On the federal level, government agency reports by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and CDC (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention) will be examined by looking at decisive changes on emergency response and preparedness. On the State level, emergency management in disaster prone areas such as Florida, Texas, New York, and Mississippi will also be looked upon. Lastly, on the local level, steps taken by the community to prepare itself for major catastrophe will be examined.
According to Perry & Lindell (2003), emergency preparedness refers to the readiness of a political jurisdiction to react constructively to threats from the environment in a way that minimizes the negative consequences of impact for the health and safety of the individuals and the integrity and functioning of physical structures and systems1. However, this definition does not encompass the entire scope of disasters that we face in modern society. Among these catastrophes are nuclear power plant emergencies, cyber terrorism, bio terrorism, and other man-made disasters.
As such, a broader definition was provided by Nursing Clinics of America on its issue on Disaster Management and Response (2005), stating that emergency preparedness is the “comprehensive knowledge, skills, abilities and actions needed to prepare for and respond to threatened, actual, or suspected chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive incidents, man-made incidents, natural disasters or other related events.”