An Overview of the “New” Emergency Management

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. Robert O. Schneider, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
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Abstract: In the aftermath of 9/11 and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, it is tempting to suggest that emergency management (EM) has attained a new level of significance in the national consciousness. Indeed, the emergence of the profession and the creation of FEMA itself owe much to the national defense mania of the Cold War era. But, if the past is any indication, the national security concerns that periodically increase public awareness and political attentiveness to EM do not result in a broad commitment of new resources to the array of natural and manmade disasters that threaten communities. Aside from the increased attention on immediate security threats, often without new resources being made available to local governments, the commitment to comprehensive disaster planning is generally lacking. It could even be suggested that the current focus on national security holds as much potential to distract the EM profession as it does to increase its operational scope, but the current security crisis could also be an opportunity to recast EM as a more strategic component in the local communities it serves.National security concerns aside, the EM profession is presently confronting the challenge to manage new realities. This requires expanding the role of the EM function beyond its traditional scope. The emergency manager requires new skills, and the profession must be identified with the emergency manager as a proactive public actor as much as it is with institutions and technical functions. This suggests that political and organizational analysis, strategic thinking, and leadership—concepts that have already been applied to all other public management functions—may be increasingly important concepts of study for emergency managers. What follows is a new conceptual framework for the EM profession as well as a basic organizational theme for its implementation. The limitations of the “old EM” must be overcome for the profession to advance to the “new EM,” which requires a broader, strategic, and more proactive orientation.

Additional Information

Journal of Emergency Management Vol. 2, No. 1
Language: English
Date: 2004
Emergency Management, Emergency Managers, Natural and Man-made Disasters, Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Planning

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