Unit 1-3 (Paper #1)
Introduction Unit 1
At the strategic level, effective emergency management involves a myriad of stakeholders. Stakeholders are groups or entities that may be internal or external, government, private sector, and non-government groups.
The 2010 Gulf oil spill was an example of a disaster where multiple stakeholders had a significant effect on the outcome. For example, government agencies included federal state and local responders including the military. Private sector stakeholders included corporations in the oil industry and private environmental companies. The fishing and seafood industries on the Gulf Coast were also major players. Last, scientific experts such as oceanographers, meteorologists, and environmental specialists were involved. Most important is that this incident had a major social and economic effect on the Gulf Coast population.
It is essential that emergency managers incorporate and collaborate with stakeholders during planning and preparedness efforts. In disasters, stakeholder relationships become more complex. Major stakeholders may see their power base shift when new stakeholders emerge. In disasters there are also dynamic stakeholder rivalries that may impede progress. For these reasons, it is important to begin a class on the constructs of emergency management by exploring stakeholder issues
Introduction Unit 2
NIMS is an expansion of the Incident Command System (ICS). The wildland firefighting community in the 1970s originally developed ICS to include the five major functions of command, operations, logistics, planning, and administration or finance. An intelligence function is also used, when appropriate. The key point is that the main elements in this system are functions rather than a hierarchy. In addition, this system is a bottom-up management system that applies to routine responses and is scalable to major disasters.
ICS is now the command and management component of NIMS. The additional NIMS components include resource management, preparedness, communications and information management, supporting technologies, and ongoing management and maintenance. As an analogy, NIMS is ICS on steroids.
In this unit, we examine an interesting and novel case study, the Columbia space shuttle recovery effort. In the Columbia incident, debris was spread over a wide area of Texas and Louisiana. This debris field included body parts, wreckage, and data that were critical for the overall investigation of the accident. Wildland fire incident management teams and response teams used ICS to manage the recovery effort and to coordinate with NASA, state, and local agencies.
Introduction Unit 3
The focus of this unit is the National Response Framework (NRF). The NRF replaced the National Response Plan in 2008 and is a framework for disaster response, not a response plan. A key attribute of NRF is that the framework is in effect at all times, instead of requiring a triggering mechanism like the old National Response Plan. In addition, the NRF is scalable, flexible, and provides a coordinating structure to align the key roles of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.
The NRF, like any framework, has flaws and deficiencies. In this unit, you will explore a report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that analyzes flaws in the NRF. These flaws include criticism from local and state emergency managers about not being a part of the collaboration to develop the initial framework. In addition, the lack of a triggering mechanism is a possible issue.
The assignment in this unit is a paper about stakeholder issues. Specifically, you are asked to discuss experiences or cite research where stakeholder inclusion was not effective. Further, you will explore interagency, political, and cultural issues that effect stakeholder collaboration.