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Testimony on Needed Emergency Management Reforms


In addition to causing death, injury, and destruction on a massive scale, Hurricane Katrina also revealed critical flaws in the entire U. S. emergency management system. Some of those deficiencies were of long standing, while others were the result of poor policy and decision making following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.In the aftermath of Katrina, many critical reports were issued, and the executive and legislative branches of the U. S. government took steps to address some Katrina-related problems. Such efforts include the passage of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act and the revision of the National Response Plan.It is too soon to tell whether new initiatives will actually improve the ability of the United States to respond to extreme and catastrophic events. It may be that measures undertaken following Katrina will make little difference in the long run. To effectively reduce disaster losses, significant advances must be made in several areas, including: the development of a fully-functional and integrated emergency management system; a return to an all-hazards and comprehensive emergency management philosophy; the de-politicization of top emergency management positions; reforms aimed at increasing the resilience of civil society institutions in the face of disasters; strategies to address existing and future deficiencies in the emergency management work force; and initiatives aimed at strengthening emergency management oversight, accountability, and program evaluation. These broad lessons are applicable both to the U.S. context and to other nations.

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Tierney, Kathleen. 2007. "Testimony on Needed Emergency Management Reforms." Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (January). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/40823444_Testimony_on_Needed_E…

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