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MSEM 6100 Week 5: Mitigation

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MSEM 6100 Week 5: Mitigation essay assignment

MSEM 6100: Critical Issues in Emergency Management | Week 5 essay assignment

Mitigation is the attempt to lessen the negative impacts of a disaster by engaging in risk assessment and planning so that when a natural or human-caused disaster occurs, local officials are prepared for it and have taken steps to reduce the potential damage. Mitigation activities are typically structural additions to critical infrastructure. Mitigation includes dams, levees, and the creation of flood mapping to better understand flood zones, train rail fortification, and other activities that strengthen existing infrastructure. It is important to understand that even incremental improvements to infrastructure can result in catastrophic problems.

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As an example, when New Orleans was initially founded, earthen levees were created around Lake Pontchartrain. As flooding occurred and technology improved, the levees were built higher and higher, which ultimately resulted in flooding becoming increasingly catastrophic because the water levels behind the levees was also higher. When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, the water levels were at an all-time high, and could not withstand the strong storm surge that came with a Category 4 storm. Ultimately, it was the failure of the levee system that caused the majority of the catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.

This week, you examine the negative impact of some mitigation effects and consider strategies to minimize the potential negative impact. You also look at various mitigation strategies and consider funding sources related to such strategies. Then you examine appropriateness of funding sources for mitigation efforts. Finally, you consider challenges to implementing funding for emergency mitigation strategies.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Apply strategies to minimize the negative impact of mitigation efforts
  • Assess the appropriateness of funding sources for mitigation efforts
  • Analyze challenges to accessing funding for emergency mitigation strategies
  • Apply strategies for addressing challenges to funding emergency mitigation strategies

One of the ironies of mitigation is that the purpose behind mitigation and risk assessment efforts is to reduce the human and property loss associated with a disaster, but in some cases, mitigation efforts can actually exacerbate those impacts, depending on the nature and type of disaster.

For this Discussion, consider effective mitigation strategies emergency management professionals might use to avoid potential negative impacts of mitigation efforts.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post two strategies emergency management professionals might use to avoid potential negative impacts of mitigation efforts. Explain why these strategies might be effective.

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.

Assignment: Financing and Implementing Mitigation Strategies  essay assignment

One of the challenges local and state governments face in implanting mitigation strategies is finding a way to pay for them. It is one thing to identify the risk of potential structural failures, but quite another to actually mitigate that risk.

In this assignment, you adopt the perspective of the emergency manager in your community (choose a relatively small community, not a large metropolitan city such as Washington D.C. or New York City where the mitigation issues are very large scale in nature). If you live in one of these cities, please contact the Instructor about an appropriate community to use in lieu of either of these two cities. Research emergency mitigation strategies that have been or might be deployed in your community. Then think about the funding sources related to emergency mitigation strategies in your community. Finally, consider challenges related to funding for emergency mitigation strategies.

The assignment this week is also part of your Final Project. Refer to the Week 1 Project area for details on the type of community to select.

The assignment: (5–7 pages)

  • Briefly describe the community in which you live.
  • Explain what emergency mitigation strategies have been or might be deployed in your community.
  • Describe two potential funding sources related to emergency mitigation strategies in your community.
  • For each potential funding source you selected, describe the key participants and stakeholders and the goals and objectives of the mitigation strategies as they relate to finance and budgeting.
  • Explain why you think the funding sources you identified are the most appropriate for the mitigation efforts you identified.
  • Explain at least two key challenges to accessing funding for emergency mitigation strategies in your community, and explain at least one strategy to address each challenge.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

By Day 7

Submit your assignment.

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