Some of the first emergency management examples are Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Katrina, the Buffalo snowstorm, and California wildfires.
The federal government has a secondary role in managing public risk. The constitution gives this power to the states, and the federal government is only called in the state cannot handle the situation.
The Flood Control Act of 1936 was signed into Law in 1936. It gave the United States Army Corps of Engineers the ability to build infrastructure to mitigate the effects of floods.
The Cold War brought the United States and Russia close nuclear war. This would have been detrimental to the world. It did however push the United States towards preparing for the potential nuclear fallout.
The San Fernando earthquake led to the creation of the National Flood Insurances Program.
The events during the 1970s that led to the creation of FEMA were the Reorganization Plan 3 which consolidated disaster response organizations into one. It created FEMA which reported directly to the President.
The 1980s was generally a safe decade without large scale natural disasters. It brought into question the need for a federal organization when there were no disasters to deal with.
James Lee Witt was the director of FEMA under President Clinton. Witt was different than the other directors in terms of leadership style and vision. He was also different in that he actually had experience in the field. Witt sought to improve FEMA’s public relationship and streamline FEMA’s organization. Not only did he introduce new disruptive technologies but he also focused efforts on mitigating the effects of a disaster and preparing to avoid risk.
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security brought FEMA under its control. The department was entrusted with carrying out three missions: protecting the homeland from terrorist attacks, reducing the homeland’s vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks, and mitigating the effects of potential terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
The catalyst was the 9/11 attacks. FEMA activated and succeeded in its mission. President Bush initiated an executive order that created the Department of Homeland Security. A year later President Bush signed the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-3.
The response to Hurricane Katrina was poor due to mismanagement and lack of leadership. It was unclear if it was the state’s or the federal government’s role to address the disaster.
The poor during the Hurricane Katrina crisis was largely ignored. They were largely dependent on themselves during the initial crisis.
FEMA sought to emphasis post disaster housing. The department of homeland security worked with other federal agencies to develop a strategic plan.
Hurricane Sandy brought into question where the federal funding for the rebuilding process would come from. It highlighted that agencies were not obligated to comply with the DRF.
"Executive Order 12127." Executive Order 12127. Web. 07 Feb. 2016.
"About the Agency." About the Agency. Web. 07 Feb. 2016.
Cole, Dana. "Fighting FEMA Flood Zones." The Sierra Vista Herald. Web. 07 Feb. 2016.