Emergency Management Mitigation Policy Analysis and Assessment Research Paper

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Emergency Management (Mitigation) Policy analysis and assessment

Emergency management policy has undergone change historically and these changes have been disaster driven and administration dependent.

Early History of Emergency Management

A Congressional Act was passed in 1803 to make the provision of financial assistance to a town in New Hampshire that had been devastated by fire. This is the first involvement of the Federal government in a local disaster. In the 1930s the Reconstruction Finance Corporation along with the Bureau of Public Roads were granted authority to provide loans following disaster for repair and reconstruction of specific public facilities after disasters occurred. The Tennessee Valley Authority commonly known as TVA was created at this juncture to provide hydroelectric power and to bring about a reduction of flooding in the region. The Flood Control Act was passed in 1934 giving the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers an increased level of authority for design and construction of flood control projects.

II. The Cold War and Civil Defense

Emergency management developed further in the 1950se during what is known as the Cold War years with the primary risk for disaster being, that of potential nuclear war which would have been followed by radioactive fallout. During this time, Civil Defense was a priority in the U.S. And its communities. The Federal Civil Defense Administration was the agency in which federal support for civil defense activities was vested and is reported as an organization that had "minimal staff and financial resources, and whose main role was to provide technical assistance.

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" (Haddow, 2006) The companion office to the FCDA was the Office of Defense Mobilization reported as having been established "under the Department of Defense (DOD)" and to have the primary function of enabling "quick mobilization of assets and materials and the production and stockpiling of critical materials in the event of a war." (Haddow, 2006) These two offices were merged in 1958 into the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.

III. The 1960's

It is reported that three major natural disasters took place in the 1960s including an earthquake in Montano that measured 7.4 on the Richter scale; Hurricane Donna struck the West Coast of Florida and Hurricane Carla in Texas in 1961. Policy changes took place under the Kennedy Administration and President John F. Kennedy created the Office of Emergency Preparedness inside the White House to address the growing risk of natural disasters. Civil Defense responsibilities were still vested in the Office of Civil Defense within DOD. Due to the many floods of the 1960s the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 that created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was passed.

IV. The 1970s

The Disaster Relief Act was passed in 1974 due to the hurricanes during those years and a San Fernando earthquake in 1971. The most significant authority for natural disaster response and recovery was vested with the….....

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