Emergency Management and National, State, County, and Local Responses Essay

Total Length: 1267 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

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The United States is a large, complex nation and requires a sophisticated and multifaceted response The National Response Framework (2016) is a guide, released by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) that offer direction in responding to national disasters to state, county, and local agencies as well as to individuals and non-government organizations which strive to assist in disaster relief. Scalability and flexibility is a critical concern of the model. Either part or all of its structures can be implemented, depending upon the nature of the event. For example, some areas of the nation are more likely to be impacted by natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes, and concentrating resources and planning with knowledge of the specific circumstances of such likely areas of impact are ideal.

Even regarding human-generated disasters like terrorism requires advance planning to some degree, and areas of likely targets may be more apt to be urban or military in nature. The components of the National Response Framework include strategies for prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. This four phases of the disaster response framework reflects the philosophy that ideally preventing disasters, both natural and manmade, is ideal. But at present it is not realistic to assume that all disasters can be prevented, and thus there are mitigation and protection strategies to deal with this fact. Depending on the nature of the organization, more of its efforts may be devoted to one of the four phases, but effective management still requires every relief agency to be at least somewhat aware of and involved in participating all phases of such efforts. The four phases, although they may not be simultaneously engaged in for all disasters, are all interlinked.

Local, County, and State Emergency Management Organizations

State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
For example, in the state of New Jersey, on a state level, the state is mobilized to deal with specific, likely disasters common during different times of year through its Office of Emergency Management.

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Managing emergencies is a year-round effort, and the Office is devoted to preparing the state to respond effectively in all four phases of management. As the state was a victim of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, hurricane preparedness is currently critical and the state already has its eye upon preparing residents for the upcoming season, regardless of forecast activity levels (which are monitored).

According to FEMA, despite the response of state, local, and county organizations within the state, there is still considerable assistance needed from federal authorities to cope with the fallout from major disaster events in New Jersey, such as Superstorm Sandy. One year after Sandy occurred: “More than $5.67 billion in total federal assistance approved for Individual Assistance grants, SBA low-interest disaster loans, National Flood Insurance Program payments and Public Assistance grants” were needed to bring the state back to normal, functioning order (“A Year After Hurricane Sandy,” 2013, par.5). Although the Office of Emergency management might coordinate such funds and direct them to their most productive areas, federal assistance is often required to fill critical gaps.

Under most circumstances, on a state level, state emergency personnel will coordinate initial efforts, and request aid subsequently, although the magnitude of Sandy required immediate federal intervention. As well as hurricane and storm response, the State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management also coordinates responses to blizzards, power outages due to overuse, and terrorist attacks. It is a state organization with its own responsibilities and budget (which include running preparedness drills) but likewise coordinates with other national and local agencies as appropriate. For example, a….....

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American Red Cross. (2018). Retrieved from: http://www.redcross.org/local/new-jersey/about-us

Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office. (2018). Retrieved from: https://www.mcsonj.org/divisions/emergency-management/community-rating-system- crs/

The National Response Framework. (2016). Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1466014682982- 9bcf8245ba4c60c120aa915abe74e15d/National_Response_Framework3rd.pdf

New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. (2018). Retrieved from: http://www.ready.nj.gov/

New Jersey State Police. (2018). Retrieved from: http://www.njsp.org/information/index.shtml

A year after hurricane Sandy: Recovery by the numbers. (2013). FEMA. Retrieved from: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2013/10/25/year-after-hurricane-sandy-new-jersey- recovery-numbers

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