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Respond to Discussion Question
Respond to at least one colleague and provide a different perspective on how your colleague’s disaster might have influenced specific policy. Describe any insight you have gained from reading your colleague’s post. Use in text citations, references and APA formatting.
A brief description of each of the two disasters you selected. Then explain the specific policy that resulted from these disasters and their impact on the field of emergency management. Finally, describe the challenges that these disasters might present to emergency managers in establishing intergovernmental relationships for response and recovery.
A natural hazard is a threat of a naturally occurring event that affects humans in a negative manner. It is called a natural disaster when the hazardous threat actually happens and harms humans. There are several natural disasters that can leave behind a disastrous effort, but for the purpose of this discussion I chose tornadoes. According Sylves, a tornado is a rapidly rotating vortex or funnel of air extending groundward from a cumulonimbus cloud, exhibiting wind speeds of up to 300 mph (pp. 42). The wind force caused by a tornado has the ability to lift and shift massive amount of debris including destroying large objects such as buildings. There is no clear indication according to meteorologists on exactly how tornadoes are formed, but one known fact is the formation comes from thunderstorms. In order for a tornado to exist there are certain conditions that triggers them. Abundant low-level moisture is necessary to contribute to the development of a thunderstorm, and perhaps a cold front or other low-level zone of converging winds is needed to lift the moist air aloft. Most tornadoes are generated in the Central part of North America, known in the area of the Great Plains, but has been known to touch down in many states. Another natural disaster that can be detrimental in nature is a hurricane, especially a category 4 hurricane. Category 4 hurricanes have speeds between 130-156 mph, and with this time of strength can cause catastrophic damage. Amongst the damage that a category 4 hurricane cause, there is also a high risk of injury or death people, livestock, and pets (Cleary, 2016).
In 1999, after a tornado torn through Oklahoma and Kansas causing damages to several schools the federal government decided to create a grant that would provide funding for damage prevention projects after a tornado called the FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to states for their use in conducting mitigation activities following a Presidential declaration of a major disaster. HMGP grants are awarded through a cost-sharing arrangement in which the Federal government provides a grant of up to 75 percent of eligible project costs. therefore, a non-Federal contribution of at least 25 percent is required (FEMA, 2002). The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina left many unanswered questions amongst the local, state, and federal agencies. All entities blaming each other for the slow response to the devastating areas. As a result of the many issues after this disaster the federal government implement several national-level policy reforms to correct some of them, and prepare for future incidents. One of the newly developed policies was the Post-Katrina Reform Act of 2006 also known as Title VI of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007. The reform contained several modifications that will have long-standing effect marked with consequences for FEMA and other federal entities. This ruling contributed to reorganizing FEMA, by expanding its legislative authority, and imposing new state of affairs and requests on the actions of the agency (Love, 2006). Under the guidelines of the Post Katrina Reform Act 2006, it restored FEMA accountability to lead and support efforts to decrease the loss of life and property and safeguard the country from all threats through a risk-based structure that place emphases on extended CEM components. This act also made changes to how administers dealt with disaster response and recovery.
The magnitude of damage that tornadoes and hurricanes can bring to a state, region, community can be overbearing. The challenge that these disasters have on an emergency manager and their ability to establish an intergovernmental relationship is the lack of communication, and cooperation, and control primarily in the initial stages of the response. Another challenge that might be present to emergency managers in establishing intergovernmental relationship is how to properly plan how those relationship will work in the response and recovery process for the natural disaster.
Canton, L. G. (2007). Emergency management: Concepts and strategies for effective programs. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Clearly, T. (2016). What Is a Category 4 Hurricane? 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. Retrieved from http://heavy.com/news/2016/10/what-is-category-4-hurricane-matthew-damage-strength-history-definition-wind-speed-storm-surge-facts-names/
FEMA. (2002). Mitigation Case Studies Protecting School Children from Tornadoes. Retrieved from
Love, N. (2006). Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes after Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions. Retrieved from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33729.pdf
Sylves, R. (2015). Disaster policy and politics: Emergency management and homeland security (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press.