Do you think FEMA was ready for a disaster such as Superstorm Sandy?

Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina raised many questions about the response of the Federal Government, and more specifically, the response of FEMA to natural disasters. FEMA was criticized for the delay in its response in parts of New York City mainly, the citizens of Long Island.
On the basis of you knowledge and understanding of the process of receiving State aid under FEMA and your knowledge about the conditions during Superstorm Sandy, answer the following questions:
• Do you think FEMA was ready for a disaster such as Superstorm Sandy?
• What were some of the challenges faced by FEMA with regard to its response to Superstorm Sandy?
• How do you feel about the evacuation efforts on the part of several hospitals in the wake of Hurricane Sandy?
• In the wake of Katrina, how did the relationship between the New Orleans Mayor and the Governor of Louisiana slow the flow of FEMA aid?
• Should politics play a role when there is a disaster looming?
• List the steps to create a process map showing the various steps required to receive FEMA assistance during an emergency and disaster management (EDM).
Individuals in the public health sector are often called upon to be the first responders within twenty-four hours of a bioterrorist attack. These first responders must take steps to remain safe while doing their jobs. One way to accomplish this is by using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). However, in some cases, the first responders may not have adequate training to use the PPE correctly. In other cases, the proper PPE may not be readily available in quantities that are required to protect all first responders. On the basis of your understanding of this topic, answer the following questions regarding the above scenario:
• What other issues that may occur when using PPE?
• What are your suggestions to overcome these issues to ensure that all first responders are safe when responding to a bioterrorist attack? How would you implement these suggestions?
Working with other agencies can often help to gather the manpower necessary to treat an influx of patients. In times of disaster, individuals from these agencies may need to act as traditional first responders. However, in case of an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, these individuals may be hesitant to potentially put themselves in danger.
On the basis of your understanding of the topic, answer the following questions:
• What fears or reservations may these individuals from other agencies have about acting as traditional first responders?
• How would you eliminate these fears in an effort to obtain the man power necessary to treat the influx of patients? Provide suggestions. Be sure to justify your response with factual support.
• What would you do if you were unable to eliminate these fears?
The rest of the world has had numerous experiences in dealing with attacks involving chemical weapons. Since the United States has not had any significant experience with attacks involving chemical weapons, the experiences of Europe or Israel can be used as a guide for preparing the healthcare industry in the United States for such events.
Click here to read an article on terrorism attack in London: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4659093.stm
On the basis of your readings, answer the following questions:
• How can the events that occur in Europe and the other parts of the world assist us in securing our healthcare industry in the United States in preparing for attacks involving chemical weapons?
• In terms of the characteristics of each country such as the population and availability of resources, what are the similarities and dissimilarities between the United States and the United Kingdom? How will these similarities and dissimilarities affect the way the two countries plan for a disaster scenario?
The use of training exercises in preparing for disaster scenarios is an important component of any emergency preparedness plan. Training exercises may be conducted at regularly planned intervals, or they can be conducted at random and without warning. Answer the following questions regarding the training exercises for preparation for an emergency or disaster scenario:
• What are the advantages of conducting training exercises at regularly planned intervals? Why? What are the advantages of conducting training exercises at random and without warning? Why?
• Under what circumstances is it most appropriate to conduct training exercises at regularly planned intervals? Why?
• Under what circumstances is it most appropriate to conduct unannounced training exercises? Why?

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