Emergency Management and the Management of Emergence: Climate Change and Crowdsourcing

Source: Bruce J. Perlman, State and Local Government Review, Vol. 47 no. 1, March 2015
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Taken together, the two articles in this issue of the State and Local Government Review’s (SLGR) Governance Matters (GM) section might be said to be as much about the management of emergence as they are about emergency management. Although both articles focus on the administrative practice of emergency management in state and local governments, they do so without focusing on suddenly developing crisis events or predetermined, agency-based reaction to them. Rather, they emphasize slowly developing, less specific (yet potentially as disastrous in the long run) occurrences like climate change as well as broad-based, decentralized (although likely as sound) possibilities for developing responses. They combine the ideas of emergency and emergence in a unique way….

Related:
Local Governments and Climate Change in the United States: Assessing Administrators’ Perspectives on Hazard Management Challenges and Responses
Source: Brian J. Gerber, State and Local Government Review, Vol. 47 no. 1, March 2015
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From the abstract:
Local governments in the United States have become central actors in addressing climate change as a hazard management challenge. Using evidence from a purposive sample of 10 U.S. cities, this article examines how local government officials view climate change in hazard vulnerability terms, what motivates local efforts in this area, and how officials initiate internal collaboration and external stakeholder outreach. The findings suggest level of hazard risk does influence a city’s efforts to address climate change, as does resource availability. In contrast, geographic location and associated hazard type (drought vs. flooding) does not appear to be a key driver of a municipality’s actions in this domain. Further, the results point to how addressing the climate hazard and improving commitment to emergency management is relevant to increasing community resilience for future emergencies and disasters.

Embracing Crowdsourcing: A Strategy for State and Local Governments Approaching “Whole Community” Emergency Planning
Source: Jesse A. Sievers, State and Local Government Review, Vol. 47 no. 1, March 2015
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From the abstract:
Over the last century, state and local governments have been challenged to keep proactive, emergency planning efforts ahead of the after-the-disaster, response efforts. After moving from decentralized to centralized planning efforts, the most recent policy has returned to the philosophy that a decentralized planning approach is the most effective way to plan for a disaster. In fact, under the Obama administration, a policy of using the “whole community” approach to emergency planning has been adopted. This approach, however, creates an obvious problem for state and local government practitioners already under pressure for funding, time, and the continuous need for higher and broader expertise—the problem of how to actually incorporate the whole community into emergency planning efforts. This article suggests one such approach, crowdsourcing, as an option for local governments. The crowdsourcer-problem-crowd-platform-solution (CPCPS) model is suggested as an initial framework for practitioners seeking a practical application and basic comprehension. The model, discussion, and additional examples in this essay provide a skeletal framework for state and local governments wishing to reach the whole community while under the constraints of time, budget, and technical expertise.