Government Coordination And Natural Disasters


In the past, public administration and management were often integrated together. This occurred with them focusing on giving someone a position, based upon who they knew and their connection with the party in power. For the most part, these individuals were considered to be the eyes and ears of the administration.

However, during the 20th century, there was a shift in these practices with a separation between politics, administration and management. The basic objectives were to enhance the quality of services provided and become more responsive to the needs of the people. The problem is that these challenges became more pronounced with administrators failing to address critical issues. This is taking place with the bureaucracy becoming so large that it failed to understand how to deal with important issues. The result is that administrators and their management practices often wasted resources on different programs which were ineffective.

In the 1990s, there was a shift with them outsourcing responsibilities to the private sector. The basic idea is these entities could provide different services more effectively and decrease costs. This changed the role of administration and management, with these individuals focusing on monitoring the program. While at the same time, they were directing resources to different areas where they were needed the most.

To enhance these practices, many civil servants started to emphasize the need to communicate with stakeholders more effectively. This occurred through different websites explaining what they had to offer and seeking out feedback from the public. The result is that management was enhanced and streamlined their capacity to communicate with them. This reduced the overall amounts of bureaucracy and it encouraged programs to become more responsive.

For any event, effective countermeasures are an important part of enhancing safety and reducing collateral damage. Those who take these factors into account will ensure that everyone is protected and reduce the chances of events spiraling out of control. To fully understand how these objectives are achieved requires focusing on interrelationships, specific requirements to declare a federal disaster and two requirements to improve federal assistance. Together, these areas will improve the ability of the different stakeholders to deal with a number of challenges.

Specify the nature of the interrelationships between the federal, state, and local government, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations.

The various agencies involve working with numerous levels of government. The most notable include: local, state and federal agencies. Each one of them can offer specific insights that will deal with key problems and mitigate the probabilities of unfortunate incidents occurring. This is achieved by working with these entities in the process.

Local officials will work with private security and the state. Their basic objectives are to ensure that they are there to address the immediate situation on the ground. They will work with the private sector to direct resources where they are needed the most. The state can provide additional assistance. This occurs in the form of added personnel and financial resources. They can be augmented through increased supervision, by having them play an active role.

Federal agencies will be contacted, to provide greater amounts of funding and resources. They can offer leadership and coordination. These areas will improve public safety by ensuring there is the necessary support is received in achieving the larger objectives. Once this happens, is the point they can effectively address the crisis.

The five mission preparedness areas include: understanding capabilities, aligning roles / responsibilities, coordination, laying a solid foundation and evaluation. Understanding capabilities helps to identify what resources and personnel are available. Aligning roles and responsibilities, is looking at areas of authority on the different levels. Coordination is when the various entities are working together to achieve key objectives in the process. Laying a solid foundation is establishing a workable strategy with the necessary resources to reach critical benchmarks and reduce the underlying amounts of collateral damage. Evaluation is analyzing the plan and determining where adjustments must occur. The combination of these elements helps improve the accuracy of the information and ability to respond to a host of threats on the ground.

Analyze the specific requirements that the government must meet in order to declare a federal disaster and provide federal assistance.

In order to receive federal disaster assistance, there must be specific procedures which are met. The most notable include: a formal request of support by the Governor to the President, an estimate of the extent of the damage, the total amounts of resources that will be committed and certification by the Governor. These different elements are designed to reduce the negative impacts on state and local resources in the aftermath of an event.

A formal request is when the Governor of the state will ask for help specifically from the President of the United States. This is designed to ensure that the highest levels of state government are asking for assistance on a simplified form. It is significant, in illustrating how the state is becoming overwhelmed and needs extra support throughout the process. This enables the President to determine what is happening on the ground.

An estimate of the damage is designed to provide the President with the scope of the loss and how this will influence various regions. This is used to ensure that there are added resources, which assists states and communities in dealing with these challenges. These concepts are important, as they provide federal officials with an idea of what is occurring on the ground and damages that are incurred.

The total amount of resources is looking at what is available and will be committed. It is examining what the state / local authorities have currently at their disposal. This helps federal officials in determining where they can be the most effective. In some cases, this can occur in the form of leadership or funding. While at other times, they may have to send in specific personnel to address these challenges. This helps the President to analyze what is happening on the ground and where he can have the greatest impact.

Certification by Governor is when is putting his request in writing, under oath. This is designed to prevent states from asking for unnecessary support. Once this occurs, is when the underlying amounts of accountability will improve throughout the process. This is significant, in demonstrating that a real problem exists and how the state needs help as soon possible. Once this happens, is when there is improved transparency and oversight.

Suggest two (2) requirements that you believe the government should follow in order to declare a federal disaster and provide federal assistance. Provide a rationale to support your suggestion.

The biggest areas that were not covered include: how officials will adjust with the changing situation on the ground and the best avenues to address conflicting roles / responsibilities. These areas are important, as they are reshaping how the crisis will be handled and the scope of authority defined between local / state / federal officials. Once this happens, is the point confusion sets in because of these issues. For example, in the aftermath of the Deep Water Horizon accident (in 2010), there was confusion surrounding roles and responsibilities. This made the underlying impact much worse as opportunities were lost and resources are squandered.

To deal with these challenges, it is important for everyone to have greater amounts of flexibility in the process. This means that they need to be constantly communicating and prepared to work with each other in addressing the root cause. For instance, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy stakeholders learned from their mistakes. This meant that they were willing adjust their contingency plans in order to achieve these objectives. When these different areas are addressed, the response from everyone will be more focused. This helps to decrease the overall amounts of collateral damage in the process. Once this happens, is the point they can understand and adapt to the situation on the ground. In many ways, this is something which is often missing. When there is a coordinated response, officials can be more effective in preventing collateral damage.

Clearly, the most effective way to deal with natural disasters is to have a coordinated response. This means that there must be flexibility between stakeholders in assessing their needs. If this can occur, the underlying effects will be prevented. Once this happens, is when various resources and personnel are sent to areas where they are needed the most. It is at this point, when these activities will have a positive influence on the outcome of these events.

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