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Disaster Recovery Among Federal, State, and Local Agencies

All disaster recovery stakeholders need to know their specific tasks before and after a catastrophe occurs for the recovery process to be a success. Planning, response, healing, and mitigation are the four stages of emergency management within the purview of local government officials, regardless of the town’s size or the kind of catastrophe. In addition to their immediate help, federal and state governments provide long-term recovery and prevention money and advice.

The community’s rehabilitation is primarily the responsibility of the local government. Businesses and residents alike will be looking to their respective municipal governments to explain the specific requirements of their communities as they begin to rebuild. A Consistency of Government and Consistency of Operations Plan should be part of these preparations (Kapucu, 2014). In cases when local governments become overburdened, help may be required in the form of more personnel, recovery competence, leadership, or other means. When requested, state and federal authorities assist local governments in formulating plans and carrying them out, as well as in any subsequent recovery efforts.

The state must get involved to collect data, research the issue, and provide a viable remedy. After assessing the local governments’ capabilities in the area of disaster management and establishing the corresponding requirements, the state gives state and federal assistance, particularly technical and instructional support for emergency operations. The state-wide management of emergencies is within the purview of the governor or another individual appointed by the governor. The governor can declare a state of emergency, mobilize state resources, issue evacuation orders, deploy emergency funds, redistribute emergency money and department budgets for disaster activities, apply for and handle federal disaster and emergency funding, and do a variety of other things (Olshansky, 2006).

The state’s disaster response agency is in charge of creating and enforcing a thorough disaster management strategy, coordinating the efforts of various groups to draft the state’s EOP, providing support to local governments in their efforts to be ready, and taking over some or all of the governor’s emergency responsibilities (Kapucu, 2014). There is no uniform approach to handling disasters throughout the country. The plan specifies who is responsible for what during a crisis and includes a hazard assessment for the whole state and contact information for state emergency agencies. Each state has a designated FEMA training officer responsible for coordinating the agency’s disaster management training initiatives.

Communities will have a greater chance of avoiding, responding to, and recovering from disasters with the help of these training programs, which aim to increase community resilience and preparation. As an added measure, the state’s emergency management office funds its residents’ public education and readiness programs. A more open line of communication with the business sector has been made possible thanks to training in hazardous disaster contingency planning.

Damage and impact evaluations are a shared responsibility of local disaster recovery managers and their recovery partners. Furthermore, they oversee the creation of the community’s or Village’s recovery visions, preferences, capital, capability, and potential; they arrange recovery planning processes that include people with disabilities and other accessibility issues, the elderly, and citizens of underserved communities to engage constituents’ input properly. In addition to sharing their top objectives with the federal and state governments, local governments also inform various citizens to evacuate. The state’s emergency management organization is tasked with facilitating a coordinated response amongst different levels of government in times of disaster.

When a disaster strikes, state officials set up an emergency operations center (EOC) and send personnel, resources, and equipment to the affected region to aid local authorities. Several governmental regulations have room for improvement in terms of both prevention and response to natural disasters. FEMA is the government’s primary contact in the United States during a disaster. FEMA has made these resources available to the public. FEMA works with local and state governments to improve emergency readiness via its national campaign operations (Olshansky, 2006).

Disaster response was hampered by the United States’ inadequate intergovernmental response structure because federal responders were slow to see the need for more active engagement. Regardless, many essential institutional capabilities to oversee the action at every administration level were lacking. In particular, under the Bush administration, FEMA had depleted its resources. The DHS was similarly unproven, with no experience with which to guide the allocation of its power and resources. The failure of DHS leadership to recognize Katrina as an event of national importance on par with 9/11 was a significant oversight (Chandra & Acosta, 2009). There were fundamental issues in coordination inside and across these networks, as well as conflicts amongst actors as to what to do and who should do it, even though many of these mission networks delivered a response that had never been seen before. The duty to collect corpses is an example of this kind of duty. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urged the state government to take control, but the state and municipal governments were overloaded. The governor of Louisiana accused FEMA of the delays in corpse recovery. In collaboration with the Department of Security, the federal Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for victim identification and morgue services. However, they moved slowly in this regard. Soon enough, Defense became the dominant force. The lack of coordination slowed the body’s ability to heal even more. Fundamental coordination problems are harder to solve in large, heterogeneous networks like those that Katrina exposed us to than in smaller, more uniform ones.

Through inter-governmental interactions in the form of interdependent and integrated partnerships, private and public entities could work together to find a solution to the disaster that was too big for any of them to tackle alone. Second, these groups all had the same overarching objective: to lessen the destruction and casualties caused by the storm. In line with this overarching objective, many organizations played a variety of roles during the disaster response, including but not limited to: evacuation; material delivery (water, food, medicine); body recovery and morgue services; medical assistance; reviving public safety; rebuilding communication systems and power; searching for survivors; and offering temporary shelter (Davis & Robbin, 2015).

Conclusively, a sound disaster recovery management system should factor into policymaking at all governmental levels for the recovery to succeed. Therefore, it is necessary for local, state, and federal officials to create and implement recovery progress metrics and to convey these modifications and enhancements to relevant stakeholders and authorities.


Chandra, A., & Acosta, J. D. (2009). The role of nongovernmental organizations in long-term human recovery after a disaster: Reflections from Louisiana four years after Hurricane Katrina. Rand Corporation.

Davis, G. L., & Robbin, A. (2015). Network disaster response effectiveness: the case of ICTs and Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 12(3), 437-467.

Kapucu, N. (2014). Collaborative governance and disaster recovery: the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) in the US. In Disaster recovery (pp. 41-59). Springer, Tokyo.

Olshansky, R. B. (2006). Planning after Hurricane Katrina. Journal of the American Planning Association72(2), 147-153.


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