Emergency Management is the function that entails the development of a framework that communities utilize to reduce vulnerability to hazards as well as cope with distinct forms of disasters. It aims at promoting safety among vulnerable social groups to accelerate their capacity to cope with hazards and disasters. This managerial function has played a vital role in reducing injuries, protecting communities, and enhancing business continuity. Threats facing the US nation called for the development of this approach for improved safety. As Oliver, Marion, and Hill (2019) state, the founding fathers had to deal with both foreign and domestic threats to accelerate America’s defense and well-being. The approach entails effective management and handling of internal and external threats that revolve around natural and human occurrences. One of the critical elements of the emergency management function is the establishment of a plan that dictates the expected procedures, roles, and responsibilities of all teams, and the emergency response approach during a crisis. Thus, the emergency management function incorporates the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases. Overall, emergency management encompasses the organization and management of resources for handling humanitarian emergencies across communities, regions, and countries.
The Development of Emergency Management
The series of large scale events occurring in the US prompted the development and implementation of the emergency management function. The central aim was to establish a single Federal entity capable of working in hand with the State and local governments to safeguard people’s welfare. Large-scale natural events existed as key occurrences prompting the establishment of this function. For example, in the 1950s, events such as Hurricane Hazel, Diane, and Audrey that damaged distinct cities in the US attracted the attention of the government to initiate a viable emergency plan (Haddow et al., 2010). In the 1960s, three other major disastrous events occurred, and the government established an Office of Emergency Preparedness to deal with natural disasters with a major call for a national focus on emergency management in the 1970s (Haddow et al., 2010). Besides these natural events, the nation also experienced human-based threats such as war and conflicts that attracted a more profound concern towards the management of emergencies. They strengthened the call for improvement of the emergency management function to make it more responsive to the community needs.
The distinction between Emergency Management and Civil Defense
Emergency management and civil defense differ in line with the team handling distinct events. Even though these teams coordinate and integrate activities to build, improve, and sustain, the capacity for mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery from occurrences such as natural disasters, terrorism, and human-made events, they target different individuals. The emergency management structure incorporates a team of professionals working in various State and local agencies in the US. For example, police officers, fire agents, health officers, intelligence officers, and other essential professionals working at various levels take part in emergency management plans. Civil defense, on the other hand, integrates the practice of organizing and training civilians to develop their skills in handling different events. They acquire training to protect people’s lives and property. Tqhey play a crucial role during and after an attack and natural disasters due to their participation in saving lives and helping build the communities.
Overall, emergency management continues to be one of the critical security approaches in the US. It protects the lives of the US people and meets their interests and welfare. Its commencement is based on the series of large-scale events occurring in the country. Continued support of this function through improved funding and accountability will guarantee its sustainability.
Haddow, G., Bullock, J., & Coppola, D. P. (2010). The historical context of emergency management. Introduction to Emergency Management.
Oliver, W. M., Marion, N. E., & Hill, J. B. (2019). Introduction to Homeland Security: Policy, Organization, and Administration. Jones & Bartlett Learning.