Category Archives: Emergency Services

Collaboration and Leadership for Effective Emergency Management

Source: William L. Waugh Jr. and Gregory Streib, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

Collaboration is a necessary foundation for dealing with both natural and technological hazards and disasters and the consequences of terrorism. This analysis describes the structure of the American emergency management system, the charts development of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and identifies conflicts arising from the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the attempt to impose a command and control system on a very collaborative organizational culture in a very collaborative sociopolitical and legal context. The importance of collaboration is stressed, and recommendations are offered on how to improve the amount and value of collaborative activities. New leadership strategies are recommended that derive their power from effective strategies and the transformational power of a compelling vision, rather than from hierarchy, rank, or standard operating procedures.

Incrementalism before the Storm: Network Performance for the Evacuation of New Orleans

Source: John J. Kiefer and Robert S. Montjoy, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

In this timely look at evacuation before, during and after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, the authors trace the actions and interactions of the key players and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of their performance during the crisis. Though it was apparent that informal collaborative networks were necessary to deal with the disaster, this article suggests that they are never sufficient alone because networks, by definition, lack legal authority and diffuse public responsibility.

Hurricane Katrina revealed a lack of preparedness in disaster management networks covering the New Orleans area. This paper focuses on the operation of networks in preparing to evacuate residents in advance of a major disaster. There are two cases: the relatively successful evacuation of residents who left by private conveyance and the widely publicized failure to provide for those who could not or would not leave on their own. We trace the actions and inactions of various players to reach conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of networks in the special circumstances of disaster preparation.

More Mandates, Less Dollars: Emergency Management Agencies Focused on Standards

Source: PA Times, December 2006, Volume 29, no. 12

Lexington, KY–The just-released 2006 Biennial Report from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) reveals ever-increasing responsibilities for state emergency management agencies; an on-going struggle for adequate federal funding and states leading the way in continuous improvement for their emergency management programs.

While all states have homeland security functions, most are tasking significant homeland security responsibilities to their state emergency management agencies.