Evolution of Emergency Management

Claire Rubin, also known as the “Recovery Diva,” recently published an update to her comprehensive textbook covering the past century of historic major disasters in the U.S. and their outcomes, with a special focus on governmental response. Emergency Management: The American Experience 1900-2010, Second Edition defines “focusing events” as pivotal disaster events that have directly altered the evolution of emergency management in the United States.

The book boasts an impressive list of contributors including Richard T. Sylves, professor and senior research scientist at the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management of the George Washington University and Gary Wamsley, professor emeritus of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech University.

The focus of the book is the response phase of emergency management, and the contributors use detailed case studies of historic disaster events to illuminate changes in public policies, administration and organizations in response to major disasters.

As editor, Rubin posits that Americans have come to view emergency management as a quintessential public service and expect local and federal government to play an ever-increasing role in disaster response.

During 19th and Early 20th centuries, natural disasters were viewed as “acts of God.” Response and recovery was the responsibility of victims, local community, and civic organizations, whereas government was only marginally involved. There was no expectation of federal disaster assistance to individuals and families, or for public infrastructure.

Now the lead responsibility for response actions has gone from personal and local to more formal organizations and government systems.

The second edition of the book offers updates from the previous version with reports on the changes to policy, shifts in DHS and FEMA, and responses to disasters from 2005–2010 including the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Read more from the Publisher: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466517530

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