Disaster ManagementThis paper is the research on disasters and some other issues concerning this topic. Calamities and disasters are common occurrences in modern world, which is why they have to be managed and given proper attention by the authorities. Programs that could manage such phenomena should be developed and effectively implemented since the world is already experiencing the adverse impacts of natural and man-made disasters on property and people. These disasters, regardless of their nature, have to be addressed and their consequences should be managed by suitable programs and policies. This is why disaster management programs should be coordinated properly both at the local and national levels. But, prior to the development and implementation of any disaster programs, intensive research should be conducted in order to acquire reliable and accurate information. Unfortunately, natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunami are given reality, especially in the United States. That is why institutions that are responsible for assisting the victims of such calamities should effectively respond to the situation and be held accountable if they prove to be ineffective. Consequently, the structure of the decision-making process and leadership style of the heads of the respective governmental institutions would certainly play an important role in lessening the impact of a calamity.
Background and Problem StatementDisaster management programs will certainly cushion the impacts of any disastrous events whether it is a terrorist attack or a natural calamity. Indeed, if analyzed carefully, the impact of disastrous events could often have been prevented and mitigated if the managing programs had been effectively implemented at the local level. For that matter, the leadership style and the structure of the organization that would manage the said program should be researched thoroughly, since they have a tremendous impact on the operation of line agencies. This was one of the major problems that had been detected in the way the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coped with various disastrous incidents. Certainly, studies in crisis management have neglected the aspect of leadership style and organizational structure. In particular, the US Government failed to systematically and appropriately respond in order to lessen the impact caused by Hurricane Katrina. The problem was caused by the structure of the government agencies’ response, as there were too many bureaucrats who were responsible for the decision-making. The overlapping power and authority when it comes to making decisions complicates the actions of the government agencies in an emergency situation. In response to a disastrous event, the government is still structured in a centralized manner, making it slower to make a decision because one needs permission of higher authorities and sometimes officials unrelated to the situation at hand. Accordingly, the proposed research will seek to answer the following questions:
- What leadership style is best suited to managing the decision-making process in a disaster management program?
- What is the most effective organizational structure that should be applied to a disaster management program?