Michael D. Brown and Emergency Management

Topics: Hurricane Katrina, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael D. Brown Pages: 16 (5069 words) Published: June 4, 2007
What is FEMA?2
Three Major Divisions of FEMA3
Three Activities of FEMA5
Impact of Hurricane Katrina6
1.Economic effects6
2.Social effects7
3.Environmental effects7
The Strength of FEMA11
1.Reduce the redundancies:11
2.Disaster assistance11
3.Various programs12
The Weakness of FEMA12
1.Vague role definition12
2.Staffing problems13
3.Problem with motivation14
4.Absorption into DHS14
5.Problematic strategies16
6.Poor communication16
7.Public relation17
The Proposed Change18
1.Competent leadership18
2.Conflict management19
4.Structural change20
5.Monitor employee attitudes20
6.Continuous improvement21

Hurricane Katrina became the New Orleans¡¦ biggest nightmare in year 2005. Even though the city was spared the full impact of the hurricane, the city¡¦s levees were breached and flooded more than 80 percent of the city. At the end of the day, the total death toll has reached 1,836 as of May 2006, and the experts estimated the total cost of Hurricane Katrina at $81.2 billion or more. It was true that Katrina was a natural disaster; therefore, it was unpredictable and unavoidable. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) saw its approach to Katrina as a success story. However, many of the criticisms were directed toward the ill-prepared FEMA and the lack of coordination in the rescue operation, in which FEMA refuse volunteers¡¦ help including manpower and food. Some even suggested the abolishment of FEMA for good. The point at issue here is whether FEMA is effective in doing what it is suppose to do. We would identify the strength FEMA possesses, as well as the weaknesses the agency contained. Recommendations would be made in the end by using organizational behavior tools.

What is FEMA?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was established as an independent agency by presidential executive order on March 31, 1979. However, after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th, FEMA became a part of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 1, 2003. Basically, FEMA integrates the emergency-related programs of Nations and is the central agency within the Federal Government for emergency planning, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery. FEMA works closely with State and local governments so that FEMA has the capability to offer money for emergency programs, technical guidance and training and also sets the resources of Federal in time when disaster takes place. Thereby, these coordinated activities ensure a perfect program to protect life and property from a disaster and provide recovery assistance after a disaster as well. According to the regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it reports directly to the White House and manages the President's Disaster Relief Fund and the source of most Federal funding assistance after hazards and major disasters. The program of FEMA includes providing response and recovery solutions for major natural disasters and human-caused emergencies, emergency management planning, flood-plain management, materials planning for hazardous, dam safety, and multi-hazard response planning. Other activities include emergency food and shelter funding for the homeless, plans to ensure the continuity of the Federal Government during national security emergencies, and Federal Government responses to the consequences of major terrorism.

Three Major Divisions of FEMA
ĆMitigation Division:
Mitigation Division is the most important part in FEMA and it consists of Risk Analysis branch, Risk Reduction branch and Risk Insurance branch to carry out its programs. When natural hazards take place such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and dam failures, the mitigation division mainly provides a range of programs to eliminate or reduce the long-term risk of life and property for homes, businesses, schools,...

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