MSEM 6200 Week 9:International Preparedness and Mitigation Efforts

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MSEM 6200 Week 9:International Preparedness and Mitigation Efforts essay assignment

MSEM 6200: Risk Assessment, Preparedness, and Hazard Mitigation | Week 9 essay assignment

Have you ever wondered why similar disasters have different impacts in different locations? For example, why might a Category 3 hurricane in the United States have few casualties and exorbitant recovery costs while a Category 3 hurricane in a developing country might have more casualties with relatively lower damage costs? Consider also why an earthquake may destroy more property in a foreign country—even if they have similar building codes to those in the United States.

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The example above suggests that a country’s social and political factors can play a role in effects of disasters. Cultural factors can also contribute to impacts of disasters.

Emergency workers who work in international disasters know success often depends on understanding a country’s culture. This week you consider the role of culture in international emergency management and examine methods of incorporating cultural nuances into emergency planning.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze structure of international emergency management
  • Compare international emergency management structures
  • Apply knowledge of international emergency management structures
  • Analyze contribution of cultural factors to risks associated with disasters
  • Analyze integration of culture-related risks into international mitigation and preparedness systems

Similar to the federal-to-state issues you examined in Week 8, special considerations need to be made when designing international emergency preparedness and mitigation activities. Aside from cultural aspects, governance structures can also present emergency managers with unique challenges and barriers.

For this Discussion, select one other country (not your own or the United States), ideally a developed country, and review the media, International Emergency Management, located in this week’s resources. Consider the emergency management structure in the country you selected.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the country you selected, and explain how emergency management is structured in that country, particularly related to risk assessment and mitigation. Then explain similarities and differences in the emergency management structure between the country you selected and the United States. Finally, explain what can be learned from that country related to emergency management structure and mitigation that may be useful to U.S. jurisdictions.

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 who selected a different country from the one you chose. Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Respond to a colleague who selected a different country.
  • Share an insight about emergency management from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.
  • Provide a different perspective on one aspect of a colleague’s post.

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: Cultural Factors and Disaster Risk essay assignment

Recall from the week’s Introduction that similar disasters may have dissimilar impacts in other countries. Why is this so? For one, developed countries usually have sturdier structures that better protect occupants but are significantly more expensive to rebuild. As mentioned, some countries might have similar building codes, but the codes are poorly enforced. In some cases inspectors are even paid off to approve an inspection.

Sociologists and anthropologists have noticed that a disproportionate number of women died in the 2005 Indonesian tsunami due in part to various cultural factors. Many men commuted inland to work while women stayed home, close to the shore. In the Indonesian culture it is considered improper for women to wear swimsuits; thus, learning to swim may not have been an option. Even if the women did know how to swim, the traditional dress worn by many women may have severely restricted their movement in the water.

For this Discussion, select a country (not the United States) and examine cultural factors that might impact risks associated with disasters. Then consider how these factors could be integrated into a mitigation and preparedness system for that country.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief description of the country you selected. Then explain how cultural factors in that country might contribute to increased risks associated with a disaster. Finally, explain how you, as an emergency manager, might integrate this information into a mitigation and preparedness system for that country.

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 who selected a different country from the one you chose. Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Respond to a colleague who selected a different country.
  • Share an insight about cultural influences on risk from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Respectfully challenge a colleague’s ideas.

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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