Home Tag "emergencies"

It Takes a Community to Be Prepared for Disaster

On June 29, 2012, a derecho brought devastation to many Mid-Atlantic states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia and the District of Columbia. This incident highlighted the need for community preparedness, especially in rural areas. Dr. Shana Nicholson shares the lessons learned by small communities in West Virginia and how public safety agencies and citizens are working hard together so they're better prepared for the next disaster.

Emergency and Disaster Response: Is the U.S. Better at It Now?

By Richard Pera, Dean of the School of Security and Global Studies at American Military University

If you ask someone from Louisiana to characterize the federal government’s response to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, you would likely receive a viscerally negative reaction. Indeed, commenting on the post-Katrina response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a spokesperson for Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco uttered these now famous and often-quoted words in a New York Times article: “We wanted soldiers, helicopters, food, and water… They wanted to negotiate an organizational chart.”

Fast forward seven years for a very different assessment of the federal government’s response—this time to Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New Jersey coast.

Why Controversy About Wireless Emergency Alerts Is a Good Thing

By Dr. Vincent Giordano, Program Director, Criminal Justice at American Public University

In a world where more than 300 million people have cell phones, the use of this technology for communicating during emergencies has become wide-spread and highly controversial (CTIA, 2013).

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (2013), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) allows governmental agencies to send emergency alerts through targeted cell towers to all WEA-enabled devices.

Duty to Act: Legal Obligations vs. Community Expectations

By Anthony S. Mangeri, Sr., Faculty Member, Emergency and Disaster Management at American Military University

Over the years, there have been several stories of public safety personnel, on and off duty, failing to meet the response expectations of their community. A recent incident in the District of Columbia involving the death of a man who collapsed near a fire station and not receive immediate aid, made it even more unclear if emergency responders have a legal duty to act versus an expectation by the community to aid those who seek help.