Disaster Management: Improving the Nation's Response to Catastrophic Disasters, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 934KB]

"To improve the federal response, the nation needs presidential involvement and leadership both before and after a catastrophic disaster strikes. The Federal Response Plan is FEMA's blueprint for responding to all disasters and emergencies. The plan is a cooperative agreement signed by 26 federal agencies and the American Red Cross for providing services when there is a need for federal response assistance following any type of disaster or emergency. The present version of the plan-developed following dissatisfaction with the response to Hurricane Hugo in 1989-was completed in April 1992. Hurricane Andrew marked the first time the plan was fully used. To underscore the commitment of the President, responsibility for catastrophic disaster preparedness and response should be placed with a key official in the White House. This would institutionalize the direct presidential involvement that occurred on an ad hoc basis in Hurricane Andrew and other recent major disasters. Furthermore, this organizational arrangement could increase the levels of attention given to emergency management responsibilities throughout the government, not just in times of catastrophic disasters." This report sets forth guidelines in establishing a more lasting response for U.S. response to crisis and disaster situations. In this regard, the role of FEMA, as well as consideration for government communication in the instance of planning response, are reviewed.

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Public Domain
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Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
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