What is emergency management? Emergency management is the coordination and facilitation of resources used when a disaster happens, finds where the need is and get the resources to the problemed area. There has been many major events that taken effect in the United States history that has changed the way emergency situations are handled and resolved in the U.S. In the beginning of time the U.S did not have a strong system to rely on when major events occured in the states. So throughout presidential history incalculable amounts of acts and laws have been established to make sure the united states has the strongest emergency management system to keep our country prepared for any type of emergency event. One early major event that happened that took a toll on the united states was the first soviet nuclear bomb test, during the pre cold war era (1917-1945) the U.S felt no concern of any attacks so they mainly concentrated on gathering support for the war.
Until the soviet nuclear bomb test was successful (August 1949), then is when the federal government insisted on knowledge of what to do in that case of emergency. At that instant is when the Truman administration set a new proposal called the blue book which “outlined a set of civil defense functions and how they should be implemented at each level of government”. Later the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA 1950) created a short clip to teach children in school how to be prepared if a disaster were to occur. In March of 1954 “Bravo” a thermonuclear bomb poisoned japanese fisherman and a high amounts of radioactive waves that were in the area surrounding the marshall island. After this event is when congress aimed there concentration on shelters to protect citizens. At the time of the Kennedy Administration (1961-1963) civil defense was made a priority, and was also the first time a president addressed the civil defense to the public. On July 20th 1979 is when an executive order was passed to establish the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ,which was a major event that changed the structure of emergency management. FEMA was then in charge of all federal disaster relief.
During the Bush Administration (1989-1993) is when a considerable amount of disasters transpired, one major event was the exxon oil spill which spilled “11 million gallons of crude oil” in the gulf of Alaska (March 24 1989. On September 1989 that was a hurricane that targeted the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and South Carolina. 1996 during the Clinton Administration(1993-2001) Clinton created the emergency management phases we still use to this day which are Mitigation,Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. One of the last major disasters that changed the lives, laws, and the emergency management was the terrorist attack on september 11th 2001. This attack changed the United States forever, after this attack preparedness became the government’s main priorities. Each and everyone of these events played a role in changing and the creation of the laws and agencies we have today. And with the growth of population and economy the laws are still inclined to change.
There’s always a question has the politics changed emergency management or has emergency management change the politics? The politics and government administration has changed the way emergencies are managed. Due to acts that are created laws that are passed or laws that are denied. Throughout history and presidential eras president such as Truman (1945-1953) abolished the OCD ( Office of Civil defense) which was created in 1941 for civilian protection and volunteer involvement for the war. This political decision to cancel this act affected the emergency management because when a president felt the need that an act was necessary the next president can just eliminate it and that can cause disruption in the management. During presidencies there was always presidents who felt the need to have a stronger civil defense and some that wanted shelters built for safety, mass evacuation plans. Each preside March 24th, 1989 11 million gallons oil spilled into the gulf of alaska causing it to be the “largest oil spill in the United States history”. Several months later on September 13th 1989 there was a massive hurricane that struck the Virgin Islands,Puerto Rico, and South Carolina the name of it was Hurricane Hugo.
Several weeks later another disaster hit Northern California, an earthquake in Loma Prieta causing around “6 billion dollars in damage”. All of these disasters happened within months apart from each other and they were all very serious events that took place in the United States. The president during this era was Bush Sr.(1989-1993), by all these events happening so rapidly the president had to solve things quickly and make sure there was an agency taking care of the recovery phase.
One of the main problems FEMA had during this time was there was not enough trained personnel to coordinate properly and communicate. This was the presidential era that was most impacted by the disastrous events that happened in the United States.