Begin the assignment by going through the material in the Lessons. Review any feedback or templates that has been provided to you by the instructor. Review the APA manual or other APA Resource material as the indicated by the instructor. Ensure that you do not make any repeat errors in your papers. Your papers will be heavily discounted or returned for resubmission if you do not show an effort to improve your work.
Assignment: Provide an analyzing important concept in the readings. Ensure your apply the discussion points and assume you are writing for an uninformed reader that knows nothing about the topic and has not read what you read. Provide an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Analyze, discuss, and apply the following:
The interagency (local, state, and federal governments, NGOs, volunteer organizations, etc.) response to 9/11. Please include lessons learned, and the impact of the disaster on comprehensive emergency management including preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.
The interagency (local, state, and federal governments, NGOs, volunteer organizations, etc.) response to the 2005 Hurricane Season (Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and Hurricane Wilma). Please include lessons learned, and the impact of the disasters on comprehensive emergency management including preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.
The interagency (local, state, and federal governments, NGOs, volunteer organizations, etc.) response to Deepwater Horizon. Please include challenges, lessons learned, and the impact of the disaster on comprehensive emergency management including preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.
Discuss the consequences of the lack of interagency cooperation on comprehensive emergency management including preparedness, mitigation, response, and recover
Early 2000s Disasters And The Impact On EM
Over the past few decades, the United States faced a myriad of disasters that had a significant impact on the country’s social and economic environment. Among the tragedies that made history in the country are the three series of hurricanes, the 9/11 attack, and the Deepwater horizon that led to thousands of deaths, injuries, and destruction of property. Among the essential elements of the 2000s disasters was the manner in which different agencies responded and managed the emergencies. While the disasters were eventually managed, the conducted study reveals that there was insufficiency in the interagency response in the 9/11 event, deficiencies in capabilities and decision making of the interagency in the hurricane season and poor regulatory framework in the Deepwater Horizon, which impacted changes in the comprehensive emergency management to foster the preparedness and responsiveness of interagency to disasters.
The 9/11 Attack
To date, the 9/11 attack remains the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States and the globe; it led to massive destruction in New York and Manhattan. Scholars opine that the event not only claimed lives and destroyed the infrastructure, but it also interrupted the routine patterns and sense of security and invulnerability among residents of the United States and the Western World (Silver, 2011). Notably, it became blatant that despite the country having a robust intelligence workforce, it remained vulnerable to meticulous preparation and intelligence of terrorist groups. While thousands of lives were rescued through the heroic effort of the state and federal agencies, there lacked a collaborative interagency response to the disaster, an aspect that compromised the rescue operations. Consequently, the insufficiency in the interagency response significantly impacted changes in the comprehensive emergency management, such as the adoption of the Incident Command System to enhance the preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery of the country during similar disasters.
Lessons of the response to the 9/11 attack were both relevant to the United States and other countries that were susceptible to terrorist attacks and natural disasters. First, it became clear that the interagency response was inadequate during the attack, compromising the rescue effort and adding to the tragic occurrences of the event. As the literature suggests, there existed a disorganized multiagency response to the attacks, whereby police and fire departments failed to share vital information (Bharosa et al., 2010). Notably, the personnel in the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), NYPD, and PAPD utilized separate commands posts, which made it difficult for the agencies to share information and coordinate the rescue mission. As a result of the poor interagency coordination, some of the first responders to disaster lost their lives during the rescue mission.
The identified lesson from the 9/11 attack significantly impacted the comprehensive emergency management with some changes such as the adoption of the Incident Command System being made to interagency response to disasters. Notably, post-attack, the 9/11 commission suggested the adoption of an Incident Command System that would facilitate coordination and effective sharing of information when multiple agencies or jurisdictions were involved in emergency response (Bea, 2005). With the system in place, agencies could utilize a joint command post to transmit information during rescue missions, avoid redundancy of tasks, and ensure the safety of the responders.
