The paper focuses on the performance of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), in particular, on its phases of disaster management. They involve a long-term phase and a short term phase. MEMA assists to the disaster-stricken communities via the recovery services by means of resources provided by the federal government and nonprofit organizations. MEMA deals with the seven main categories: the cost of clearing of the debris caused by the disaster on roads, waterways, etc.; the cost of emergency protective measures; the costs of repairing the roads; the costs of repairing water facilities like dams and irrigation schemes; the cost of rebuilding the infrastructure in the damaged communities as well as the strategies on the costs of repair of public utility systems; other public facilities. The agency is efficient in its operations to make a recovery after a disaster has occurred.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
This paper discusses the workings of the Maryland emergency management agency. It mainly focuses on the phases of disaster management, to be specific to the recovery phase of disaster management. The paper provides insight into the steps, methods, and procedures the agency takes to organize itself to ensure efficient recovery of the community from the disaster at hand.
Maryland emergency management agency (MEMA) is an agency of the state of Maryland that organizes and controls resources from various sources, such as the federal government, the state itself, or any local and private donors at times of calamities and emergencies. This agency mainly operates under three branches. The operations directorate which conducts planning and running of operations, the administrative directorate which is the support group of the agency and strategy and the risk reduction directorate which serves to facilitate all reach out and recovery activities (Waugh, 2015).
According to Canton (2019), the recovery phase is the last one in an emergency management procedure. Besides, it involves the reviving of all the conditions of the society that were destroyed by the disaster that hit the community. It also involves the return of the local economic system to stability. Recovery in emergency management operates in two phases, and there is the long term and the short term phase. The short term phase involves providing instant service to businesses in the impacted region and last about a year. The long term phase involves technical planning and directive to solve more dire consequences of the disaster to the economy and may take up to ten years (Bachmann, Jamison, Martin, Delgado, & Kman, 2015). It majorly involves methods to diversify the economy and uses both private and public resources to boost the recovery strategies.
MEMA provides recovery services to disaster-stricken communities through public assistance, where the federal government and nonprofit organizations provide resources for them to help the disaster-stricken community. MEMA’s recovery office operates in two ways. In the emergency sector, the office focusses mainly on saving lives from immediate danger, whereas the permanent sector focusses on the rebuilding of the community (Canton, 2019).
Bachman and Jamison indicated that MEMA plans for recovery majorly in seven major categories. The agency first focuses on the cost of clearing of the debris caused by the disaster on roads, waterways and in public and at times private property to allow easy access of aid volunteers. The agency also focusses on the cost of emergency protective measures where they put up systems to protect lives if the disaster might re-occur, for instance, barricades. The agency puts its focus on the costs of repairing the road system as traffic is a vital way to access the community and bring supplies. With the roads in check MEMA now review the costs of repairing water facilities like dams and irrigation schemes to put the water system back to running like in the disaster in September 2018 where Governor Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland where MEMA tried to help but could not do much due to limited resources. MEMA then puts thought of the cost of rebuilding the infrastructure in the damaged community and also strategies on the costs of repair of public utility systems like sewage systems, systems of storm drainage and power plants. MEMA finally lays focus on other public facilities, for example, parks. Recently, Maryland State is experiencing extreme heat levels. As a result, MEMA is trying to control the situation with hashtags, such as Beat the heat, where they try to put safety practices on impacts of heat in a bid to save lives from heat-related deaths, which are effective, but there are some cases of deaths still being reported even with this measure in play.
Basing from the operation of MEMA, it is safe to say the agency is efficient in its operations to make a recovery after a disaster has occurred. It is evident that recovery is a process, and every sector of the stricken society has to be handled carefully for proper recovery. MEMA could, however, improve skills be using more technological approach to disaster recovery like the use of recovery websites which will help them be more precise on the approach and keep track of their proceedings. MEMA should also focus more on prevention methods like how to build tornado-proof houses to reduce the loss incurred in recovery, especially in disaster-prone environments.
Bachmann, D. J., Jamison, N. K., Martin, A., Delgado, J., & Kman, N. E. (2015). Emergency preparedness and disaster response: There’s an app for that. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 30(5), 486-490.
Canton, L. G. (2019). Emergency management: Concepts and strategies for effective programs (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Waugh, W. L. (2015). Living with hazards, dealing with disasters: An introduction to emergency management. New York, NY: Routledge.