CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH PAPER ON SECURITY, SAFETY AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT

SECURITY, SAFETY AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Introduction

The American citizens and the country itself remain conscious and constantly feel exposed to a wide range of natural disasters and terror attack. This is due to the continued natural calamities such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and constant threats through terror attacks. The United States has continued to face all sorts of disasters since the 19th century to present.  This has prompted the introduction of new technologies and appliances that has managed the destruction caused by these disasters. This is because of the improved technology, which assists experts in predicting the occurrences of natural disasters. Hence coming up with strategies to control or fight the disaster at hand. Therefore, the question in the minds of many citizens remains to be; how well is our nation equipped to successfully respond to any form of disaster.

Disaster occurs in both announced and unannounced situations. Thus through research should be conducted and more funds put in to support both long and short-term studies carried out on individuals from diverse regions and populations that are vulnerable. This is because the after math of any form of disaster often results to a long lasting impact that negatively affects the economic, political and psychological wellbeing of a nation. This leaves the American citizens and government officials with a choice to formulate strategies that are independent from any political influences[1].

Role players in the justice and safety

The entire nation should come together in supporting the government to create an independent political and bureaucratic body that will mainly focus on limiting future destructive effects. According to Miskel Federal, state and local official continue to execute unpreparedness in the face of calamities and national disasters. This is in spite of the repeatedly forms of disaster that the United States has faced over the past decade. Regardless to the establishment of several bureaucracies and congressional panels that have generated significant reports, the generated improvements by the federal government on the response plans remain conspicuous.

Critics argue that this is as a result of inexperienced officials, poor leadership and poor decision-making. There has been a discovery that most of the improvements done to fight and manage any form of national catastrophe are not well due to lack of enough resources. These include lack of enough funding, poor organizational personnel who are not well-trained and inefficient equipments. Thus, the federal government should look into all areas affecting the strategic plans laid out to fight national catastrophes. In addition they should ensure that the strategic plans are well developed, appropriate, affordable and under the right personal leadership.

The government should stay away from funding random projects in the name of preparing for disasters. Instead, it should prepare a budget that sets aside a specific amount of money that caters for the equipments and resources need for disaster management. However due to the economical and technological consideration the government has made disaster management a communal affair. This strategic plan encourages the national, state and local governments to ignore their responsibility in preparing for disasters. Therefore as the current forms of preparedness mainly focus on terror attacks, it is vital that the government and all citizens remain ready for any kind of disaster.

In the wake of 9/11 the established Department of Homeland Security formed several partnerships which have since worked together to fight disasters[2]. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the federal government, the public and private sector and locals from diverse communities have worked together in order to come up with better strategies that help in fighting both natural and intentional disasters.

The different groups of individual and the Department of Homeland Security, formulate plans that equip the Homeland Security. These plans enable Homeland Security to have better and clearer strategies while preparing and responding to attacks and disasters of all kinds. Their efforts have offered a reliable foundation that protects American citizens from terrorism and other threats[3]. The Department of Homeland security by including communities in their projects still manages to ensure that the department does not abuse the primary rights of each American. This department has managed to successfully progress since the 9/11 attacks.

The Department of Homeland Security formed and continues to maintain a well-coordinated and comprehensive response team. While intertwining its efforts with the private and public sector, Homeland Security has ensured a swift response in the event of intentional or terrorist attacks and any kinds of natural disasters. Working hand in hand with the federal government, state, local, and private sector partners Homeland Security has managed to a great extent to maximize its ability to prepare, respond, and recover from both large and small-scale disasters.

Steps and reforms in legal and policy platforms

One of the most notable strategies put in place by the Department of Homeland Security is coming up with a well built Nuclear, Radiological, and Biological Preparedness and Response Measures. Irwin asserts that the nuclear detection office by Homeland Security has produced well-trained and equipped officers. These officers have with them skills that help them to respond to radiological and nuclear attacks. 11,000 registered officers from this unit are well trained an educated with preventive measures that come in handy during radiological and nuclear detection operations. In addition to this, the government has made it possible for this department to have ready access to up to 6,000 radiological detection equipments.

