Fema: Preparedness & Mitigation

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THE FINAL
1. Regardless of conditions during a crisis, what are the strategic choices that a government must be able to make in order to guide local recovery? Throughout history, we can now with certainty state that disaster happens, especially in my home of State of Florida. In Florida, we are of course known for hurricanes and everything else that comes with it. But we must also keep in mind that disasters are local and occurs in cities and counties of all sizes. The question that we can ask is what happens following a disaster? Well, the answer is that the people of that particular city or county is looking for the leadership of their elected officials in order to lead them through the devastating time; to act swiftly and quickly with an immediate response and reassuring the community that their lives will promptly return to normalcy. Nonetheless, no matter the size of the city, the local government leaders are responsible to oversee all four phases of the Emergency Management process, which are Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation. Furthermore, whenever we discuss disaster, the first thought that comes to mind is “Hurricane Katrina” because of the blatant misguided approach and lack of timely and effective response during this disaster recovery. But if I were to guess the major reason for such disastrous approach is because the government was focusing on a short-term relief while disregarding the long-term recovery process. Based on the readings and research, it would appear that historically this has been the situation for many other cases. When we are looking at “Long-Term Recovery”, it involves more than just removing and cleaning up wreckage, which many consider to be short-term recovery solutions. According to FEMA, long-term recovery refers to the "need to re-establish a healthy, functioning community that will sustain itself over time. Long-term recovery strategies will definitely depend on the magnitude of the disaster. For some disasters, the local government may decide to rebuild as their first step to recovery and subsequently bringing other resources. Meanwhile, another local government may decide to balance its community’s service expectations with the long-term recovery needs while making sure that the community stays together. We can all agree that getting the affected community’s economy working again is the most important aspect to having a successful recovery. But in order to do so, there must be certain factors such as a willingness and capacity for the small businesses to reopen immediately so as long as they are not severely damaged in order to start rebuilding the community. There must be affordable and available housing for the employees and there must be a great connection between the government and the local businesses that will assist in a recovery partnership fashion. However, to have all of that, the community must also have great leadership in order for the long-term recovery strategy to be successful. There must be a clear vision, a great plan, a wide range and various funding to complete the recovery. The business community must also be very involved and very supportive and there must also be a great partnership at all levels (Federal, State and Local) that are willing to contribute in order to have a successful long-term recovery. It has been said that financing a long-term recovery is very challenging and frustrating for the local government who is relying on the federal government for the funds that they need to start the recovery process. However, should the local government have taken the liberty of incorporating an outline to finance the long-term recovery that would improve its chances of having a successful recovery should or when a disaster ever hit. Some of the strategies that the local government could use before anything happen as a safety net is to modify purchasing and contracting procedures to expedite emergency purchases; adopt a repair and reconstruction...
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