emergency and disaster management and planning


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Overview: In lieu of a term paper, for this class you will visit an emergency management professional and conduct a site visit to an emergency operations center or equivalent. You will have until the end of Week 7 to complete this in order to accommodate scheduling difficulties you may encounter in arranging your visit – however, don’t procrastinate. YOU MAY NOT SUBSTITUTE INTERNET RESEARCH, PHONE CALLS, EMAILS, etc. for the interview. You must visit an EOC and talk with an emergency manager.

It is best to select a county, state, or military base emergency manager to interview. Select someone who has more breadth of responsibility than a police or fire chief, and more technical knowledge of emergency management than a mayor or city councilman. Make an appointment to interview him or her in person, and request a visit to the emergency operations center.

Interview topics to consider would include the mission, the structure of emergency operations, the communication system, the budget, etc. Ask for an overview of the last time the system was exercised, either real-world or simulation. Allow the interview to range freely until you have a full understanding of the operation and can explain it in detail.

For the site visit, observe the structure and communication infrastructure of the operations center. Is it protected? Is there a backup? Is the equipment current technology? What are the apparent shortcomings?

It is important that you explain to them that you are a student at American Military University or American Public University and this is an assignment for your Master’s Degree program. If you require a letter from the university to validate your assignment requirement, use the one enclosed below.

Reading: View the TED talk in the Lessons as you prepare to conduct your interview.


CDC. (n.d.). CDC emergency operations center: How an EOC works. https://www.cdc.gov/orr/eoc/how-eoc-works.htm

Donohue, D. (2016, May). The care and feeding of the EOC. Fire Engineering.

FEMA. (2022, October). Emergency operations center how-to quick reference guide. https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_eoc-quick-reference-guide.pdf

Goldstein, P. (2021, January 29). Building EOCs for state and local governments. https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2021/01/how-build-emergency-operations-center-state-or-local-government-perfcon

Week 7 Discussion

Assignment: Write a minimum 10-page paper relating your interview and site visit results. Ensure there is a summary of what you have learned, how it relates to the class material, and that it contains a strong recommendation section with recommendations that would improve operational effectiveness. Be sure to provide this and all papers in proper APA format. Save your paper as a Microsoft Word document entitled YourLastNameWk.docx” (i.e., PhelanWk7/8.docx). Upload the document and click the Submit button.

Rubric: Papers will be graded using the APUS graduate rubric, with attention paid to comprehension, depth of knowledge, and clear expression of ideas and arguments. Additionally, adherence to APA conventions will be required.

Objectives: This assignment supports course objectives: CO-1, CO-2, CO-3, CO-4, CO-5

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