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MSEM 6200 Week 1: Overview of Risk Assessment

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MSEM 6200 Week 1: Overview of Risk Assessment-Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation essay assignment

MSEM 6200: Risk Assessment, Preparedness, and Hazard Mitigation | Week 1 essay assignment

Consider the following scenario: You are a newly hired emergency manager of a small community. The emergency manager position is a new position, so you will need to build the community’s emergency management system from the ground up. The community’s main street and business district is bifurcated by a railroad track that is often used to transport hazardous materials. The community also sits in a low-lying area below a large dam. You recognize that the community has some very specific risks and consider whether to spend most of your efforts (and the community’s funds) preparing for these specific risks or developing a general emergency plan tailored to all types of hazards. What do you do?

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This week, you examine several management styles and explore how they might influence decision making by emergency managers. In addition, you examine the all-hazards emergency management model and explore why it is the preferred emergency management model.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate effectiveness of Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian management styles
  • Analyze personal management styles
  • Analyze the all-hazards model
  • Analyze use of the all-hazards model
  • Analyze integration of the all-hazards model with the hazard-specific model

As with other forms of management in various domains such as the private and nonprofit sectors, there are different styles of (or approaches to) management in emergency management. Two management styles discussed by Sylves are based on two important figures in United States history, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

Hamiltonian managers tend to focus on desired results. They work under after-the-fact accountability, and their concerns usually center on performance outcomes, findings, and evaluation. Hamiltonians perceive themselves as expert decision makers and students of organization.

In contrast, Jeffersonian managers tend to focus on the beginning of processes rather than on results. Consequently, Jeffersonian managers would argue that a manager’s job is to obtain “popular and stakeholder guidance” (Sylves, 2015, p. 28) through political consultation or public deliberation before the fact. In so doing, Jeffersonian managers often obtain greater legitimacy for public purposes.

For this Discussion, review the Learning Resources, especially Chapter 2 in Disaster Policy and Politics: Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Imagine yourself in the role of an emergency manager. Would your personal management style be Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian?

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post an explanation of whether the Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian management style is more effective and why. Then, explain which style might best exemplify your approach if you were an emergency manager and why.

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

By Day 5

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

  • Respectfully challenge a colleague’s argument.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Suggest an article to support or refute a 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.

Discussion 2: The All-Hazards Emergency Management Model essay assignment

The all-hazards approach to emergency management is built on the idea that incidents, despite their cause (including whether they are natural or caused by humans), have similar outcomes. Because these outcomes are similar, similar capabilities are needed for the response to these incidents. Moreover, economies of scale can be achieved by preparing for incidents in a generalized manner.

It would be a mistake, however, to assume that all emergency response plans are generic in nature. Some areas do indeed have specific threats that need to be considered and accounted for. In such cases, successful emergency managers recognize the specific risk and complement their all-hazards plans with hazard specific plan(s). This is true even for the biggest advocate of all-hazards emergency management—the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition to its all-hazards plan (the National Response Framework), the agency uses a number of “Incident Annexes” to address specific threats.

For this Discussion, review the Learning Resources, including the Media, and the Week 1 Introduction. Consider any potential drawbacks in using the all-hazards model exclusively in emergency management.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief explanation of the benefits and limitations of the all-hazards model. Then describe a circumstance in which the all-hazards model might be used and why. Explain why the all-hazards model is widely used. Finally, describe a circumstance in which you might integrate all-hazards planning with hazard-specific planning.

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

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

  • Respectfully challenge a colleague’s posting
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting, suggesting additional benefits or limitations of the all-hazards model.

By Day 6

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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