MSEM 6200 Week 2: Risk Assessment

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MSEM 6200 Week 2: Risk Assessment essay assignment

MSEM 6200: Risk Assessment, Preparedness, and Hazard Mitigation | Week 2 essay assignment

Think back to the scenario described in the first week of the course: You are the community’s first emergency manager and must build the emergency management system from the ground up. Preparing an emergency management plan can be bewildering, and it may be unclear just where to start. It might be tempting to build the system exclusively on the threats you see in the community (e.g., the potential hazardous material incident or the dam failure risk). Or you might perform a historical review of the community and find out the community was hit by a tornado a decade ago and include that with the hazardous waste and dam failure plans.

MSEM 6200 Week 2: Risk Assessment essay assignment

Skilled emergency managers strive to identify all potential risks and then rank those risks to prioritize preparedness and mitigation efforts. What would happen if an unidentified threat or risk came to fruition and you failed to prepare for it?

This week, you consider different ways to identify and evaluate risk and create a hazard profile that will eventually inform your future emergency response plans.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze application of findings from risk-assessment simulation to actual events
  • Analyze critical data needed for risk assessment to create hazard profiles
  • Create risk assessments
  • Analyze impacts of hazards on communities

In 2004, FEMA held a disaster simulation exercise called “Hurricane Pam.” The simulation was based on a hurricane hitting the city of New Orleans. The purpose of the simulation was to use the findings to prepare for an actual hurricane. The findings of the simulation were eerily close to what transpired a year later when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in late August 2005.

Despite potential devastation predicted in the simulation, officials and emergency managers failed to use the findings to prepare for an actual hurricane. Unfortunately, the results of this failure are well known today. Some have questioned why the findings failed to spur action to better protect New Orleans.

For this Discussion, review the analysis of the Hurricane Pam simulation listed in the Learning Resources. Consider the reasons for failure to utilize findings from the simulation in this case.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post your explanation as to why the findings from the Hurricane Pam simulation were not applied in preparation for Hurricane Katrina.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources and the current literature.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6

Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Provide a different perspective on one aspect of a colleague’s post.
  • Offer and support an opinion regarding the usefulness of simulations.
  • Suggest an article to support or refute a colleague’s posting.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.