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The Evolution of Emergency Management Policy and Practice in the United States

27. September 2019 @ 12:00 - 14:00

On 27 September 2019, we discussed together with Prof. Brian J. Gerber and Melanie Gall of the Arizona State University the following question:

The Evolution of Emergency Management Policy and Practice in the United States:
Key Factors in Performance Improvement.

About the topic:

The presentation provided a brief history of emergency management policy and practice in the United States, with an emphasis on understanding the causes of shifts in strategic doctrine and performance effectiveness over time. Against this backdrop, it was examined how changes in doctrine, and the efficacy of administrative practice are in part dependent on reaction to key events (e.g. creation of the Department of Homeland Security after the September 11 attacks, statutory changes after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012) and in part dependend on strategic initiatives lead by policy experts in the emergency and disaster management field (e.g. the adoption of whole community planning goals, increased focus on resiliency as an organizing principle). The manner by which the United States is likely to address a rapidly changing hazard vulnerability profile related to global climate change has also been addressed.

About the speakers:

Brian J. Gerber is an Associate Professor in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University. He is the Academic Director of the M.A. in Emergency Management and Homeland Security program, Co-Director of the Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales (Australia), as well as a Senior Sustainability Scholar with the Wrigley School of Sustainability, Arizona State University and a PLuS Alliance Fellow. His research interests and publications include work on disaster policy and management, homeland security policy, and environmental regulation, and includes serving as the Editor in Chief of the forthcoming (2020) Oxford Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards Governance, Oxford University Press. Dr. Gerber has designed, led or facilitated various emergency exercises, has lead catastrophic incident and related planning projects, and has conducted program evaluations and policy analyses on topics ranging from large-scale disaster evacuations to pandemic preparedness. His applied work on disaster management has included partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, as well as with various nonprofit organizations in disaster field settings. He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Colorado Department of Public Safety, among others.

Melanie Gall is a hazards geographer studying the interaction between natural hazards and society. She is a college research professor in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University. At ASU she is Co-Director of the Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The center is home to the Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database for the United States (SHELDUS), which Dr. Gall oversees and manages. Her expertise lies in risk metrics (e.g., disaster losses, indices, risk assessments), hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation planning as well as environmental modeling. The applied nature of hazards research allows her to work closely with emergency management agencies from local to federal levels.
She has conducted post-disaster field work in Mozambique, Haiti, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Her publications appeared in journals such as Nature Climate Change, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and Natural Hazards Review. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, M.S. from the University of Salzburg (Austria), and a B.S. from the University of Heidelberg (Germany). She is also a Certified Floodplain Manager.


27. September 2019
12:00 - 14:00
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