Natural Disasters Emergency Management Preparedness Essay

Total Length: 702 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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Natural disasters have the potential to dramatically alter life in local communities. The loss of human life reverberates through the generations, as does the loss of local businesses and the generalized economic and psychosocial strain. Yet there are also larger impacts from localized events, such as changes to public policy and political philosophies resulting from major natural disasters. One of the most impactful natural disasters in recent American history is undoubtedly Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina showed Americans the many shortcomings of federal disaster relief response programs like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was restructured after the event (Zimmerman, 2015). In addition to the political ramifications from Katrina, the storm revealed weaknesses in local, state, and federal infrastructure: showing that public spending patterns need to change in order to make American communities more resilient in the future. Another reason why Katrina remains one of the most important and impactful natural disasters is that it revealed the sociology of disaster preparedness, perceived resilience, and response. For example, Katrina revealed the schisms between the privileged and underprivileged, cleavages that reveal themselves along racial and socioeconomic class lines in America (Donner & Rodriguez, 2011). Studying Katrina will help future urban planners, policymakers, and emergency management specialists to develop more effective and comprehensive solutions for building community and nationwide resilience.

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Also affecting the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States, one of the most impactful technological disasters in recent generations was the BP oil spill on the Deepwater Horizon oilrig in 2010. This technological disaster has had—and continues to have—ramifications for American politics and policy related to how to prevent and respond to similar problems in the future. Of course, the event also has had major environmental and social ramifications too. As with all technological disasters, the event can be traced to human error but perhaps more importantly, it shows how emergency management and disaster relief is muddled by politics and the collusion between big business and lawmakers. First responders and later cleanup crews have pending lawsuits related to the fraudulent nondisclosure of toxins (Dermansky, 2018). The BP oil spill shows how economic and political expediency often—if not always—outweighs the best interests of the public when it comes to preparing for and responding to technological disasters.

If I had to choose one, the most difficult natural disaster to respond to would be a hurricane because of its multifaceted nature: its….....

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Dermansky, J. (2018). 8 years after BP oil spill, cleanup workers still waiting for day in court. DESMOG.

Donner, W. & Rodriguez, H. (2011). Disaster risk and vulnerability. PRB.

Zimmerman, K.A. (2015). Hurricane Katrina: Facts, damage, and aftermath. Live Science.

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"Natural Disasters Emergency Management Preparedness", 19 July 2018, Accessed.2 December. 2020,