Question one: Explosives
The Oklahoma City bombing occurred at nine o’clock during the day in April 1995. It saw the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. Two critical safety steps that were essential in the management of the disaster entailed the establishment of a safety perimeter that would limit the extent to which the first respondents could reach and the immediate withdrawal of the trapped bodies from the danger zones. The former essentially contributes in accountability and management of the respondents. It should be noted that the respondents’ desire to save anybody in the disaster must never escalate to levels that pose risks to their own safety. It, therefore, is important for the establishment of a perimeter of safety in which local respondents without any professional disaster management knowledge can be allowed to reach. One safety risk that occurred during the Oklahoma bombing was the inability to contain the respondents within the perimeter of safety. Secondly, the latter safety measure targets the immediate and responsive need to save the lives of the trapped victims. It suffices as a safety measure for its role in mitigating the losses in the disaster. It should be immediately pursued using the most available and appropriate mechanisms. In the Oklahoma bombing, the reactions by the respondents was well coordinated and communicated enabling trapped persons to be saved on time and the injured attended to within a reasonable time so as to save their lives.
An explosive terrorism incident ought to be approached with caution. One needs to ensure the explosion scene is first secured and professional disaster officers allowed the opportunity to set the safety perimeter. I would be concerned with the accumulation of people in the scene. It would be vital for communication and accountability at the scene to efficiently done. The accessibility of the people to the scene needs to be limited.
Question two: The National Response Framework
The National Response Framework refers to the organization in the United States of America vested with the responsibility of issuing the principles that guide all the domestic response partners involved in the preparation and provision of unified responses to disasters and emergencies in the entire nation. It essentially coordinates the disaster and emergency response strategies in the entire nation. It evolved from its previous mission of providing information on homeland security policies to replace the National Response Plan in its new mandate. The National Response Framework essentially operates on five main principles. Of the five, two need to be improved on so as to incorporate the efficiencies and efficacy expected of the institution. The principle, the readiness to act, needs to be improved to be more accommodative and realistic in nature.
The general position is that all and sundry need to be available and ready to participate in any way in responding to disasters and emergencies. The principle need to be developed through the education of individuals and citizens on the rapid response mechanisms. This would actualize the principle as the citizenry would have the requisite knowledge to offer rapid responses in cases of disasters and emergencies. In addition, the other principle, tiered response, which essentially, refers to the efficient management of disasters and emergencies, needs improvement. The institution must walk the talk in the management of incidents. It could be the principle to effectively manage disaster and emergency scenes, but without thorough coordination and communication on the ground, the principle would remain only in theoretical but not practical application. This is in light of the management of disasters that have occurred recently.
Question three: Seven Cardinal Rules of Risk Communication
The seven cardinal rules of risk communication refer guidelines the disaster managers such as governments need to utilize in the management of disasters. Indeed, the government did apply the rules during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For instance, the public was fully involved in the disaster management and communication process. The government in its quest to get the people informed and aware of the situation did allow the public participation. However, the participation as concerns the disaster scene was only allowed within the perimeter of safety. The government actually used the first rule that requires the public to be informed and accepted as partners in the disaster management. The government was open, frank and honest in the disaster management. Data and information on the deaths, the victims that survived and injured was easily availed. The need for evacuation of some residents due to the excessive dust released which would have caused health problems was communicated immediately with honesty and openness that led to the prevention of more lives.
The government also met the media needs for information and statistics concurring with the rule six of risk communication. The occurrence was captured live on television and other media effectively informing the masses of the unfolding events. This helped in the dissemination of information effectively addressing the curiosity and questions the citizens had relating to the event. However, rule seven of the risk communication rule should have been improved on by the government. The government was not clear and compassionate on issues to do with casualties and deaths. Rather, it was the media that covered most aspects of deaths and casualties. The government was concerned with the mitigation efforts completely forgetting to give the entire unfolding of the event. The void was, however, filled by the media.
Question four: Safety issues faced by responders in 9/11 attack
The 9/11 attacks of the World Trade Centre brought about several safety issues within the first responders. For instance, the communication proved a vital element of safety in disasters. In the scene during the 9/11 attacks, the different professional responders were not able to effectively communicate leading to the inefficiencies in the rescue process. The fire chiefs, the police helicopter operations and responders could not effectively communicate due to limitations in their gadgets and overcrowding at the scene. In addition, the government was not able to provide enough protector gadgets to protect the responders from the dust emitted due to the collapse of the building. Consequently, some responders and locals have contacted respiratory diseases directly related to the overconsumption of dust particles during the incident. The responders hence faced communication and dust exposure problems. Government agencies ought to have utilized better communication mechanisms.
The organs should have employed the use of better gadgets for communication rather than rely on the radio system that would be rendered weak by the high levels of dust released. In addition, the agencies ought to have regulated the entry and accessibility of the scene by the public much earlier to prevent the crowding effects at the scene which led to reduced communication and disaster accountability. Lastly, the agencies should have provided the gear that would provide clean breathing air to the responders limiting the effects of the high dust released into the environment. The operations should have been run under one umbrella organization which would be more cohesive and coordinated in the rescue process.
Question five: Al- Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is essentially a terrorist group that employs different tactics in the operations. The objective usually is cause deaths and destruction of property. The tactics they employ include the following: suicide attacks by suicide bombers, bombing of buildings usually simultaneously in a number of targets, hijacking of vehicles and airplanes which they use to attack buildings. The Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for six main terrorist activities. Two have actually occurred in the United States of America. These are the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attack. The first one, the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing occurred in New York City through the use of a truck bomb. The attack shock and swayed the building but did not collapse it as was the intention of the attacker, Ramzi Yousef. It killed six people, injured one thousand and forty two people and caused destruction on property worth three hundred million dollars.
The 9/11 attack was fatal. It occurred in the Pentagon, the World Trade Centre and in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The attack involved the hijack of planes which were crashed into the buildings targeted. It killed a total of three thousand people and left hundreds of people injured. In fact, today, the government is still struggling with the people who contaminated respiratory diseases as a consequence of inhaling the dust released into the air by the collapsed World Trade Centre towers. First responders in both cases were able to rescue trapped bodies although in the latter, not all bodies were rescued on time. The responders were able to give first aid to the casualties as they were rushed to hospitals. However, in the latter case, the communication systems were poor and caused delays in operation processes. Fire men, police men and other responders could not effectively communicate. This led to a lot of confusion which would be dispensed with through the application of better communication systems with improved capacities.
Chertoff, M. (2009). Homeland Security:Assessing the First Five Years. New York: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Ward, R. H., Mabrey, D., & Kiernan, L. (2007). Homeland Security:An Introduction. New York: Elsevier.