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MSEM 6200 Week 6:Risk Assessment-Preparedness and Mitigation

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MSEM 6200 Week 6:Risk Assessment-Preparedness and Mitigation essay assignment

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MSEM 6200: Risk Assessment, Preparedness, and Hazard Mitigation | Week 6 essay assignment

Rutherford Platt, in Disasters and Democracy: The Politics of Extreme Natural Events (1999), made the controversial claim that officials and business leaders do not always have the interests of the public in mind when making decisions. In fact, he went on to argue that their actions often put people in harm’s way. Emergency managers and communities often must make difficult decisions when implementing mitigation strategies. They must ask these questions: What assets in the community must be prioritized? Should development and economic decisions override mitigation?

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This week, you apply hazard mitigation strategies and weigh the difficult choices that emergency managers and communities must often make. In addition, you complete one course to earn an Emergency Management Institute (EMI) certificate from FEMA.

Reference:

Platt, R. H. (1999). Disasters and democracy: The politics of extreme natural events. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Apply hazard mitigation strategies to community hazards
  • Analyze strategies to motivate communities to advocate for mitigation
  • Apply concepts related to hazard mitigation

As mentioned in Week 3, mitigation strategies are short- or long-term measures to eliminate or significantly reduce the impact of a potential hazard. Although mitigation activities can reduce or eliminate threats, mitigation can create new hazards or increase the impact of certain types of events. Mitigation can also create a false sense of safety. For example, builders might be tempted to build in a flood plain if they think a levee or dam will protect the structures from flood waters.

Equity issues can surface when approaching mitigation activities. For example, mitigation is often expensive and it can be difficult to garner funding for low socioeconomic areas that have less political influence and economic value. There are also social concerns that need to be considered. What assets in a community should be protected? What if flood plain buyouts consist of poor areas or neighborhoods? Is there another motive behind the buyout? Such questions need to be approached by emergency managers and communities with both sensitivity and a proper understanding of all impacts of mitigation. Because of the difficult decisions that need to be made when planning mitigation activities, it is important that individuals are motivated to advocate for needed mitigation in their own communities.

For this Discussion, view the media in this week’s Learning Resources and review the scenario provided below. Consider the mitigation approach you might take. Also think about how you might motivate the community to take action to mitigate for future disasters.

Scenario: A community needs to increase its tax base by encouraging the growth of business. The area of land selected for development is subject to 100-year floods (i.e., one event occurring within 100 years). You, as the emergency manager, have been asked to address the city council about possible hazard mitigation strategies.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief explanation of mitigation strategies you might use to reduce loss of life, injuries, and destruction of property in the scenario you selected. Then explain your rationale for selecting those strategies. Finally, explain how you might motivate the community in the scenario to take appropriate action to advocate for mitigation from future disasters.

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, and respond to a colleague who selected the opposite scenario.

By Day 6

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

  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion about your colleague’s response to the scenario.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting, providing additional ways to motivate the community.

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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