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Emergency Disaster Management Essay Sample

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Emergency Disaster Management Essay Sample

Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-5), was issued to develop a new National  Response Plan (NRP) for aligning  and unifying Federal coordination structures, capabilities, and resources into a well integrated, all discipline, and all-hazards approach to domestic incident management. HSPD-5 has set forth certain criteria for identifying Incident of National Significance and thus initiate the whole process described in National Response Plan (NRP). The criteria of identifying an ‘Incident of National Significance’ can be sub-divided into four sections (“National Response Plan,” 2005).

  1. In case of an incident or imminent threat if a federal department or agency feels that they need the help of  the Secretary of Homeland Security then that incident can be termed as Incident of National Significance.
  2. In case of an incident or eminent threat if the resources of State and local authorities are not adequate and state or local authorities request for federal help then that can be defined as Incident of National Significance.
  3. This point mainly focuses terrorist threats and terrorism. Anything related to credible threats or warning of possible terrorist attack will be treated as the Incident of National Significance.
  4. With DHS assistance any incident can be considered as an Incident of National Significance. When an incidents gets such status then DHS is authorized to coordinates Federal resources according to HSPD-5.

Emergency Support Function (ESF)

The Emergency Support Function, or “ESF” is a mechanism that brings together multiple agencies that perform similar or like functions into a single, cohesive unit for the better management of emergency response functions. The ESF concept was first developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the late 1980s.

It was basically evolved to address the potential management concerns that would be necessary to coordinate a federal response to a catastrophic earthquake in California.  FEMA subsequently implemented the ESF concept in the development of its National Response Plan (NRP) and was last updated on May 25, 2006. It establishes a comprehensive all-hazards approach to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents (“Emergency and Disaster,” 2006).

            In case of any emergency, most important thing is the coordination of all available resources. The Emergency Support Function (ESF) describes details of the missions, policies, structures, and responsibilities of Federal agencies for coordinating their resources and efforts other branches of federation. Whenever required DHS can use the ESF as the mechanism for gathering  required support from other federal and local departments and agencies. (“ESF,” 2002).

Emergency Support Function (ESF) incorporates Transportation, Communications, Public Works and Engineering, Firefighting, Emergency Management, Housing, and Human Services, Resource Support, Public Health and Medical Services, Urban Search and Rescue, Oil and Hazardous Materials Response, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Energy, Public Safety and Security, Long-Term Community Recovery and Mitigation, and External Affairs. All these protocols of ESF can be used according to the nature and requirement of the incident.

Part 2

Dallas Police Department (DPD)

At present, DPD has been successful in establishing its credibility as the leader on law enforcement issues. DPD is currently working in a very organized and systemic way. They have a vision and strategic plan to achieve their aims and objectives.

DPD has evolved a Mission Statement to give employees a broad guide for delivering their duties. The vision contains core values for the officer and force to achieve professional excellence. They are described as seven core values. These core values envisage behavioral and ethical characteristics, expected from all employees while performing their duties. The core values also expect integrity, leadership, and commitment to define the mission of the Department and its methods of service (“Police,” 2006).

The Mission Statement

            The mission statement of DPD envisages all the important areas and gives a line of action and specific objectives to each and every individual of Police Department according to his domain. Important features of mission statement are as under (“Mission Statement,” 2006):

  1. While performing their duties in DPD, the main objective will be to work for reducing crime and making the city peaceful. For achieving these objectives every personnel should facilitate people while doing their designated job. The main focus should be on assurance of increasing satisfaction of citizens.
  2. For achieving the objectives all the personnel should keep in mind their principal duties which include:
  • To respect and safeguards rights and privileges of the citizens according to law.
  • To deal with all the citizens coming into contact with respect and dignity.
  • To set a model of honesty and integrity while performing duties.

Organization of Dallas Police Department

            The Dallas Police Department is an organization that had once lost its way. Over the years an organization that took pride in itself as one of the leading police agencies in the nation was no more being seen performing to excellence. Rather than working with the city manager and the city council to establish clear goals and high expectations for policing, no clear direction for the department had been established and communicated to department employees and to the Dallas community.

Keeping in view such state of affairs, a professional and competitive advisory company was selected to conduct a study and propose recommendations for bringing improvements. In the light of report submitted by advisory company, DPD was re-organized. (“DPD,” 2005). The department presently is divided into five divisions or bureaus (“Organization,” 2006):

  1. Office of the Chief of Police
  2. Patrol Division
  3. Criminal Investigations Division
  4. Human Resources & Professional Standards Bureau
  5. Support Services & Financial Bureau

There are some other smaller sections as well. Few of them are:

  1. Fugitive/Parole Squad
  2. SWAT Operations Unit
  3. Planning & Crime Analysis Unit

The Dallas Police Department is comprised of eighteen sworn officers, including the Chief. Three sergeants and nine officers are assigned to the Patrol Division. One sergeant and four officers are assigned to the Investigations Division, which includes officers assigned to the Community Resource Team. Officers report directly to their respective sergeants who report directly to the Chief of Police.

