«AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM Charles Town, West Virginia EXPANDING THE MILITARY’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC DISASTERS:.BUT WHAT OF BATTLE READINESS? A ...»
bludgeon other countries to adopt economic policies and social policies that will benefit American economic interests; promote American arms sales abroad while attempting to prevent comparable sales by other countries;.......undertake military action against Iraq and later maintain harsh economic sanctions against the regime; and categorize certain countries as "rogue states," excluding them from global institutions because they refuse
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 to coordinate federal disaster support and assistance to state and local authorities. Prior to this event disaster preparedness was a disorganized activity, where disparate agencies had responsibility for various element of the response function creating something of an ambulance chasing mentality.
Emergency management was distinguished by turf wars, infighting and onsite conflict and discord between response agencies at disaster events.
From its formation FEMA, was engrossed in conflict and controversy. When formed, FEMA had responsibility for civil defence preparedness and disaster preparedness which created its own problems of professional and operational issues and conflicts between proponents of civil defence preparedness and disaster preparedness. Perrow (2006) saw the decision to merge civil defence and disaster response within the context of the day. He noted that those realities influencing the decision was the perception of a Soviet nuclear first strike and its potential catastrophic impact.
FEMA as an agency designed to respond to disasters was also a creature of conflict and controversy. If one can recall the formation of FEMA was forced after such events as the Love Canal contamination and the Three Mile Island Nuclear meltdown. Later James Lee Witt was brought in as Director in 1993 after such failings as the Cuban Refugee Crisis, the Loma Prieta Earthquake and Hurricane Andrew and the Cuban Refugee Crisis. In 2001 after the terrorist attack on New York, FEMA was largely dismantled as a standalone Cabinet level organization and placed within the structures of DHS. In 2005 FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina was
The National Response Framework (NRF) The National Response Framework (NRF) is a 2008 iteration of the National Response Plan (NRP), which addressed the limitations contained within that document, the least not being the fact that the name itself was misleading as that document did not satisfy the requirements of a ‘plan” (NRF, 2008, p2). The NRF recognizes that all disasters are different, and the conditions and resources available to respond will be different across communities. Essentially, the NRF can be adapted to any size and type event in any environment. The Framework commits the Federal Government, to work as a partner with all governmental jurisdictions and the private sector, to develop appropriate response strategies to address the broad range of emergency type for a range of emergency incidents outlined within the National Preparedness Guidelines.
The NRF consist of several core documents which includes the Emergency Support Function (ESF), Support, and Incident Annexes, and the Partner Guides. The main documents essentially provides national guidelines for response to all type emergencies by outlining the roles and responsibilities of responders and identifies responsible organizations, and other requirements to realize an effective and coordinated nationwide response to any emergency situation or event (NRF, 2008, p4).
The Philosophical groundings of the NRF are contained within five principles which constitute the “national response doctrine” (NRF, 2008, p8). The national response doctrine outlines the roles, responsibilities and operational concepts of responders across all the relevant response agencies, NGOs and jurisdictions. Fundamentally, the objectives of all response activities are centered upon saving lives, relieving human sufferings, quickly restart economic activity and to return the natural and built environment to its pre-impact state. The key principles
flexible, and adaptable operational capabilities, unity of effort through unified command, and readiness to act (NRF, 2008, p. 8).
Disaster mitigation. Section 404, Hazard Mitigation (42 U.S.C. 5170c) under Title IV:
Major Disaster Assistance Programs of the Stafford Act established the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program under which 75% of any cost-effective mitigation measure that can substantially reduce the risk of significant damage by a disaster to the built and natural environment and alleviate human loss, suffering and hardship can be approved by the President. This program essentially provides the incentives to states and other jurisdictions to implement hitherto costly mitigation measures which on their own they were unable to implement.
There are however some conditions which must be satisfied for a claimant to benefit from the assistance under Section 404; this is outlined under Section 322, Mitigation Planning (42 U.S.C. 5165). Essentially Section 322 requires claimants of Section 409 funding to assume a leadership role in the process and identify the hazards, risks and vulnerabilities impacting the community and develop appropriate plans to mitigate these hazards and risks.
A 1995 study by Godschalk et al (1999), on the Section 409 plans of forty-nine states found that many were inadequate to the point where they did not even meet the minimal requirements of the Section 404 grant funds. The study further found that after being in force for seven years state and local officials did not understand the relationship between the Section 409 plan and Section 404 funding. Many states while having a Section 409 Plan did not apply it at all in seeking Section 404 funding. Even, officials who have responsibility to manage the mitigation funding seem to have had discord over its interpretation and application Active-duty military. Active-duty military forces consist of full-time professional
Armed Serves, can be made available to support state and local authorities in times of emergencies. Traditionally, the United States has refrained from the use of the military in law enforcement operations except in exceptional circumstances but has employed their expertise and resources in the area of domestic disasters and emergencies. This is done within the confines of restrictions imposed within such regulations as the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act which restricts their involvement in such activities under pain of punishment. Notwithstanding, there are occasions when federal resources and military forces are employed to support post-disaster response efforts within very narrow parameters, such as when local and state assets, including the National Guard (under the command of the state governor), are overwhelmed.
