | Week 1 essay assignment

Consider the following scenarios:

A family watches television in their home as a flash flood inundates the town. Warning sirens blare seconds before the catastrophe strikes. As minutes tick away, the flood waters rise until the bottom floor of the house is saturated with two feet of dark, muddy river water. Emergency crews arrive and shuttle the family to safety. As they climb into the waiting boat, the house is engulfed by the raging torrent of swollen waters.

Armed terrorists storm into a luxury hotel, taking patrons and hotel staff hostage. As emergency services crews converge on the perimeter, the terrorists threaten to detonate a bomb. SWAT teams, police, and the FBI are called in to attempt to resolve this situation.

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In this age of escalating natural disasters and potential terror events, the need for emergency management is growing.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze use of the all-hazards emergency management model to mitigate outcomes of disasters
  • Analyze influence of historical events on the evolution of emergency management
  • Analyze emergency management challenges
  • Evaluate effectiveness of strategies to address emergency management challenges

Emergency management in the United States is built on the all-hazards model. This is the idea that hazards, whether natural or caused by humans, should be treated with the same response and planning approach. Several federal laws require the use of the all-hazards model as a guide to emergency management activities. According to this model there are generic processes for addressing most kinds of emergencies and disasters. Thus emergency managers can conduct emergency management activities in a more flexible and cost-effective manner than using a stand-alone, emergency, or disaster-specific program.

The all-hazards model has the added benefit of providing emergency managers with the opportunity to learn from their experiences. The all-hazards model prompts emergency managers to draw from multiple experiences so the potential for knowledge and best practice sharing is great.

For this Discussion, review the “Talladega EMA All Hazards” video located in this week’s Learning Resources. Select one of the disasters described in the Learning Resources or the current literature. Think about the all-hazards model and any adverse or unintended consequences the model might have on communities.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief description of the disaster you selected. Then explain how using the all-hazards model might have mitigated some of the outcomes of the disaster.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6

Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

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