The Administrative Assistant to the Chief and the Court Security Officer also report directly to the Chief of Police. (“Police Department,” 2006). The Chief of Police plays a leadership role by inspiring all the employees and by establishing effective supervisory network for maintaining quality of service. On lower levels Patrol chiefs and chiefs of other sections and departments work effectively in their designated sphere. The present organization structure of the Dallas Police Department is as following (“Organization Structure,” 2006):

Planning Cycle

As discussed above the Dallas Police Department is currently working in a sophisticated way and they have chalked out certain strategic goals in the light of recommendations of the report. They made a comprehensive plan to implement all these recommendations. These recommendations are categorized very interestingly into implemented and if not implemented the reasons are given quite precisely. The strategic goals set by them for better environment in their city are very appealing and impressing as well. Some of the important facets of their future planning are given below (“Planning Cycle,” 2006):

  1. DPD wants to enhance it performance by reducing overall crime by 5%.
  2. They wan to satisfy citizens by answering  60% of emergency calls in 8 minutes or less.
  3. They are intending to reduce traffic fatalities by 2% by improving traffic management.
  4. In this context they want to increase traffic enforcement by 10%.
  5. DPD not only wants to reduce crime rate but also aspires to give piece of mind to citizen by reducing fear of crime in the Community.
  6. They are planning to utilize a team approach  to improve neighborhood safety.
  7. They are also interested in involving communities and neighborhoods in advisory committees.
  8. By involving the communities they want to improve the feeling of safety for residents of all neighborhoods.
  9. The main emphasis of their planning cycle is on providing crime free and peaceful atmosphere to citizens.
  10. For achieving these objectives DPD also wants to focus on order issues such as prostitution, drug houses etc.
  11. DPD is planning to reorganize management systems within stipulated period to make the personnel accountable for their performance.
  12. DPD is planning to measure responsibility at all levels by a crime analysis-based model.
  13. DPD has also evolved a tactical plans in each bureau and division to achieve the objectives.
  14. For enhancing and improving performance of the department, DPD is planning to hire and train recruits in large number.
  15. DPD is also working on a plan to induct civilians in its department to improve line function.
  16. DPD is also interested in developing a professional leadership program to provide quality of leadership for future.
  17. DPD is planning to implement the DPD Management and Efficiency Study recommendations when feasible and desirable within 2 years.
  18. As part of their well planned strategies, DPD is planning to conduct a follow-up of implementation of the study and report progress to the Council and City Manager.

Part 3

The Stafford Act

The famous Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is known with the name of Robert T. Stafford act. After amendments, this act is now designed to provide a methodology for federal government to support state and local resources in major disasters or emergencies when those states and local resources are not adequate to meet the challenge. This act provides  mechanisms for declaration of a major disaster. This act makes it mandatory to that Governor of the affected state who must make a request to the President for assistance.

The Governor’s request should be based on a finding that define the severity and magnitude of disaster and declare that the resources of state can not manage that disaster effectively. It is also necessary under this act that the Governor shall take appropriate response action under State law and direct execution of the State’s emergency plan before making a formal request to President (“Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act,” 2006).

            As part of such request, and as a prerequisite to major disaster assistance under this Act, the Governor shall furnish information on the nature and amount of State and local resources which have been or will be committed to alleviating the results of the disaster, and shall certify that, for the current disaster, State and local government obligations and expenditures (of which State commitments must be a significant proportion) will comply with all applicable cost-sharing requirements of this Act. Based on the request of a Governor under this section, the President may declare under this Act that a major disaster or emergency exists (“Stafford Act,” 2006).

Part 4

Key Elements of HSPD-5

            The Home Land Security Presidential Directive HSPD-5 is aimed at enhancing the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents by establishing a single, comprehensive national incident management system.  The main objective of this directive is to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

The United States Government is bound to establish a single, comprehensive approach to domestic incident management. The objective of the United States Government under this act should be to ensure that all levels of government across the Nation have the capability to work efficiently and effectively together, using a national approach to domestic incident management. In these efforts, with regard to domestic incidents, the United States Government treats crisis management and consequence management as a single, integrated function, rather than as two separate functions (“Homeland Security Presidential Directive,” 2003).

One of the most important key elements of this directive specifies that the Secretary of Homeland Security is the principal Federal official for domestic incident management. Pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Secretary is responsible for coordinating Federal operations within the United States to prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. HSPD-5 holds the Secretary responsible for making all necessary coordination of the Federal Government’s resources utilized in response to or recovery from terrorist attacks, major disasters, or other emergencies if and when any one of the following four conditions applies:-

  1. A Federal department or agency acting under its own authority has requested the             assistance of the Secretary.
  2. The resources of State and local authorities are overwhelmed and Federal assistance has been requested by the appropriate State and local authorities.
  3. More than one Federal department or agency has become substantially involved in responding to the incident.
  4. The Secretary has been directed to assume responsibility for managing the domestic incident by the President.

