Intergovernmental implementation ; The organizational context ; Case study design -- Intergovernmental implementation of disaster policies. Floodplain regulation ; Dam safety mobilization ; Earthquake preparedness collaboration ; Crisis relocation planning : degenerative collaboration-- Considering federal management issues. Contrasting implementation experiences ; Management strategies for disaster policies ; Implementation research revisited. Disaster relief Government policy United States.
Emergency management United States. Intergovernmental fiscal relations United States. Disaster relief Government policy. Emergency management. Intergovernmental fiscal relations. Disaster relief United States Management.
Disaster relief United States. Understanding the phases and principles guiding each stage in the evolution of disaster management is important so that policies are not reestablished that create similar situations as those that have occurred in the past. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, scores of citizens, civic leaders, and displaced persons were dissatisfied with the lack of an immediate federal relief response.
Such dissatisfaction is not new, but rather it remains a recurring theme in the United States, spanning the twentieth century. The frustration with the federal government stems from the formation and implementation of current and past disaster related public policies, which lack hegemony, efficiency, and standardization.
The specific reactionary relationship of the government can be observed in three evolutionary policy stages from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. During stage one, there is a loose government initiative in respect to implementation and coordination of policies at all levels of government, with little attention given to future events.
In stage two, the government takes on a more assertive role, however the state and local government units are predominantly responsible for mitigation and relief efforts. Entering into stage three, disaster policy begins to stray from the prior two stages in that the federal government attempts to meld national security and disaster policy together.
Most policy attention is given to relief of disasters after the event had taken place. The focus of disaster policy during this stage is to rebuild and restore the local or regional economy.
Relief is contingent on prior disasters and the lessons learned from them, as opposed to future planning and mitigation strategies for more severe disasters. Further, limited resources for the replacement of destroyed property and land impair reconstruction and the possibility of mitigation at the local levels. Implementation of disaster relief policies began in the mid-ninetieth century, but they focused on recovery after flooding incidents.
The Swamp Land Acts of and were enacted to transfer the control over swamp land and overflow land from the federal jurisdiction to most state governments along the lower Mississippi River. The transfer allowed states to use internal revenues to construct levees and drainage channels in an attempt to decrease flood destruction The American Institutes for Research et.
It is important to observe that during the early stages of disaster policy development, the local governing bodies were responsible for the development of disaster relief and its implementation. The first organized aid did not come from local governing bodies, but rather from the founder of the American Red Cross ARC after a disaster in when the organization distributed food and relief supplies to those in need. During the later part of the nineteenth century, the ARC was the most significant agent in disaster relief; in , Congress granted ARC a charter authorizing the organization to be responsible for national and international peacetime efforts to bring people relief from the suffering of pestilence, famine, fires, floods, and other national disasters U.
Congress ; Comerio , For this reason, little attention was given to preparing for larger or varying disasters during this stage in the evolution of disaster policy. The role of the government during the first historical stage of disaster policy was to address the problems of natural disasters as they occur and attempt to decrease the possibility of the same scenario occurring again under the same conditions.
Stage Two: Reaction, Prevention, and Control Stage two is characterized through a more active interest on the behalf of the government in an attempt to prevent wide spread destruction in the event of a natural disaster. The policies created and implemented in this stage are similar to those in stage one in that they are reactionary in nature. However, the difference in stage two is the fact that attention is given to the social problems associated with natural disasters, such as destruction and replacement of private property, reestablishing communities, and rebuilding the local economic infrastructure and public property.
This stage of disaster management continues to function based on the philosophical premise that local governments hold the primary responsibility for relief and mitigation; however, this premises begins to change in the final state of disaster management when the government views relief and mitigation as a matter of national security. Extensive damage served as a catalyst for change by drawing public attention to flood control issues and leading to the creation of the U.
Federal disaster policy is an important but overlooked aspect of federal action that of federal program implementation under "shared governance"-a term we. Disaster Policy Implementation: Managing Programs Under Shared Governance. Front Cover. Peter J. May, Walter Williams. Plenum Press.
A year after the creation of the committee, the Flood Control Act PL , which appropriated forty- five million dollars for a flood control program in the lower Mississippi and Sacramento Rivers, acknowledged that Congress would accept federal responsibility for flood control The American Institutes for Research et. Moreover, the previously mentioned Flood Control Act of required local governments to contribute financially to flood-control legislations as well as authorized the Corps of Engineers to undertake surveys for flood-control improvement. Although the Flood Control Act initiated the first federal spending and continued federal attention, the effort was narrow in scope; the laws only addressed flooding disasters Comerio A federal response was deemed necessary only when the scale of the disaster exceeded the capacity of the ARC.
Since flooding was the most chronic disaster issue of the early 20th century, most disaster policies focused on flood prevention and control May and Williams ; Comerio , Flooding issues regularly went beyond the scope of control articulated in the legislation. Flood control was a significant step in the development of disaster relief programming; however, more general disaster relief was needed. With the occurrence of a major earthquake in California in , more general relief legislation was passed to aid victims of disasters other than flooding, namely earthquake victims.
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, created in response to this earthquake, provided assistance to private citizens suffering from disaster damages in which some assistance for rebuilding was provided to home owners Mittler , ; Comerio , By , Congress asserted a more active federal role in disaster relief by supplementing state and private disaster relief efforts in instances when state and local areas were deemed by the president to be unable to effectively deal with the disaster at hand Comerio , The Disaster Relief Act of PL created the first bureaucratic process accompanying the relief.
Also, the federal government would simply 1 The Mississippi River Flood of lasted for two months and covered an area of 27, square miles. The theory behind the policy was that by containing the river with levees, the force of the high water would scour out the bottom of the river, deepening the channel to carry any flood water straight out to sea.
The Civil Defense Act of clearly specifies that the states and local governmental units are primarily responsible for disaster preparedness.
Actions taken by Congress in were not publicized or fully endorsed by the government until when President Harry Truman promoted the Disaster Relief Act of during a disastrous tri-state flood in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri Comerio, , In addition to supplementing the local and state initiatives, the federal government also provided funds for the temporary housing of victims, thus implementing a precedent formulated by President Eisenhower through the creation of the Small Business Administration in , which administered disaster relief loans to home and business owners Mittler ; Comerio , The earthquake directly killed 5 people however the tsunami killed Although these expansions to the legislation aided in the reestablishment of individual victims and local communities, they were not without their problems.
After the implementation of a loan system, the number of disaster grants and loans increased dramatically, prompting Congress to look at an alternative to disaster management.
Congress decided that it would attempt to resolve the problem by creating a national flood insurance program and set mandates for state and local hazard-mitigation plans. Moreover, with the occurrence of still more devastating natural disasters such as the San Fernando earthquake of and Hurricane Anges, the federal government recognized the fact that more structured relief policies were needed to ensure state and local preparedness and mitigation compliance.
Consequently, Congress passed the Disaster Relief Act Amendments in PL authorizing the president to make direct financial contributions to state and local governments to help repair, restore, reconstruct, or replace public facilities damaged or destroyed by a major disaster.
Finally, the article enunciates that both the national government and local government must play an active role in disaster governance through policy-making and policy implementation changes in both theory and praxis. Skip to Main Content.
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