Emergency Management

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For nearly two centuries, lawmakers in the U.S have identified the demand of federal government, which assists in citizens when disaster strikes. In 1803, there was a sequence of fires that swept Portsmouth city in New Hampshire. The Congress approved legislation which offered a reprieve for merchants from Portsmouth in response to the disaster (Haddow, Bullock & Coppola, 2017).

The Portsmouth imprint cultivated an improvised strategy for emergency management(EM) up to 20th century. The Congress reiteration severally to cope with various eminent calamities like New York City and Chicago fires of 1835 and 1871 respectively among others.

In the 1930s, US government included relief on a disaster like a component of its broad extension legislation towards rebuilding the economy in the country. Laws were enacted to provide federal funds in support of modernization of public facilities, roads as well as bridges ravaged by natural catastrophes.

In the 1950s, EM was subjugated by war civil resistance operations which government had a belief would make the country prepared for any conceivable nuclear strike. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was formed USA policies and programs of disaster management.

By the year 1979, FEMA took up a horde of disaster-associated organizations. It also assumed responsibility for civil defense. In the 1980s and 1990s, FEMA was experimented by both human-made and natural calamities (Sylves, 2014)

In the year 2001, FEMA encountered an exceptional trial of 9/11 terror attack which happened in Washington, DC and New York City The hits revealed blatant flaws when it comes to organization emergency and disaster operations by the state. Consequently, Congress voted for the 2002 Homeland Security bill that enabled the creation of DHS (Department of Homeland Security). The freshly formed bureau was intended to excellently synchronize strengths of various federal agencies which handle civil defense, law implementation, border protection, and disaster management (Sylves, 2014). By 2003, FEMA got incorporate into Homeland Security. It was at this point that bore modern emergency management methods.

Recent disaster that has had significant programmatic effects of emergency management

Last year, USA  2017, suffered 15 accidents. The country used about $1 billion to rescue the lives of her citizens (Peacock et al., 2018).  The catastrophes related to climate and weather took the lives of 323 people and caused a significant effect on emergency management in America. The current disasters are as follows:

Ø One drought

Ø One freeze

Ø Two floods

Ø Seven severe storms

Ø Outbreaks of wildfires

Ø Tropical cyclones

Out of the 323 verified deaths from the calamities mentioned above, 95 persons succumbed due to Hurricane Irma. Also, 25 people died as result of wildfires which burnt the western United States (Peacock et al., 2018).

Four federal documents that guide emergency management within the US

National Incident Management System (NIMS)- This report gives a systematic, proactive method used in overseeing agencies and departments in every level of government, nongovernmental institutions. Also, NIMS assist private sectors to work flawlessly to avert, safeguard against, react to, recuperate from as well as allay incidents effects, irrespective of size, cause, complexity or location with the intention of reducing the fatality. Loss of property alongside environmental harm. NIMS gives a template used for incident management. It is a document which is the fundamental set of principles, concepts, doctrines, terminologies, and corporate processes which promotes applicable, well-organized together with mutual incident management (Jerolleman & Kiefer, 2015).

National Response Framework (NRF)- The document is how the country carries out all-risk responses. NRF is created on accessible, amenable, and adjustable organizing forms to bring into essential line duties in emergency management across the country. It captures appropriate authorities alongside best acts which can be used for incident management ranging from severe but virtuously native, towards far-reaching terrorist strikes otherwise disastrous natural tragedies.

National Health Security Strategy(NHSS)- The document gives America’s first NHSS that is designed to assist in galvanizing attempts to abate health concerns related to momentous health disasters.

PAHPA (Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act)-The document outline all the acts for public health services about public health sectors.

Three Federal policies or laws relating to emergency management

Homeland Security Act. This was enacted in the year 2002 for the 9/11 assaults. The act is recognizing multiple Federal national refuge roles into a single DHS to organize preparedness, reactions, and efforts towards civil defense. Most importantly, the mission of this act is to avert, decrease susceptibility to, reduce the harm caused by as well as help in recovering from terrorist actions in the country.

Revised Stafford Act of 2010. Owing to some of the parts of roles of the libraries as a center for communication as well as a source of information recovery following the Rita and hurricane disaster, Stafford Act of the year 1988 was reviewed with the intention of designating libraries to provide vital services for conveying information. Federal and state legislatures viewed how libraries are significant to the citizens when an emergency or a disaster strikes. The act designated libraries suitable in support of the temporary transfer of amenities during emergency and disaster periods (Olshansky & Johnson, 2014).

Disaster Healthcare Act (HSPD-21)- The act is a ruling mandating the creation of national strategies meant for medical preparedness and public health institutions to mitigate any disaster arising from the various epidemic. It includes defense against bioterrorism and establishing countermeasures arising from stockpiling.


Haddow, G., Bullock, J., & Coppola, D. P. (2017). Introduction to emergency management. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Jerolleman, A., & Kiefer, J. J. (Eds.). (2015). The Private Sector's Role in Disasters: Leveraging the Private Sector in Emergency Management. CRC Press.

Olshansky, R. B., & Johnson, L. A. (2014). The evolution of the federal role in supporting community recovery after US disasters. Journal of the American planning Association, 80(4), 293-304.

Peacock, W. G., Dash, N., Zhang, Y., & Van Zandt, S. (2018). Post-Disaster Sheltering, Temporary Housing and Permanent Housing Recovery. In Handbook of Disaster Research (pp. 569-594). Springer, Cham.

Sylves, R. (2014). Disaster policy and politics: Emergency management and homeland security. CQ Press.

October 30, 2023


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Emergency Management

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