Communication and Command Lessons Learned from Disasters of National Significance

Topics: National Incident Management System, Incident Command System, Hurricane Katrina Pages: 9 (2909 words) Published: June 5, 2013
Communication and Command Lessons Learned from
Disasters of National Significance
Allen Wade Marks
Columbia Southern University

Abstract
There have been many different disasters in the past that have been considered on a scale to call them incidents of national significance. Man-made disasters such as industrial accidents, war, terrorism, and natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, floods, drought, wildfires, famine, ice storms, blizzards, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis are all calamities that can reach a national scale. The problems that would arise whenever a major disaster would happen seem to create patterns that were constantly repeated event after event. Post disaster studies continued to identify two major problems that would continually jeopardize personnel who responded to events such as these. These problems were command/control, and communications. National Incident Management System is an all hazard, scalable approach to getting local, state, and federal resources on the same page of command and communication. Common terminology for organizational functional elements, position titles, facilities, and resources is essential for any command system, especially one that will be used by units from multiple agencies. In retrospect of these two major incidents 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina brought about many changes in the Emergency Management world. The [NRF, NIMS, and NPG] align the patchwork of Federal, State, local, tribal, private sector, and nongovernmental incident management efforts into an effective and efficient national structure.

Outline
I. Introduction:
A. Incidents of National Significance.
1. Man-made Disasters.
2. Natural Disasters.
II. Background:
A. History of Incident Command.
B. Incident Command system.
C. Introduction to National Incident Management System (NIMS). 1. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5).
D. Incident Communication.
1. Jurisdictions Interoperability.
III. Method:
A. Events of 9/11 Focus on Preventing Terrorism.
B. Hurricane Katrina Natural Disaster Lessons Realized.
IV. Results:
A. Focus Turns from Terrorism to All Hazards Approach.
1. NIMS, NPG, and NRF.
V. Conclusion:
A. Management Efforts Effective, and Efficient.

Communication and Command Lessons Learned from Disasters of National Significance Introduction
There have been many different disasters in the past that have been considered on a scale to call them incidents of national significance. Man-made disasters such as industrial accidents, war, terrorism, and natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, floods, drought, wildfires, ice storms, blizzards, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis are all calamities that can reach a national scale. Disasters such as these can kill, displace, and interrupt citizen’s lives. Natural disasters are not new to mankind many different so called disasters have been experienced throughout history (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2008) (Kamien, 2006) (McEntire, 2007).

There are many different natural disasters in recent decades that most people can associate with. Hurricanes, Katrina, Sandy, Irene, Ruth and Andrew all caused damage that was considered national significance. There have been earthquakes such as the Northridge quake in the state of California. There have been volcanic eruptions such as Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington. There have been Hurricanes along the east, west, and gulf coasts that include the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and the state of Hawaii. There have been ice storms and wildfires that have affected many different states from the North East to the Mid-West to the West and North West areas of our country (McEntire, 2007) (Haddow, et al., 2008).

Natural disasters are a yearly recurrence in the United...
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