            It is very important to note that this directive does not alters, or impedes the ability to carry out, the authorities of Federal departments and agencies to perform their responsibilities under law. The directive however bounds all Federal departments and agencies who shall cooperate with the Secretary in the Secretary’s domestic incident management role. HSPD-5 recognizes the roles and responsibilities of State and local authorities in domestic incident management. It lays initial responsibility for managing domestic incidents on the State and local authorities. It also recognizes the role that the private and nongovernmental sectors can play in preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies (“Homeland Security Presidential Directive,” 2003).

            HSPD-5 further specifies that the Attorney General has the lead responsibility for criminal investigations of terrorist acts or terrorist threats by individuals or groups inside the United States, or directed at United States citizens or institutions abroad, where such acts are within the Federal criminal jurisdiction of the United States. It is also worth mentioning that this directive does not affect the authority of the Secretary of Defense over the Department of Defense, including the chain of command for military forces from the President as Commander in Chief, to the Secretary of Defense, to the commander of military forces, or military command and control procedures.

The Secretary of State continues to hold the responsibility, consistent with other United States Government activities to protect national security, to coordinate international activities related to the prevention, preparation, response, and recovery from a domestic incident, and for the protection of United States citizens and United States interests overseas.

            This directive holds the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs responsible for inter-agency policy coordination on domestic and international incident management, respectively, as directed by the President. The Secretary shall ensure that, as appropriate, information related to domestic incidents is gathered and provided to the public, the private sector, State and local authorities, Federal departments and agencies, and, generally through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, to the President (“Homeland Security Presidential Directive,” 2003).

            Another important element of HSPD-5 spells out that all the heads of federal departments and agencies should provide their full and prompt cooperation, resources, and support, as appropriate and consistent with their own responsibilities for protecting our national security, to the Secretary, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of State in the exercise of the individual leadership responsibilities and missions assigned to them.

The Secretary however has been made responsible to develop, submit for review to the Homeland Security Council, and administer a National Incident Management System. HSPD-5 hence provides a consistent nationwide approach for Federal, State, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity (“Management of Domestic Incidents,” 2004).

Part 5

Policy of the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-5)

            Major purpose of this directive is to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents by establishing a single, comprehensive national incident management system. The HSPD-5 gives out a clear policy by assigning responsibilities to each individual and clarifies roles of every organization. First of all it specifies that the Secretary of Homeland Security is the principal Federal official for domestic incident management. It makes the Secretary responsible for coordinating Federal operations within the United States to prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. It also specifies that the United States Government shall establish a single, comprehensive approach to domestic incident management. This approach should be aimed at preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies (“HSPD-5,” 2003).

            The Secretary has also been made responsible to coordinate the employment of the resources of the Federal Government in response to or recovery from terrorist attacks, major

disasters, or other emergencies. This directive also clarifies the roles and responsibilities of State and local authorities in domestic incident management. The directive spells out a policy that the initial responsibility for managing domestic incidents falls on State and local authorities. The Federal Government will assist State and local authorities when their resources are overwhelmed, or when Federal interests are involved. In all such cases the Secretary will coordinate with State and local governments to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training, and exercise activities (“HSPD-5,” 2003).

Part 6

Development of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) within the Department of Homeland Security

            On February 28, 2003, President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 commonly known as HSPD-5. This directive asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS) which should be able to provide a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents. While most emergency situations are handled locally, when there’s a major incident help may be needed from other jurisdictions, the state and the federal government.

NIMS was developed so responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines can work together better to respond to natural disasters and emergencies, including acts of terrorism. Major benefits of NIMS include a unified approach to incident management; standard command and management structures; and emphasis on preparedness, mutual aid and resource management (“National Incident Management System,” 2005).

            The NIMS provides a flexibility applicable across all phases of incident management including the prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. The NIMS presents a set of standardized organizational structures – including the ICS, Multi-Agency Coordination Systems and public information systems – as well as requirements for processes, procedures and systems to improve interoperability among jurisdictions and disciplines in various areas (“NIMS,” 2006).

Requirements under Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-5) Regarding National Incident Management System (NIMS)

            The NIMS provides a consistent nationwide approach for Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. It was evolved as an after math of the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5. HSPD-5 also required Department of Homeland Securities to establish a mechanism for ongoing coordination to provide strategic direction for, and oversight of, the NIMS. To this end, the NIMS Integration Center (NIC) was established to support both routine maintenance and the continuous refinement of the NIMS (“National Incident Management System,” 2005).

