Comprehensive Emergency Management or CEM for abbreviation is a modern word. CEM refers to the ability and commitment of a state towards the natural and man-made disasters by synchronizing the work of different groups (Federal Emergency Management Agency). The comprehensive characteristic of CEM involves the four spans of emergency activity i.e. mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The abovementioned aspects hold true for threats such as natural, man-made and attack. All three forms of government i.e. federal, local and state form a partnership under the purview of this term (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
CEM in practice is different from the term comprehensive emergency preparedness or CEP. It is because comprehensive emergency preparedness lays much emphasis on the preparation part in emergency management. A CEM program recognizes those departments and individuals that have capacities to fruitfully utilize them in case of disasters and emergencies. The program acts a catalyst to motivate such groups and it aids in organizing their activities. The coordination function is not the same as the concept of directing, in contemporary management with respect to the response operations (Hazard Mitigation Assistance).
The distinct levels of public and private organizations can utilize their resources specifically to disaster management situations. Hence, the federal government affords authorities such as legislative, regulations and executive which impacts disaster activities. CEM also plays a vital role as a source of fiscal aid to emergency management. Bodies like the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration, delivers vigilance grants to state governments and the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency offers operations planning with fiscal assistance. This also involves administrative and personnel funds. The federal agencies are cradles of dedicated services, technical information, research, and human resource required in the process of disaster management (Hazard Mitigation Assistance).
The Local governments also have a significant role to play. They instill motivation to handle emergencies which may happen at multiple areas. The presence of local governments at such times is all the more important as they offer partial funds and equipment available close by. Last but not the least, they can authorize laws and regulations to check emergency situations and help improve recovery (National Preparedness System).
In a similar way, the State governments involvement and backed up by federal encouragement realize all aspects of emergency management. Their decree is transferred onto authorized departments and other powerful authorities. The state government also plays its part in framing the laws and procedures. For example, it provides land use codes, fire regulations and similar protective agreements. In cases of emergencies, the State government acts as a foundation stone of management skills and necessary equipment that can be utilized (National Preparedness System).
The governor, bearing the general welfare onus of the citizens may deploy the specially designated powers in emergency conditions. The governor of a state is at all times required to back the comprehensive emergency management program and lend full support. The CEM program of a state revolves around the administration and governance that directly or indirectly falls under the governor. Governor frames the policy statement and other legal mandates that may be used under the CEM program development (Whittaker, Comprehensive Emergency Management).
A CEM manager is required to synchronize his tasks with that of other governmental agencies, organizations and lawmakers. He must at all times be aware of the state government, its political functioning and mandates. He ought to familiar with state’s long-term goals and economic conditions. The CEM manager is expected to apply his authority, but also deal effectively with opposing units of the state regime and the media. The importance of wise decision-making and preparedness to act justly in all conditions is a pre-requisite for a CEM manager.
The governor’s norms for watching over the state CEM program attempts to address issues such as those mentioned below:
- Minimize instances of disasters to greatest extent
- Minimize the harm in whatever form possible instigated by those disasters
- Minimize the costs of disaster response while enhancing its efficiency.
The governor of the state should maintain a CEM monitoring system that may support the state emergency program. A CEM monitoring system specifies the need of external aid and provides justifications to acquire them. A well-constructed CEM program and an effective monitoring system make the task of the governor much simpler and he attains a worthy position.
The governor’s declaration of emergency in the state is one of the most important decisions with regards to response management. Several of the governmental measures such as monetary aid, human resource and material resource allocation are decided upon in this declaration by the governor. There are four prominent subtleties upon which the Federal assistance to CEM is based. They are accuracy, timing, gauging and communications (Whittaker, Comprehensive Emergency Management).
FEMA. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 18 February 2014. http://www.fema.gov/learn-about-presidential-policy-directive-8
FEMA. Hazard Mitigation Assistance. 18 February 2014.
FEMA. National Preparedness System. 18 February 2014.
Whittaker, Hilary. Comprehensive Emergency Management. A Governor's Guide. Retrieved Feb 18, 2014, from National Governors’ Association Center for Policy Research.