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Preparedness in Emergency Management Essay

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Updated: Jan 20th, 2022


The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001 has impacted American society in many ways, including the management of disasters, outbreaks, and emergencies. The National Preparedness Goal (NPG) is a brief and concise document issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which identifies mission areas and core capabilities to prevent and face critical situations and to attain optimized outcomes. The NPG aims at forging a safe, strong, and reactive nation, capable of operating in five specific areas: preventing, protecting, mitigating, responding, and recovering (U.S Department of Homeland Security, 2015). Local communities and environmental health programs, as well as emergency preparedness and response programs, play a crucial role in achieving an effective and quick reaction to calamities. If I were in charge of emergencies management, I would ensure that the key players would have the required know-how and skills to respond during a crisis, while I would promote a community-based approach to handle the aftermath.

Who are the key emergency management agency players in your local community? How have they historically gotten along? If you were in charge, what would you do to improve cooperation?

According to the National Preparedness Goal (DHS, 2015), local communities contribute to the preparedness of the nation by assessing the most relevant risks in their area and preparing to face them adequately. In my community, law enforcement and fire service are the first respondents during critical situations, playing a series of crucial roles when a crisis arises. Searching, rescuing, checking door-to-door, and maintaining public safety are specific duties of police officers, while fire service saves people, controls the safety and stability of buildings, and detects hazardous substances. Law enforcement and fire service play different roles in the community, and their relations have always constituted a bright sample of cooperation and reciprocal recognition. If I were the director of emergency management, I would insist on the complementary roles of law enforcement and fire service, organizing joint training to ensure police officers and firefighters know their duties and their limits correctly, identifying and eliminating doubts and misunderstandings.

As the emergency management director for your community, how would you ensure your community was able to achieve the delivery of the National Preparedness Goal? How would you address the areas of Core Capabilities in your planning efforts?

While planning, public information and warning, and operational coordination are handled at a central level, local communities focus more on those capabilities related to mitigating and recovering. As responsible for emergency management, I would ensure that my community was able to respond effectively during a crisis, as well as mitigate and reconstruct adequately in the aftermath. Besides the specific training for police and fire service, I would focus on promoting a community-based participatory approach, involving the whole community and calling for collaboration between environmental health and emergency preparedness and response programs. Such cooperation is paramount, as disasters are followed by long-lasting consequences that can affect infrastructures and health services, including food, water, shelter, sanitation, and hygiene (Gamboa-Maldonado, Marshak, Sinclair, Montgomery, Dyjack, 2012). Under this perspective, the core capabilities of critical transportation, logistics and supply chain management, and infrastructure systems are of crucial importance, as they ensure that all the preparedness and response programs developed in other sectors can receive the needed resources for a successful actuation.


The National Preparedness Goal provides guidelines to respond to and overcome terror attacks and natural disasters. Different tasks and goals are distributed at different levels, with each institution, group, and individual knowing what to do during the peak of a crisis. Coordination and unity of intent should be the core values of a motivated emergency management director, who should ensure that preparedness and response programs are understood and spread across the whole community through broad cooperation and communication among the various players involved.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2015). National Preparedness Goal (2 edition). Web.

Gamboa-Maldonado, T., Marshak, H. H., Sinclair, R., Montgomery, S., & Dyjack, D. T. (2012). Journal of Environmental Health, 75(2), 24–29. Web.

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