The Case for Adaptive SOPs in Complex Crises and Unpredictable Operating Environments

By Shawn Harwood and Wayne Porter, Ph.D. Abstract Standard operating procedures (SOPs) guide emergency responders in a crisis, providing predetermined steps to manage anticipated events. Modern disasters, however, often manifest as complex systems—susceptible to nonlinear interactions and feedback in the environment that produce unanticipated outcomes. As a consequence, the application of prediction-dependent SOPs to prediction-defiant

After the Exercise: Using Change Management Theory to Improve After-Action Event Outcomes

Cynthia Holmes EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A. OPENING STATEMENT Preparedness agencies fail to act on gaps identified by exercises; instead, they repeat exercises and never move to resolve issues. After-action reports (AARs) document exercise findings, but are not shared with forward-facing staff who do the work. Agencies spend federal money exercising capabilities, but fail to implement changes

911 and The Area Code From Which You Call: How To Improve The Disparity In California’s Emergency Medical Services.

Jeffrey Covitz EXECUTIVE SUMMARY There are 33 separate local emergency medical services (EMS) authority agencies serving the 58 counties in California.1 A local EMS authority (LEMSA) in California governs either EMS providers in a single county or several counties combined. Each LEMSA dictates widely different treatment and transport protocols for its paramedics.2 The medical director for

Applying the THIRA to Special Events: A Framework for Capabilities-Based Planning Adoption in Local Governments

Daniel Bradley EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Local officials planning for disasters at the local level must make risk-informed judgments about what capability is needed to defend against known threats and hazards while remaining adaptable to address the unforeseen. However, risk assessment tools are imperfect and sometimes not available to local governments. Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) and

When the House Is Full, But the Guests Keep Coming: Determining the Impact of Daily Hospital Overcrowding on Disaster Response

Charity MenEfee EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Generally, healthcare emergency preparedness strategies have revolved around major medical disasters or catastrophic-event surge planning. Leaders throughout the emergency preparedness and management continuum―including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP),

An Exploratory Analysis of Emergency Preparedness for Regional Transit Centers

Marcia Raines EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This thesis evaluates emergencies that are likely to occur in metropolitan transportation centers and the challenges emergency managers face when preparing for them. With infrastructure and people concentrated in one area, an emergency event—such as an earthquake or terrorist attack—can be devastating. Specifically, this thesis argues that all the transportation facilities

Just-in-Time Training Considerations for Rural Emergency Operations Centers

Tiffany Brown EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A county emergency operations center (EOC) is an integral component of local disaster management as it serves several critical functions essential to saving lives, protecting property, and helping communities respond to and recover from an event. Trained EOC personnel are vital to maintaining operational continuity during a large disaster, yet the

The Nevada Family: Political Crisis Leadership and Resilience Narratives in the Silver State

Caleb Cage EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Emergencies and disasters are inherently political events. Major crises in the United States in recent years have transformed political careers, for better or worse. Further, scholars have taken an interest in determining the political factors involved with these emergencies and disasters and the political crises they produce, seeking to determine how

Unpacking and Exploring the Relationship between Crisis Management and Social Media in the Era of ‘Smart Devices’

by Eric K. Stern Abstract The rise of social media and the broad diffusion of ‘smart devices’ in contemporary society have profound implications for crisis management. The emergence of social media and smart devices pose both major challenges and major opportunities to crisis managers (c.f. Palen, 2008; Veil et 2011). These social practices and technologies