As it always occurs with management processes, one of the major problems with the principles of handling disaster issues is that they are hardly applicable to large cities. Simplifying the problem of disaster management for megalopolises, one must admit that, the bigger the city is, the harder it is to control and direct its population in case an emergency breaks out.
However, according to McGlown, with the adoption of the MMRS, or the Metropolitan Medical Response System, the numbers of disaster victims, as well as the injuries suffered in the process of emergency evacuations, have been reduced impressively.
Indeed, according to the case study described by Hoyle, when providing the standard prescriptions for military forces, also known as TRICARE (Barbisch 214), one may create the premises for managing a specific disaster or act or terrorism successfully within a relatively small area (Hoyle 200).
In a large city, carrying out the necessary actions in the right sequence and making sure that every single citizen is provided with sufficient help and medical care is practically impossible due to the restricted amount of time, a much larger number of people and much greater distance between them and the rescue team. At this point, the necessity to utilize a system that will allow keeping the communication between the emergency staff and the citizens unceasing during the disaster unceasing appears and, thus, the MMRS system factors in.
Hoyle states that in most of the U.S. cities, the methods of keeping in touch with the emergency services are extremely poor: “In most American cities, response organizations, hospitals, and public health agencies are not linked by alternative communications means other than telephones or e-mail” (Hoyle 204). Hence, it is crucial that better ways of addressing the emergency services should be designed. Hence, the MMRS system can be viewed as a comparatively cheap and rather efficient means of solving the problem.
Apart from the challenge related to information acquisition and its further processing and distribution, the MMRS system facilitates a better training process for the emergency staff. Thus, the MMRS system can be viewed as the means to enhance the disaster management strategy by increasing the number of staff so that every single region could be provided with enough experts and that people could have the assistance required to survive the accident.
Indeed, the scale of a city area traditionally presupposes that more units should be used in order to supervise every single part of the area in question.
Finally, the issue concerning disaster management literacy must be touched upon. Both emergency specialists and average city residents need to be educated on what the basic types of disasters are, how to act when a specific disaster strikes, etc.
The idea of spreading awareness on the issue works in small towns; however, in larger cities, this information may be ignored due to the flood of data that city dwellers have to deal with on a regular basis. The MMRS principle of information distribution, in its turn, is targeted at the city residents and, therefore, will not be ignored by the latter.
While the current MMRS system is doubtlessly flawed and needs further improvement badly, it still is a very decent concept of what the communication between the emergency staff and an average citizen should be. Allowing approaching the problem of disaster management in large cities, this system opens new opportunities for utilizing new media and technology, thus, increasing the chances for the emergency department to address a specific problem within the shortest amount of time and prevent possible injuries and destructions.
Barbisch, Donna F. “Integrating Civilian and Military Medical Resources and Response Capabilities.” Terrorism and Disaster Management. Ed. Joanne K. McGlown. 2004. 213–227. Print.
Hoyle, John D. “Obtaining and Maintaining Local Interoperability.” Terrorism and Disaster Management. Ed. Joanne K. McGlown. 2004. 197–212. Print.