activities of preparing for a disaster and mitigation techniques are dependent
upon the level of government communication and coordination. Disasters commonly
overwhelm infrastructure in impacted areas and can often limit a responding
organizations’ ability to act (Curtis, 2015). Once disasters occur, States must
be able to provide a responsive effort to their local jurisdictions and
effectively obtain and distribute resources. In order for disaster response to
be useful, partnerships must be developed and maintained among the different
levels within the government. This includes the private sector and non-governmental
organizations (Comfort, Ko, and Zagorecki, 2004).
Each of these entities must come together and initiate support capabilities.
The National Response Framework is a document that assigns various
responsibilities and disperses them amongst the public sector, the private
sector, and non-government organizations. It additionally underlines the
significance of individual readiness. Communities, States, the Federal
Government, NGOs, and the private sector should grasp their separate duties and
obligations, and supplement each other in accomplishing shared objectives. Each
legislative level assumes a noticeable part in creating capabilities expected
to react to occurrences. This involves creating plans, conducting disaster
appraisals, giving and coordinating assets and abilities, and accumulating the
lessons learned (NRF, 2016).
security activities cannot be accomplished by one single department. The
responsibilities must be shared between the various agencies, the private sector,
and the individual citizens (Steinberger, 2016). The term cooperation means to
operate or work together. Cooperation infers a short-term voluntary
relationship where organizations come together, specifically during emergencies,
to achieve a common mission and prevent cross-cutting missions (Martin, Nolte,
and Vitolo, 2016).
contrast to cooperation, collaboration is frequently depicted as a connection
that is more of a long-term relationship between associations. “The terms
‘partnership’, ‘alliance’ and ‘coalition’ to describe intentionally
collaborative relationships between organizations from different sectors that
aim at solving joint problems” (Martin et al., 2016, p. 7). Coordinated
effort during and after disasters is critical to tackle issues since assets are
scattered, obligation is unclear, and it is inconceivable for any single
organization to deal with disaster circumstances. Forcing excessive control can
hurt the joint effort. By sharing data, associations can see each other’s
requirements, limitations, and conceive combinations of coordinated effort.
Collaboration is the most complex of the C’s (Communication, cooperation, and
coordination) (Martin et al., 2016).
jurisdictions are the first line of defense in ensuring that the public is safe
during and after a disaster occurs. Local police agencies, fire services, emergency
medical, emergency management departments, and volunteer agencies will most
often be both the first to react and respond to a threat or hazard incident and
the ones left behind following the devastation. Everyday incidents are managed
mostly by the local governments (NRF, 2016).
response during emergencies is likely the most essential actor in all
government roles due to the provision of primary response services. Disasters
can happen to both large industrialized areas and rural communities. This
exacerbates the importance of being prepared. Establishment of Local Emergency
Operations Centers, prioritizing local resources, and the formation of mutual
aid agreements are all functions that require coordination with both public and
private organizations (NRF, 2016).
of the Mayor is tasked with overseeing the overall security and health of the
people of that jurisdiction. The Mayors overall responsibility is to initiate
guidance with regards to the city’s resources. A Mayor must be active during
each phase of the disaster cycle and not simply reacting when one occurs. Local
leaders carry the torch of responsibility for implementing emergency management
preparation and training for effective response. The Mayor is held responsible
in their leadership to foster community relationships and partnerships with all
sectors and volunteer agencies across jurisdictions. The purpose of this is to
ensure that mutual support exists and assistance can be called upon if needed.
There is also the responsibility to create or enhance legal, training and
mitigation policies in order to prevent as much chaos as possible ahead of
time. (NRF, 2016).
majority of assistance states receive during and after disasters will come from
the local resources that are in place. A bevy of government programs exist that
assist communities in preparing. When incidents grow too large for localities
to handle and current resources are exhausted, the local emergency manager will
seek support from the State (NRF, 2016).
of a state likewise has a responsibility to the public to ensure their
well-being. The Governor of a state has authority to issue executive orders,
proclamations, and regulations. He/She also commands the authority to make amendments
or rescind them. These actions are enforced as strictly as the law. The overall
duties of a Governor in disaster conditions encompass conducting the State’s
resources and allocating them as needed. It is this office that can command the
State military forces to intervene and assist where needed. If the event is of
significant magnitude, Federal resources are available, but must be officially
requested. The Governor must file an official declaration of emergency. The
provisions of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Act (Stafford Act) become initiated (NRF, 2016).
State Emergency Management Agency
state has laws enacted that call for the mandatory establishment of state
emergency management agencies. Each state’s emergency management director is
responsible for the readiness of that state to deal with emergencies large in
scale. The director works closely with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State
Representatives to accurately assess homeland security challenges and goals
related to all disasters. The director is also tasked with coordinating the
State’s assets and mutual assistance in response to crises (NRF, 2016).
are numerous assets and resources that the federal government possesses. When major
disasters occur, federal assistance is bolstered and outlined in the Stafford
Act. This document is what gives the authority to disperse aid and is only
available once all state and local resources have exhausted themselves. Under dire
circumstances, the Governor has the authority to submit the state’s appeal to the
President for an emergency disaster declaration (Fugate, 2011).
the disaster declaration state, the President plays a significant role in the
process. The office of President is now the leader of the government’s response
activities. The Commander in Chief not only gives the go-ahead but keeps the
resources moving quickly and efficiently. Laws and policies are often enacted,
changed, or modified in times of urgent need. There is a limit to this
assistance. 5 million dollars is the amount determined to be the maximum that a
state can receive in aid. In the event that the need exceeds that amount, the
President must petition Congress (NRF, 2016).
role in the recovery process could be viewed as one of the most controversial.
Over the years, as disasters continue to plague the U.S., resources are rarely
where they need to be as fast as they need to be. Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane
Harvey, and the tragedy in Puerto Rico are all examples of how
miscommunication, allocation of resources, and lack of leadership can hamper
response and recovery activities. FEMA is a main source of blame in each
role generally does not begin until after a disaster has inflicted communities.
Administrators provide their services to the Department of Homeland Security by
making recommendations regarding policy and overseeing the grant funding
programs. FEMA specifically provides a Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). This
annually recurring fund is utilized as means of providing supplement financing
for state recovery initiatives. Costs can include manpower, reimbursing shelter
facilities, and compensation to all agencies that participate in operations
National Response Framework’s intent is to assist in organizing the many
resources that start at the local level and extend to the highest federal
level. There are numerous entities that play significant roles that were not
mentioned here. As long as global warming continues to exist, disasters will occur.
There is no all-encompassing solution to prevent all destruction and loss of
life. Any future success in emergency management will call for planning,
cooperation, and integration to be at the forefront of major improvements.
Constant advances in technology will certainly lead to a more aware and prepared