Additionally, lessons from the response to the 9/11 attack fostered changes to the Comprehensive emergency management through the establishment of a National Response Framework (NRF) to enhance the preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery of the country from disasters. Notably, the NFR contains comprehensive approaches that focus the efforts of a wide range of stakeholders in national preparedness activities in incident response (“National Response Framework”, 2016). For example, the NRF outlines the level of preparedness required of private sector entities and their partnerships with the government in times of disasters. The provisions of the NFR were significantly impacted by prior occurrences in the United States, including the 9/11 attack, and it aims to counter the shortcomings of previous response measures.
Hurricane Season (Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma)
Like the 9/11 attack, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma were among the deadliest events in the history of the United States. Meteorological reports show that Hurricane Katrina began as a tropical depression on August 23 and intensified to a high-level category three hurricanes that claimed approximately 2,000 lives, destroyed infrastructure, and led to multiple injuries among communities in the gulf (Farris, 2005). Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita struck the Gulf Coast, leading to the death of approximately seven people, and evacuations of millions of residents within the gulf (Farris, 2005). October, the same year, Hurricane Wilma hit the country leading to six deaths in Florida and Bahamas (Farris, 2005). This series of hurricanes led to a significant destruction of both lives and infrastructure in the United States. Although there were tremendous efforts to rescue victims of natural disasters, several losses were encountered mainly because of the deficiencies in capabilities and decision making of the interagency, which led to a reorganization of the comprehensive emergency management to enhance the responsiveness of the country to similar disasters.
The most important lesson learned from the response to the three series of hurricanes in the United States was the adversities of deficiencies in capabilities and interagency decision making. As opined by the committees of the 109th Congress, Federal Offices of Inspector General and the White House, the losses caused by the natural disasters, notably Hurricane Katrina, were partly a result of the deficiencies such as questionable leadership decision and capabilities, organizational failures and inadequate statutory authorities, not to forget the overwhelmed preparation for the event (Bea, 2007). Notably, during the occurrence of the Hurricanes, the federal agency tasked with handling emergencies, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), had been stripped of some authorities, which were divested into other units within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As a result, the agency experienced a decline in its capabilities and deficiencies in decisions that would facilitate the preparedness of the local, state, and NGO’s in responding to the crisis.
The onset and aftermath of the three hurricanes catalyzed reforms in comprehensive emergency management such as preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. Notably, changes were made to the FEMA following the opinion of the Congress that the capabilities of the agency had deteriorated during the hurricane events. Among the impacts of the disasters was the reinvestment of the element of preparedness in the FEMA. Before the occurrence of the tragedy, the emergency preparedness function had been vested to the Preparedness Directorate (PD), which operated as an independent component of HSD (Bea, 2007). However, following the disasters, Congress established the need to vest the responsibility back to FEMA to facilitate the coordination of all the four elements and ensure recovery of communities and continuity of government operations post-crisis.
Additionally, further statutory authorities were established under the Post-Katrina Act to foster a better understanding of the roles of the multi agencies involved in emergency management. For example, on the one hand, the authority over emergency systems, continuity of operations, and government plans were conferred to the FEMA. On the other hand, the functions of the office of infrastructure protection, national communications system, national cybersecurity division, and office of the chief medical officer remained under the jurisdiction of the Preparedness directorate (“Title VI- National Emergency”, 2006). The establishment of adequate statutory authorities aimed at enhancing the interagency response to natural disasters by outlining the scope of power of each unit within the HSD.
The Deep Horizon Oil Spill
Besides the three series of hurricanes and the 9/11 attack, the Deepwater horizon was also among the most massive disaster in the history of the United States. On April 20, 2010, the offshore drilling rig exploded, claiming the lives of 11 workers at BP, and gushing millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico (Blackmon, 2020; Irfan, 2018). The disaster not only caused the death of workers, but it also destroyed marine life and the property of communities living at the Gulf Coast. While the response to the Deepwater Horizon was a success, several challenges were experienced, including gaps in the preparedness of the BP to disaster management, which led to significant reforms in safety rules governing offshore drilling.
