Challenges in managing emergency planning in local and regional government

Andrea M. Jackman, Mario G. Beruvides

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Emergency management in the United States has historically focused on single events, where disasters were not managed, but reacted to on an individual basis. In local and regional government, qualified candidates for emergency management positions have traditionally been recruited from military or first response backgrounds where decision-making under stress is highly valued. In recent years, fueled by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, the federal government has required that state, regional, and local governments write Hazard Mitigation Plans to be reviewed, updated, and approved every five years. The plans require a shift from responding to single events, to a dynamic preparedness process for all hazards, and continuous efforts on the part of a community to reduce their vulnerability to disaster. The analysis conducted indicates that three years after the Hazard Mitigation Plan requirements went into effect, approximately two-thirds of the country's active governments have yet to gain approval for their first plan. Further, of the one-third that do have approved plans, over 90% were completed through regional entities; either counties or councils of governments. Based on these results, questions are raised about the design of the preparedness process, the management of planning, and the roles of different levels of government in these activities. A model of the preparedness cycle is proposed, and challenges in multi-jurisdictional cooperation and transitioning a response-oriented workforce to a preventative mindset is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages170-174
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2008
Event29th Annual National Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2008, ASEM 2008 - West Point, NY, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2008Nov 15 2008

Conference

Conference29th Annual National Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2008, ASEM 2008
CountryUnited States
CityWest Point, NY
Period11/12/0811/15/08

Keywords

  • Disaster planning
  • Emergency management
  • Local and regional government

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  • Cite this

    Jackman, A. M., & Beruvides, M. G. (2008). Challenges in managing emergency planning in local and regional government. 170-174. Paper presented at 29th Annual National Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2008, ASEM 2008, West Point, NY, United States.