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Disaster Management and Training for Emergency

The levels of training for emergency response should be part of the crisis plan. One of the significant disadvantages of the disaster management model demonstrated during Hurricane Katrina was the lack of centralized control points that would coordinate disaster response and the emergency evacuation processes. The need for centralized control is explained by the fact that the lack of it increases the risks of neglecting certain parts of a population when conducting emergency activities, leading to higher numbers of victims (James & Gilliland, 2012). A way to achieve better centralization is to work on training on different levels. A federal training program may be beneficial, but it should not be disregarded that time is the most valuable resource in emergency management, which is why a system that lacks autonomous regulation and operation has severe disadvantages in comparison with a system that can respond to disasters or similar circumstances on the local level.

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However, training is done in advance, not at the time of a crisis, which is why splitting it into two stages—training in federal centers with further distribution of trainers into local centers—can be beneficial. A national emergency management training center’s existence ensures a higher level of cooperation, experience exchange, and knowledge accumulation (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2013). If I was appointed as the top contact person on the state level for crisis management, I would contribute to federal disaster management programs by adjusting a continuous flow of communication. Since disaster management is a complex of efficient activities, national and state-level training cadres should be primarily composed of experts who have experiences of dealing with real-life crises as opposed to functionaries who only have experiences of reflecting on them. Therefore, the network of communication will be based on the twofold practice where local communities contribute to the expertise of state-level and federal emergency management centers (down-top), and those centers engage in training highly qualified emergency managers and forwarding them to local communities for training as well as practice (top-down).

I would like to emphasize the importance of practical skills in crisis management. If I was to manage crisis and emergency preparation, I would pay considerable attention to creating a staff that has experience in dealing with disasters as they unfolded. Of course, the existing knowledge on the effectiveness of different approaches to disaster management should be appreciated and incorporated into training programs, but it is hardly capable of substituting the actual experience of acting under the circumstances of a disaster. Disasters always come unexpected, and even highly qualified managers can fail to manage them effectively due to the pressures of stress. Having experience of being exposed to these pressures is indispensable.

Upon reflecting on the necessity of proper training, I think that the disaster recovery budget should incorporate professional training as a measure to prepare for better management in the future. As the current account includes a total of 16.2 percent for economic development and state administration (“Mississippi disaster recovery division,” 2017), I would recommend increasing this portion or reconsidering its components for the purpose of allocating funds to training. Although training should focus on practical skills, it should also cover measures that local managers can take to mitigate possible adverse effects of disasters, such as creating jobs and funding underprivileged communities and neighborhoods to reduce the level of vulnerability.


Haddow, G., Bullock, J., & Coppola, D. P. (2013). Introduction to emergency management. Waltham, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

James, R., & Gilliland, B. (2012). Crisis intervention strategies. Scarborough, ON Nelson Education.

Mississippi disaster recovery division. (, 2017). Web.

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