 The Department of homeland Security has failed in implementing some of the reforms in the 9/11 Commission recommendations. Over 108 committee members continue to sit in office and control the homeland security. This burdens the Department of Homeland Security in its efforts to disasters because the 9/11 commission actually declared this system non-functional. He also affirms that the commission only advocates for the establishment of a single, principal to run homeland Security in order to avoid the recurring reporting burden. This has lead Homeland Security to find itself before congress meetings to defend themselves.

In addition to this FEMA has continued to maintain that it is an imperfect system. This is because since the creation of FEMA, over nine years ago, the federal government registers 20 uncontrolled disasters annually. FEMA fails to maintain a transparent communication channel between the federal government and American citizens. FEMA is accused of constantly making minimal or no changes to any of their strategic plans to curb national catastrophes[4].

FEMA fails to deploy the enough resources when helping victims of disasters. The organization has a poor and ineffective response system that they need to improve on. This can be done if the organization prepares beforehand requests from the government the required resources and equipments. Instead of playing the blame game between FEMA and the government in the event of responding to a disaster, FEMA should take responsibility and put in place the necessary precautionary steps. FEMA tends to be inadequate and in several instances, it has been accused of not carrying a proper evaluation process to assess the extent of damage caused by a disaster[5]. As a result, it has on several occasions administered inadequate relief food and resources to affected areas.

However, FEMA is not solely responsible for its ineffective acts. The responsibility of collecting the necessary data, coordinating local and state aid, and delivering of foods stuff and clothing is the responsibility of the government (FEMA 2004). Thus, it is unfair to put all the blame on FEMA when the government highly contributes to the ineffectiveness of FEMA. Lack of proper understanding of how power and responsibility is divided has led to some citizens thinking that FEMA is the organization in charge when it comes to responding to disasters.

This has demoralized FEMA therefore, it fails to establish high performance standards or improve their strategies. Consequently, FEMA has made zero efforts in establishing a training program that allows its members and the general public in preparing and responding to catastrophes. The federal response plan therefore does not have a strategic plan and solely relies on emergencies. This is because with no operational standards and a training camp local, state and voluntary units will have no or inappropriate skills. Moreover, this will be a waste of food and supplies that are being wasted when delivering to affected areas. This is because there is poor coordination within the federal system thus, misinterpretation of information is bound to happen.

Lastly, the American response team has managed to perform exceptionally well since the 9/11 terror attack. The response team is swift in arranging for the rescue of disaster victims of any kind. The government has also made efforts to ensure that these victims receive the necessary medical care, have shelter and also receive funds to assist them recover from the disaster they have encountered.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is imperative to note that the system was outstanding during the Oklahoma bombings, during earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. However, in order for both the federal system and the government to perform effectively, it needs cooperation from other partners. Thus, the state, local, and community administration should always be ready in supporting the system in whichever way possible when dealing with natural and intentional disasters. The system should however improve on their response team. The response team, which performs poorly when coordinating the right units to administer resources during the disaster, should establish proper communicating channels between its team members.

The only way the established bodies are going to be seen as working efficiently within their areas of coverage is if they are proactive in the prevention of crimes that are potentially dangerous to the society; be proactive in the safety framework as well as dissemination of justice to the victims and the suspects as a whole. Thus, as has already been established, the application of forensic investigations, analyses and psychological profiling to aid the justice system in curbing undesirable eventualities.

Bibliography

68 FEMA Press Release: “Hurricane Pam Exercise Concludes,” July 23, 2004 (Release Number: R6-04-093)

Chaddock, G. R. (2011). 9/11 Lessons not Learned: Three Failed Reforms. The Christian Science Monitor , 1-4.

Irwin Redlener, American At Risk (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 5.

Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, “In Case of Emergency,” 20 July 2004, available from http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/newsrelated/incaseofemrgencyexercise.htm; Internet; accessed 5 January 2007.

The White House, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned, 23 February 2006, 7; quoted in Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security, 96.


[1] Irwin Redlener, American At Risk (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 5.

[2] Chaddock, G. R. (2011). 9/11 Lessons not Learned: Three Failed Reforms. The Christian Science Monitor , 1-4.

[3] The White House, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned, 23 February 2006, 7; quoted in Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security, 96.

[4] Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, “In Case of Emergency,” 20 July 2004, available from http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/newsrelated/incaseofemrgencyexercise.htm; Internet; accessed 5 January 2007.

[5] 68 FEMA Press Release: “Hurricane Pam Exercise Concludes,” July 23, 2004 (Release Number: R6-04-093)