The National Guard. State National Guard Units were established under Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code, and in normal circumstances functions under the authority of the state governor. These Units are available to the governors and can be mobilized for active duty within the state as a first tier response to the impact of natural and other domestic emergencies and disasters, such as civil disturbances, fires, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Within the strict confines of these situations are paid by their states when operating in support of, and under the authority of the governor. Despite this apparent clear demarcation of responsibilities, in some circumstances the federal government has the authority and flexibility under Title 32 of the U.S.
Code to meet the operational cost of National Guard Units operating under the command of and in support of state authorities. Important to note is that the Posse Comitatus Act does not apply to National Guard Units when under the command of a state governor, and thus can perform law enforcement duties. Conversely, under Title 10 of the U.S. Code, National Guard Units can be federalized, in which case they fall under the command of the President. Within this particular
as such, are prohibited from being employed in a law enforcement capacity within the continental United States.
The Incident Command System (ICS) The Incident command System is a hierarchal command and control model designed to manage major events that involve a multijurisdictional and coordinated response among functional agencies, both public and private. It has a modular structure which allows for deployment and upgrade in an increasing complex situation and the integration of facilities, equipment and communications within an established command and control framework.
The adoptability and flexibility within the ICS has facilitated its employment for varied events across diverse organizations. The utility of the ICS not only provides a structure for command and control but also facilitates planning and other post event activities.
National Incident Management System (NIMS) The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a supporting document that provides a national framework which facilitates inter-jurisdictional and inter-agency cooperation through its six components of preparation, resource management, communication and information management, command management and management and maintenance. NIMS can be utilized for all incidents inclusive of routine daily occurrences to complex and catastrophic events requiring a coordinated federal response.
NIMS, is a creature of HSPD 5 which mandated the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a mechanism to support the management and maintenance of NIMS, inclusive of consultation with relevant federal agencies and other stakeholders, support development of
NIMS is operationalized through the Incident Command System (ICS) which provides the structure to respond to single jurisdiction, single agency incidents to a multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional response through its five major functional areas of command, planning, operations, logistics and finance and administration.
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act The principal federal legislation surrounding the provision of federal disaster aid, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (commonly referred to as the Stafford Act), which amended Public Law 93-288, the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, was passed on November 23, 1988. This Act reinforced the primacy of local and state agencies as the first responders in disaster response and literally shapes the structure of response support and delineates the process through which mitigation and disaster preparation and response assistance is provided to the states from the federal government. It also placed the responsibility of developing a credible first response mechanism through the development of comprehensive disaster preparedness plans, inter-state coordination and assistance through mutual assistance agreements and other mitigation measures such as insurance coverage among other initiatives to compensate for losses as a result of a disaster impact.
Title 4, of the Stafford Act created a system which triggers federal support to an impacted state or local government via a Presidential declaration of a major disaster or emergency. This declaration opens the door to federal financial, physical and institutional assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Section 402, General Federal Assistance (42 U.S.C. 5170a) under this title, gives the President the authority to direct any Federal agency to provide assistance to an affected area inclusive of precautionary evacuations, coordination of
of warnings, distribution of relief items even accelerating Federal assistance when necessary “to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate severe damage, …. in the absence of a specific request” (p27). Additionally, the President can provide assistance in the provision of emergency communications or public transportation to an affected location. “The Federal share of assistance under this section shall be not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost of such assistance” (p28).
In this event funding is provided by FEMA from the Disaster Relief Fund (commonly called (the President's Disaster Relief Fund), which is managed by FEMA, and is the source of all response and recovery efforts under the Stafford Act. Funding within this context is appropriated by Congress for disasters within a certain category, however when catastrophic events occur, such as Katrina, funding may be augmented thought emergency supplemental appropriations.
Essentially, the level of support and assistance provided under a Presidential major disaster declaration and an emergency declaration is significantly different. A major disaster declaration triggers long-term Federal support to recovery programs which are designed to help disaster victims, businesses, and public entities. On the other hand support under an emergency declaration although relatively substantial does not include the long-term recovery programs such as in a major disaster declaration.
Within this structure, and as outlined by HSPD 5 (9) 2 Military forces are often called upon to support the response and recovery effort, as they provide significant skills and resources complemented by the military chain of command, control structures and superior communications and transportation assets. An excellent example of an effective and successful
deployment of the military machinery in a domestic disaster response situation was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when both active-duty and National Guard forces were mobilized in an apparent failure of the civil response structures.
Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (2006) Subsequent to the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina which caused over 1,600 fatalities and severely tested the disaster response mechanism and starkly illuminated weaknesses within the emergency management system, the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA) was enacted in 2006 to amend the Stafford Act and redress and strengthen observed deficiencies within the system.