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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Agency by Role in the Strategic Plan; A Summary

Agency by Role in the Strategic Plan; A Summary

  • Collaboration as the primary strategy for effectiveness in ensuring public safety in response to natural disasters and mass emergency.

A common thread in emergency management critiques is that collaboration between agencies responding to critical incidents is the necessity of collaboration as a planned strategy. “Collaboration is a necessary foundation for dealing with both natural and technological hazards and disasters and the consequences of terrorism “ (Waugh & Streib, 2006, p. 131). This is due to the nature of catastrophic incident. “The changing nature of disasters forces organizations from different sectors and jurisdictions to work together to confront overwhelming problems that a single organization cannot solve on its own. Traditional hierarchical structures and methods have increasingly become problematic and less effective solutions to disaster management” (Kapucu, Garayev & Wang, 2013, p. 104). Another method of describing this type of situation is 'heterarchical,' i.e. position and location of
control within the structure changes depending on altering environments and operations. Decision-making process is more horizontal because dependence on vertical links would consume much energy” (Kapucu, Arslan, & Demiroz, 2010, p. 456)

  • Advantages and contrasts of collaborative strategy in the context our CEM

Collaborative strategy is in contrast to a hierarchical, or bureaucratic, chain of command. “One major area of criticism of the command and control model as a descriptive tool is concerned with its inability to account for the emergence of new or unexpected groups and tasks within the emergency response system” (Uhr, Johansson, & Fredholm, 2008, p.81). Waugh and Strieb suggest that “A lack of understanding of emergency management is likely one reason why officials have suggested that the nation's response to catastrophic disasters needs a stronger command and control system” (2006, p. 131).

  • Roles and responsibilities of a DHS and FEMA, in ensuring that relief operation runs smoothly.

The purpose of FEMA is to provide standardization in training, methods of collaboration, and a basis for interoperability. “FEMA, as well as the DHS, lack the authority and the resources to protect life and property without collaboration” (Waugh & Streib, 2006, p. 138). This is the common understanding of local agencies. “According to National Governor's Association's 2006 State Homeland Security Directors Survey...90 percent thinks that federal agencies should coordinate with states in preparing and implementing homeland security policies” (Kapucu, Arslan, & Demiroz, 2010, p. 458).

  • Local Agencies as lead organizations in incident response.

Although there is a common misperception that FEMA is meant to provide command and control functions during an incident, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) envision partnerships at all levels of government in disaster preparedness and management” (Kapucu, Arslan, & Demiroz, 2010, p. 454). In reality, “EM networks are built from the bottom up, not imposed by authorities from top down” (Kapucu, Arslan, & Demiroz, 2010, p. 454). The experience of emergency responses has shown this to be more effective.
The success of Coast Guard operations during Hurricane Katrina led some scholars to assert decentralization policies should be formalized and implemented” (Kapucu, Arslan, & Demiroz, 2010, p. 455)

  • Strategies to employ to ensure that all agencies, including FEMA, work in proper coordination.
Planning based upon systems analysis shows the necessity of flexibility in crisis response. “Other emergent phenomena that are of interest are improvization (Wachtendorf, 2004), self-organization (Comfort, 1999) and boundary spanners (Mulford, 1984;Kapucu, 2006). Such phenomena are important to identify and analyze in efforts to understand how an emergency response system adapts to the circumstances produced by a crisis” (Uhr, Johansson, & Fredholm, 2008, p.82). Coordination and collaboration relies on communications beyond formally adapted structure. “Personal relations, which are not normally incorporated into plans or bureaucratic structures, can be of importance for a functional response system” (Uhr, Johansson, & Fredholm, 2008, p.88). Finally, collaboration must involve the convergence of volunteer and non-governmental entities. “The large number of nongovernmental organizations involved in disaster operations has encouraged the creation of umbrella organizations” (Waugh & Streib, 2006, p. 134)


Kapucu, N., Arslan, T., & Demiroz, F. (2010). Collaborative emergency management and national emergency management network. Disaster Prevention and Management, 19(4), 452-468. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09653561011070376
Kapucu, N., Garayev, V., & Wang, X. (2013). Sustaining networks in emergency management. Public Performance & Management Review, 37(1), 104-133. doi:10.2753/PMR1530-9576370105
Uhr, C., Johansson, H., & Fredholm, L. (2008). Analysing emergency response systems. Journal Of Contingencies & Crisis Management, 16(2), 80-90. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5973.2008.00536.x

Waugh,William L.,,Jr, & Streib, G. (2006). Collaboration and leadership for effective emergency management. Public Administration Review, 66, 131. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com/docview/197171710?accountid=87314

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