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MSEM 6200 Week 3: Preparedness: Strategy Development

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MSEM 6200 Week 3: Preparedness: Strategy Development essay assignment

MSEM 6200: Risk Assessment, Preparedness, and Hazard Mitigation | Week 3 essay assignment

Last week you analyzed different risk assessment models and examined how to quantify risk in order to prioritize preparedness and mitigation efforts. This, however, is only the starting point. At this stage, an emergency manager might have a good understanding of the risks the community faces and may even have a list of priorities in hand. Even so, the emergency manager still may be unsure of where to go from here. This week you examine strategies that emergency managers use to develop preparedness systems.

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Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze strategies to meet benchmarks for goals and objectives in preparedness systems
  • Analyze strategies to address challenges to meeting goals and objectives in preparedness systems
  • Justify emergency management decisions
  • Analyze implications of emergency management decisions on communities

The development of preparedness systems can be conceptualized as a road map that is guided by goals and objectives. Preparedness planners determine any roadblocks that might pose a challenge to meeting goals and objectives. In addition, planners use benchmarks and evaluations to ensure that goals and objectives are met appropriately and in a timely manner.

A goal is a general statement of what you wish to achieve, whereas an objective is a specific step or action you take to reach your goal. Goals and objectives are important to preparedness systems because goals clarify the purpose or intention of the plans and objectives help identify actions necessary to reach the goals. Benchmarks are standards used as a point of reference for evaluating performance or level of quality.

For this Discussion, consider the goals, objectives, and benchmarks you would create for a preparedness system for the community you selected for your Final Project. Then think about strategies you might use to meet these goals, objectives, and benchmarks. Also consider what challenges you might face along the way. The goals and objectives you formulate this week may aid you in the completion of your Week 5 Assignment, in which you develop an emergency preparedness system for your Final Project community.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the main goal and two objectives of your preparedness system. Then describe the benchmarks for your goal and objectives, and explain strategies you might use to meet those benchmarks. Finally, describe at least two challenges you may face in meeting your goal and objectives, and explain one strategy you might use to address each challenge.

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.

By Day 5

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

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Offer an opinion on your colleagues’ plan to meet benchmarks.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion for addressing challenges.
  • 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.

Discussion 2: Strategies in Disaster Planning essay assignment

Emergency managers can approach an emergency or disaster from several angles, or “strategies.” The aim of each of these strategies is to save lives, reduce suffering, and prevent or reduce damage to property to the extent possible. Canton distinguishes between three types of strategies: (1) mitigation, (2) preparedness, and (3) response. These three strategies culminate in the end state of preparedness.

Mitigation strategies are measures that are long term in nature. They use risk assessments to explore opportunities to eliminate or significantly reduce the impact of a potential hazard. Mitigation strategies are proactive and preventive measures that may be difficult to implement. This is because mitigation is often expensive and many communities have limited budgets. Many governing bodies must make tough choices between projects such as rebuilding a school or building a dam. It can be tempting to put off the work until the budget improves. In some cases, there are hidden costs associated with the mitigation measure. For example, strict building codes can drive up the cost of construction, making it seem cost prohibitive. In other cases, some decision makers may even question the validity of the risk and whether the mitigation is truly needed.

The hope is that mitigation efforts will reduce impacts of incidents or even prevent them from occurring. If an incident does occur, however, a response strategy is implemented. A response strategy consists of the immediate actions to respond to an event, maintain continuity, and initiate short-term recovery.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the media Preparedness: Developing Strategies in the Learning Resources and select one of the following scenarios, which present you with a challenge or difficult choice. Think not only about why you would make your choice or decision but also about any implications for the community.

Scenario 1: A town is faced with a sudden flooding disaster that necessitates saving a factory where almost everyone works or a nursing home. There is insufficient time to save both. How do you decide which takes priority?

Scenario 2: A city is subject to occasional blizzards (roughly every 5 years). When the blizzards occur, they are highly disruptive because there are too few snowplows. But maintaining a fleet of snowplows is expensive. What could be done to address this issue?

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief description of the scenario you selected. Then explain the emergency management decisions you would make and the rationale for your decisions. Finally, explain two potential implications of your decisions for the community.

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.

By Day 6

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

  • Ask a probing question about your colleague’s decision.
  • Respectfully challenge your colleague’s decision for his/her community.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Argue why you would have approached your colleague’s scenario differently.

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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