            HSPD-5 also makes it mandatory for all Federal departments and agencies to adopt the NIMS and use it in their individual domestic incident management and emergency prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities, as well as in support of all actions taken to assist State or local entities. The NIC is working with Federal departments and agencies to ensure that they develop a plan to adopt NIMS. When Homeland Security released the NIMS on March 1, 2004, Secretary Tom Ridge and Under Secretary Brown specifically highlighted compliance with the ICS as being possible fairly quickly. They recognized that in some cities, the fire and police departments have worked together using ICS for years. In other places, only the fire department used ICS. Although law enforcement, public works and public health were aware of the concept, they regarded ICS as a fire service system. The NIMS ends this discrepancy because HSPD-5 requires state and local adoption of NIMS as a condition for receiving federal preparedness funding (“National Incident Management System,” 2006).

Part 7

NIMS Concept ‘Most Incidents are Managed Locally’

            From local, it implies the use of local resources which are generally in the form of the local ‘911’ dispatch centers, emergency responders within a single jurisdiction, and direct supporters of emergency responders. This NIMS concept augments that the initial response to most of the domestic incidents can be placed in the category of ‘local’ since these are normally tackled by the local response teams. And it is evident from the study of cases that most of the responses do not necessitate involving any outsider for assistance. There could be however some cases, that begin with a single response discipline within a single jurisdiction but may rapidly expand to multidiscipline, and multi-jurisdictional incidents. Such type of incidents will require significant additional resources and operational support. But these cases may be few in number (“NIMS Command and Management,” 2004).

            This concept of NIMS is aimed at involving local response teams to act more diligently in handling local affairs. They should not always be looking behind their shoulders for additional help. This sort of behavior reflected by the ‘attitude of least resistance’ eventually degrades their performance in handling local matters. On the other hand, it is also found that local response teams including the local police are often reluctant to receive any out side help. From one perspective, this is a very positive aspect since it increases their own confidence level in handling the local matters thereby enhancing their performance levels. It is however pertinent to mention here that whenever federal resources get involved, the ICS provides a flexible core mechanism for coordinated and collaborative incident management (Alderson, 2004).

References

Alderson, K. A. (2004). “National Incident Management System (NIMS).” Local Government Online. Retrieved July 30, 2006, from http://www.iml.org/npps/story.cfm?ID=572

“DPD.” (2005). Dallas City Hall. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from http://www.dallascityhall.com/pdf/police/Overview.pdf

“ESF- Emergency Support Functions.” (2002). TNEMA. Retrieved July 30, 2006, from http://www.tnema.org/Plans/ESF.htm

“Emergency and Disaster.” (2006). Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved July 29, 2006, from http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0566.xml

“Homeland Security Presidential Directive.” (2003). The White House. Retrieved July 29, 2006,           from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030228-9.html

“HSPD-5.” (2003). The White House. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from             http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030228-9.html

“Management of Domestic Incidents.” (2004). NIMS Online. Retrieved July 29, 2006, from             http://www.nimsonline.com/presidential_directives/hspd_5.htm

“Mission Statement.” (2006). Dallas Police Department. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from http://www.dallaspolice.net/index.cfm?page_ID=4991&subnav=51

“NIMS.” (2006) FEMA – Homeland Security. Retrieved July 30, 2006, from http://www.state.il.us/osfm/HomelandSecurity/NIMS.htm

“NIMS Command and Management.” (2004). NIMS Online. Retrieved July 29, 2006, from             http://www.nimsonline.com/nims_3_04/command_and_management.htm

“National Incident Management System.” (2005). FEMA. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from             http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/index.shtm

“National Incident Management System.” (2006). VA Emergency. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from http://www.vaemergency.com/programs/nims/

“National Response Plan.” (2005). Source Watch. Retrieved July 30, 2006, from http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Response_Plan

“Organization.” (2006). Dallas Police Department. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from http://www.dallaspolice.net/index.cfm?subnav=55&page_ID=1204

“Organization Structure.” (2006). City of Dallas. Retrieved July 29, 2006, from http://www.ci.dallas.or.us/police/organization.htm

“Planning Cycle.” (2006). Dallas City Hall. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from http://www.dallascityhall.com/committee_briefings/briefings/20050118_pubsaf_dpd_effupdate.pdf#search=’Dallas%20Police%20Department%20Organization%20planning%20cycle

“Police.” (2006). The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved July 30, 2006, from http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/spe/2004/dallas/police.html

“Police Department.” (2006). City of Dallas. Retrieved July 29, 2006 from http://www.ci.dallas.or.us/police/Police.htm

“Stafford Act.” (2006). EMAO. Retrieved July 29, 2006, from       http://www.ohioema.org/robertt.htm

“Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.” (2006). Wikipedia. Retrieved July 29,           2006, from    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stafford_Disaster_Relief_and_Emergency_Assistance_Act

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