Interagency Response to Deepwater Horizon
Literature suggests that the interagency response to the Deepwater Horizon was among the most coordinated rescue and recovery missions. After the disaster was declared a Spill of National Significance, local, state and federal agencies coordinated their resources to respond to the emergency. Notably, the National Incident Command (NIC), under the leadership of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), established local incident command posts to coordinate multiagency operations (Michaels & Howard, 2012). The established command posts fostered cooperation among the National Response Team (NRT) such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that the health and safety of the responders were taken into account during emergency management. Due to the proper interagency coordination and initial preparedness of the OSHA and NIOSH, the response to the Deepwater horizon was a success despite a few injuries and long-term health issues experienced by some of the workers.
Scholars opine that lessons learned from the Deepwater horizon were most significant to the United States and other countries involved in offshore oil drilling. The BP oil spill brought to the attention of policymakers about the adversities of a poorly functioning regulatory framework in the oil industry (Farber, 2014). Notably, it became clear that the regulatory framework governing the sector was very lenient, which allowed firms such as BP to operate with gaps in their heat stress programs and without proper plans to address hazards at the workplace.
The identified gaps in the exercise of care in the Deepwater horizon significantly influenced changes to the comprehensive emergency management governing the industry. Notably, after the disaster, Obama’s administration implemented more stringent workplace safety rules to foster the preparedness of offshore oil operators to worst-case scenarios for accidents (Dennis, 2016). Also, a fund was established to help affected communities recover from such tragedies.
Synthesis of findings from the research reveals multiple challenges in the interagency response to the 2000s disasters in the United States, which led to significant amendments to the comprehensive emergency management. Notably, it is quite evident that there lacked interagency coordination in response to the 9/11 attack, which led to reforms by the Congress and adoption of an Incident Command System to foster cooperation in the occurrence of similar scenarios. Also, deficiencies in capabilities and decision making of the interagency in the hurricane season led to amendments of the functions of FEMA to foster its emergency management capability. Furthermore, lessons from the inadequate functioning regulatory framework in the oil industry led to the implementation of stringent safety rules to enhance the sector’s responsiveness to the worst-case scenarios.
Michaels, D., & Howard, J. (2012). Review of the OSHA-NIOSH response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Protecting the health and safety of cleanup workers. PLOS. http://currents.plos.org/disasters/index.html%3Fp=1985.html
Irfan, U. (2018). Deepwater Horizon led to new protections for U.S. waters. Trump just repealed them. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2018/6/22/17493414/trump-executive-order-deepwater-horizon-drilling-oceans
Bea, K. (2005). Emergency management preparedness standards: Overview and options for Congress. FAS. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL32520.pdf
“National response framework” (2016). Homeland Security. https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2019-06/national_response_framework.pdf
Bharosa, N., Lee, J., & Janssen, M. (2010). Challenges and obstacles in sharing and coordinating information during multi-agency disaster response: Propositions from field exercises. Information Systems Frontiers, 12, 49-65. https://doi.10.1007/s10796-009-9174-z
Farber, D.A. (2014). Lessons from the BP oil spill. REHTD, 6(3), 232-245. https://doi.10.4013/rechtd.2014.63.01
Farris, G.S. (2005). The major hurricanes of 2005: A few facts. Science and the Storms. https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1306/pdf/c1306_ch2_b.pdf
“Title VI- National emergency management” (2006). Public Law Act. https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/Post_Katrina_Emergency_Management_Reform_Act_pdf.pdf
Bea, K. (2007, March 6). Federal emergency management policy changes after hurricane Katrina: A summary of statutory provisions. Congressional Research Service. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33729.pdf
Dennis, B. (2016, April 14). This is Obama’s plan to prevent another BP-like disaster. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/14/obama-administration-issues-regulations-to-prevent-another-bp-like-disaster/
Blackmon, D. (2020, April 20). The Deepwater Horizon disaster: A horrible event that must never happen again. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidblackmon/2020/04/20/the-deepwater-horizon-disaster-a-horrible-event-that-must-never-happen-again/#712dc7fe4c8d
Silver, R.C. (2011). An introduction to 9/11: Ten years later. American Psychological Association, 66(6), 427-428. https://doi.10.1037/a0024804