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Free Essay Sample «Emergency Planning and Response»

«Emergency Planning and Response»

Question 1:

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of a Bureaucratic/ Hierarchical model vs. Network model for organizational change.

The task of any hospital is to provide immediate response to causalities of emergency situations, such as natural disaster. The emergency situation would require the distribution of life-saving trauma equipment and other assets. There are a variety of models for organizations to introduce changes. Specifically, some of the organizations offer bureaucratic or hierarchical model of controlling emergency operations that propose efficient operational principles. As it can be seen from the title of every model, hierarchical model presupposes the strict control of the executive who takes control of all organizational activities. The main advantage of this model is the ability to control each contingency, along with the transparent reporting from the bottom to the top of the organizational pyramid. At the same time, the hierarchical model prevents the department from transparent interaction and coordination. According to Bharosa, Lee, and Janssen (2010), “multi-agency coordination typically deals with the coordination of various organizations, each with their own processes, information, application and other technology” (p. 50). However, the bureaucratic model fails to meet the needs of the dependencies because all commands and orders come from the top, limiting coordination and initiative of other departments of the emergency unit.

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The network model implies a horizontal interaction within which all organizational units are equal and have certain responsibilities to ensure the success of the response and recovery operations. In other words, network coordination experience is more collaborative and provides more possibilities for interdependent and mutually beneficial relations (Bharosa et al., 2010). In these models, communication and interaction between departments is the key to efficient reduction of the disaster consequences. In this respect, Kapucu, Arslan, and Demiroz (2010) agree with the fact that emergency and disaster management can be effective as organizational culture, processes and collaborative style of emergency management is emphasized. However, network model of collaboration provides less power to the emergency manager who can have difficulties with controlling all operations. Hence, in case of ineffective communication, it will be a serious challenge for the executive to highlight the pitfalls and eliminate them in the shortest time possible. The above presented considerations show that emergency situations should be used to balance the management of the situation. In other words, there should be a golden medium between top management and interdepartmental coordination to ensure successful communication and effective control of all emergency operations.

Question 2:

Create a hypothetical response scenario for a recent hurricane disaster in which an “adaptive management” approach is utilized. 

The main purpose of adaptive management approach is to strike a balance between the way the obtained knowledge is utilized in eliminating the consequences of disaster and the way the most efficient outcomes of the established objectives are achieved. Hurricane Sandy of 2012 was among the deadliest disasters in the history of humankind. Hurricane management and control should be premised on weather broadcasting and prediction, which implies the reliance on figures and statistics received from the region. At the same time, the use of adaptive management is relevant for the case of Hurricane Sandy because of the necessity to immediately respond to the disaster. In fact, adaptive management depends on several features, such as interactive decision making, explicit characterization via multimodel inference, and ability to understand uncertainty and risk. The latter is an important condition because each emergency management agency should be prepared for unexpected risks. In this respect, Born, Briggs, Ciraulo, Frykberg, Hammond, and O’Neil (2011) argue, “the hospital emergency plan must possess a flexible adaptable command structure to overcome this potential barrier” (p. 395). Furthermore, there should be specific training for the emergency personnel to be ready to provide rescue operation in a timely manner.

The use of adaptive management in hurricane emergency management is relevant because it provides underpinnings for expanding knowledge on climate change and its consequences. Therefore, adaptive management principles recognize the sophisticated structure of social networks and natural environments. It also provides efficient algorithms employed in various complex systems. Emergency plan should introduce adaptive management framework to deal with hurricanes (Born et al., 2011). The response scenario will also provide a multilevel plan in which the emergency team member will perform different tasks to eliminate one problem. Although the adaptive management approach requires many resources and assets, its efficacy justifies the expenses. The main goal of adaptive management is high social learning, sequential coping, and broad contingency planning. To begin with, high social learning is an important goal because knowledge is a powerful tool for administering and guiding the focus populations. The learning can be instinctual, decreasing the frequency of unpredictable crisis and enhancing the level of learning. Sequential coping is another feature of adaptive management, which could be used in managing hurricanes because adaptation is based on shaping knowledge of precedents, experimenting failures and success of certain practices and policies.

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Question 3:

What management approach would you recommend for a hurricane disaster? Why?

While dealing with hurricane disaster, integrating community efforts are essential because they enhance the effectiveness of the rescue information. The preparedness should be at state, federal, and local levels to include both private and public sectors of society. At this point, the preparedness should make all stakeholders share a responsibility for the disaster. Collaborative efforts and network models are the most effective in this situation. There should be three major principles of collaborative community, such as understanding and adhering to the needs of the entire community, integrating and enhancing all sectors of the community, and empowering working structures and institutions on a daily basis. In such a way, it is possible to create a platform for accomplishing the community approach to hurricane management via security and resiliency management. Understanding the best efforts and reforms could be done through engagement of the members of the local community via interviews, voluntary activities and personal awareness.

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Informative environment is the key to the immediate response efforts. However, authorities should be ready to coordinate actions and take orders to the community to prevent, protect and respond to all possible hazards. The immediate response is the key to the effective elimination of the possible threats of hurricane disaster. The government should be ready to enhance and empower the constructions. Creation of additional broadcasting mechanisms can lead to the community being informed about the incoming natural disaster. The accuracy of information and its timely transmission through communication channels is also one of the possible ways to reduce the consequences of the hurricane.

The power of social media should not be underestimated either. Indeed, social media is a powerful tool to emergency management since the public sector frequently makes use of this communication tool. Before trying to persuade the public of the hazards, it is essential to spread information about the possible threat. The information should also contain the algorithms of actions for those who live near the epicenter of the disaster. Indeed, timely delivery of all knowledge along with the resources spent on training the population can also contribute to the reduction of risks and increase in welfare and security of the entire community. Additionally, innovative approach to information spread should be encouraged for the government to control the integrative of diverse tools of information transfer.


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