Emergency management situations create unique challenges for practitioners and decision-makers in the sector. As the time for providing the adequate response is strongly limited, and the threats are severe, the role of leadership is crucial in this context. For this reason, it is necessary to examine the leadership efforts made during Hurricane Sandy of 2012. The calamity was one of the most severe storms in the history of the United States that caused 233 fatalities and the damages of around $75 billion. In general, the leadership efficiency observed during Hurricane Sandy was unsatisfactory and the amount of damages could have been minimized in case leaders would have been proactive.
In order to provide holistic evidence to the above-indicated claim, it is reasonable to examine several aspects of leadership. The first relevant dimension is the existence of adequate prevention measures taken. Effective leaders do not only respond to the actual disasters but also are able to prevent the major emergency situations using the reliable scientific tools. The situation in the United States was twofold. On the one hand, government forecasters estimated the probability of the storm at around 90%. On the other hand, appropriate authorities did not make any complex efforts or implement mitigation strategies. The necessary resources were not allocated for reducing the potential negative impact of the storm as well as officials did not ensure proper prevention measures. The media coverage was concentrated on the expected impact of the storm rather than the coordinated efforts that should be made under different scenarios.
The second relevant dimension of analysis is the emergency response per se observed in the aftermath of the disaster. In this respect, distinguishing the effectiveness of the government agencies and that of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seems reasonable. Although the government possessed a much higher amount of resources and forecasting tools, its response was ineffective. The major problem referred to the fact that the efforts of various government agencies and institutions were uncoordinated and unbalanced. For example, the Senate approved the relief bill of more than $60 billion for providing the urgent assistance to the victims. However, the House of Representatives postponed this decision until the next session . As a result, victims from all affected states were unable to receive the needed assistance on time.
The government was unable to create a single database of all victims and distribute the assistance proportionally. MvGeehan and Palmer demonstrate that many people did not receive any financial support or compensation in a year after the storm. Thus, the existing scarce resources were used ineffectively as some individuals received the complete compensation, while others obtained no assistance at all. The government was mostly oriented to obtaining the desired political effect rather than helping all people in need.
However, the efforts of NGOs were more effective. For example, News Corporation and ABC Television Group coordinated their campaigns with the American Red Cross and donated around $20 billion to help the victims. The American Red Cross examined the structure of victims needs and determined the most affected population groups. The assistance was timely, and the general situation was improved considerably. NGOs were able to design different strategies for various groups and regions who suffered the damage and losses due to the hurricane.
Therefore, it may be concluded that government leadership efforts were ineffective. Government agencies did not pay the necessary attention to prevention measures, did not develop the adequate national emergency strategy, and did not provide the timely assistance to victims along the Atlantic Coast. In contrast, NGOs were more flexible and effective, though they possessed a fewer amount of resources. Evidently, government agencies should become more flexible and coordinate their efforts with NGOs better. In this way, drastic consequences of disasters can be prevented in the future. The government leadership has to become more responsible and oriented to ensuring timeliness of any measures and strategies as this factor is especially important during emergency situations of such a scale.
The article was prepared by Alex Seed. He uses theplagiarism searchservice while conducting researches.