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Monday, November 30, 2015

Challenges to long term vision in disaster planning

What are the challenges agencies in both the public and private sector must consider when constructing a long-term vision in preparation for major natural disasters? How can the agencies address these issues? Provide an analysis supporting your response.

Budgeting will be a major factor in constructing long term vision, as “emergency management
agencies and programs have not received the political and fiscal support that they
should have” (Choi, 2008, p. 3).

There is also the issue of public awareness versus public expectations. “The success of government in meeting this [emergency management] need has led to increasingly higher public expectations” (Choi, 2008, p. 4). Unfortunately, “in a world of finnite resources, achieving ideal performance in such situations will almost never be possible” (Jackson, 2008, p. vii). Adding to this issue is a lack of public awareness on dealing with emergencies;“FEMA surveys indicate that many Americans are still not
prepared” (GAO, 2010, p. 21)

Another issue to consider while building the long term vision is the lack of accurate foresight, such as “the breakdowns that occurred after Katrina and Rita [and] demonstrated not only capability and effectiveness shortfalls, but also that we did not know how prepared we actually were as a country”(Jackson, 2008, p. 2)

The next challenge to long term vision is collaboration with agencies that don't share the long-term vision. “Overall, the existing governmental response system is more accurately described as disarrayed, disconnected, uncoordinated, underfunded, and discredited” (Choi, 2008, p. 4).

All these challenges underly the uncertainty involved with creating a consistent plan to build the vision for, and “future policy mandates should recognize that there are factors beyond the control of those designing the policy that will impact the extent to which the policy is implemented as well as the policy's performance and output”(Jensen, 2010, p .114).

How does agency address these challenges? Choi suggests that agencies “should have the following in place prior to attempting implementation: a powerful and effective process sponsor; a strategic planning team; a willingness to be flexible concerning what constitutes a strategic plan; and a willing to construct and consider arguments geared to many different criteria” (2008, p. 6). This coincides with our week 4 discussion of how leaders sponsor implementation during every component of the process. Leaders need to be able to adapt to these changes, and define the ability to adapt as part of their vision. Indeed, one principle that is part of FEMA's vision is flexibility (FEMA, 2007, p. 4).

Choi, S. (2008). Emergency management: implications from a strategic management perspective. Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, 5(1), 1–21. Retrieved February 24, 2015 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=i3h&AN=31195725&site=ehost-live&scope=site

FEMA. (2007). Emergency management definition, vision, mission, principles. Retrieved February 24, 2015 from www.training.fema.gov/hiedu/08conf/emergency%20management%20principles%20monograph%20final.doc
GAO. (2010). Emergency preparedness: FEMA faces challenges integrating community preparedness programs into its strategic approach. DIANE Publishing. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yUYS9m5HSV4C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=%22DHS+concurred%22+%22practices+for+implementing+programs,+FEMA+would+be%22+%22Jr.+at+(202)+512-8777%22+%22more+information,+contact+William%22+%22completing+these+strategies.+By+doing+so,+consistent+with%22+&ots=ej_ToyIv8g&sig=VTTrs--JD_-Iw7PDhHI2BDuPYAQ

Jackson, B. A. (2008). The Problem of measuring emergency preparedness: The need for assessing “response reliability” as part of Homeland Security planning. Santa Monica, California, Rand Corporation.

Jensen, J. A. (2010). Emergency management policy: predicting National Incident Management System (NIMS) implementation behavior(dissertation). North Dakota State University. Retrieved February 3, 2015 from https://cms-devel.ndsu.nodak.edu/fileadmin/emgt/Final_Dissertation_Complete.pdf

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