I. Emphasis of this chapter puts centers on the natural calamities that occurred in early 20th Century, disaster management and its evolution.
A. History of the United States’ emergency and disaster management
- Analysis of the disaster policies of the federal government.
a. The roles and responsibilities of the Federal government of the United States. This entails the mandate and duties undertaken by the government.
b. The mandate of the State government in enhancing effective management of disasters. Entails duties as well as efforts that state governments have taken to promote disaster management.
c. Responsibility of private voluntary organizations. Private voluntary organizations including humanitarian organizations such as Red Cross plays a significant role in facilitate relief aid to victims and survivors from disasters.
- Federal legislations and programs on disaster management. Federal legislation helps to shape and organize disaster response and the entire disaster management process.
- Historical events that impacts disaster management of the United States.
a. Hurricane. It has historically been occurring in the United States a couple of times for a long time.
b. Long beach Earthquakes. This these beach earthquakes have led to serious property and infrastructure destruction and high number of deaths.
c. Flu pandemic. The influenza flu pandemic historically entered United States through the young soldiers in the military training camps causing several deaths.
- Emergency management evolution. Management of emergencies strategies have evolved with time. Significant changes have been made to mitigate consequences of disasters.
B. 19th Century Disaster that occurred in the United States
a. The flooding disaster of Ohio River in 1884. It caused several deaths especial in the Northern part of Ohio and wide destruction of property.
b. The 1884 flooding disaster of Mississippi river. This natural calamity resulted in wide range of property destructions especially for the improperly build houses.
c. The 1889 floods in Pennsylvania disaster. These floods swept away people’s belongings, causing many damages and deaths.
a. The Chicago fire disaster which burned though thousands of property worth a lot of money.
b. The Peshtigo fire disaster. This incident caused both destructions of several properties and infrastructures as well as resulted in death of a number of people.
c. The 1881 Michigan forest fires disaster. A number of forests were reduced into ashes by fires. A number of wildlife died in the event while also a lot of vegetation was destroyed.
a. Sea Island hurricane disaster. This hurricane caused flooding that killed several people and destroyed many properties and infrastructures.
b. South Carolina hurricane disaster. The South Carolina experienced this hurricane causing a big disaster of property damage and death of people.
c. North New Jersey hurricane disaster.
- The historical significance of these disasters
a. Initiation of the first response for the American Red Cross. Red Cross first exercised and provided their humanitarian services at this time.
b. Caused the federal government to establish the formal charter for provision of disaster response and recovery. To ensure effective disaster management, the charter was created to facilitate the response and recovery.
C. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane
- Deaths of people, property and infrastructure damages
a. Resulted in several deaths that have remained undetermined. Many people died that up to date, the exact number has not been.
b. Extensive property damage. Numerous properties including houses were destroyed by the raging hurricane causing a lot of losses.
- Prior Galveston history, responses and preparedness, reconstruction and mitigation
a. Galveston had been a thriving city with a population of more than 40,000 people.
b. A wealthy city with the most vital seaport in Texas. This seaport has enable this city to be wealthy and rich.
c. The 1900 hurricane was not expectable with due to the periodical ranking of Gulf of Mexico.
d. The instant aftermath of the hurricane was horrific. People were devastated poverty increased as the economies and finances became scarce.
e. The United States army sent soldiers, food and tents to help and rescue the victims
f. The reconstruction of the sea wall was commenced which was 15.5 feet high above altitude.
- Hubris, Disavowal and Compliancy
a. Evidence is available that chances were high that Galveston might be struck by a deadly hurricane. Though this prediction was ignored this rendered the residence being caught unaware with the calamity.
b. Given the social, psychological and economic factors the Galveston people consciously disregarded the warning signs.
c. The civil movement for the construction of a protective seawall. This movement pushed for a seawall to be erected in order to avoid further damages from hurricane.
d. The scale for disaster is rapidly increasing globally. Hurricanes not only occur in the United States but also across the world.
e. About 55 storms belonging to category three or stronger have struck America since 1900.
D. The earthquake of San Francisco and the 1906 fires
- Fault ruptures
a. Earlier in 18th April 1996, about 300 miles in North San Andreas Fault began to rapture leading to an earthquake.
b. The epicenter being at the coast nearing Daly City though it was felt in Southern Oregon.
- The fires of 1906
a. Fires erupted instantly caused by broken electricity lines, gas lines and other flammable hazards.
b. The first fire was the great San Francisco fire. This fire consumed some part of the San Francisco entire.
E. Prior events
a. 1812 earthquake of South California caused a lot of damage and the first earthquake deaths in the state.
b. The 6.5 and more magnitude earthquake erupted in San Francisco during 1836
c. The 1838, 1865 and 1868 earthquake of San Francisco. Death and property destruction was extreme to the earthquake.
a. The devastating fire of 1849, 1859 and also 1851 San Francisco
F. The devastation
- The San Francisco state was rendered financially hopeless and agitated.
a. San Francisco residents had to pretend and tell that the 1906 disaster was a fire and was never an earthquake.
b. Insurance companies and investors considered fire to be a containable hazard unlike earthquake which is unmanageable by humans
- San Francisco residents rendered homeless
a. Approximately 225,000 residents of San Francisco became homeless majority of the victims being women and children seeking refuge
b. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina which occurred in New Orleans devastating and rendering the people homeless
- Dramatic destruction of property
a. The earthquake of 1906 caused serious damage to poorly built houses.
b. The earthquake cause made the soil unconsolidated thus being prone to liquefaction rendering it hazardous and dangerous for constructing building on it.
c. High rates of deaths due to falling objects
G. Response and Recovery
- Rescue and response agencies
a. The police, soldiers were contracted by the government to conduct rescue missions in disaster areas
b. Red Cross aid to help victims and survivors by providing social amenities and initial help
c. The fire fighter under the National Board of Fire Underwriters to help fight fires and rescue people in the event of fire
H. Faults made and Lessons learnt
- The conscious ignoring of risk and vulnerability to natural disasters
- Shoddy construction of buildings that were easily destroyed by disasters such as earthquakes.
- Poor urban planning and planning of public infrastructure
- Inefficient and inadequate fire control services to manage fire disasters.
- Slow and poor response from the law enforcement and the military
I. Lawlessness in disaster events
- Looting was minimal or even non-existent.
a. The military was called in to control looting. Military force was necessary in preventing looting.
b. Some looters were shot by the military. The police would a times become intolerable and shoot at those looting
c. The citizens were not aware on whom to obey. Mixture and confusion on who was in charge.
d. Some military personnel failed to understand their limits of authority
e. The legality and the role of military action in disaster response began to raise questions.
- Significance of the military in disaster management
a. Military helps in facilitating disaster relief through providing humanitarian services to the disaster victims
b. The military help in rescue mission, rescuing trapped and stranded victims
c. The military assist in providing security for the victims and other humanitarian agencies on site
d. Military aid in reconstruction and rebuilding efforts aftermath a disaster to reinstate the condition of the damaged infrastructures
J. Analysis of San Francisco’s reality and vulnerability
- The risk of floods
a. San Francisco is argued to be the most vulnerable city to floods with geologist giving expert advice about the risks anticipated
- Risk of Earthquake
a. San Francisco has recorded the highest magnitude of earthquake worldwide with frequent and recurring earthquakes
- Sobering analysis of San Francisco vulnerability to disasters
a. Scientists now have come up with real and appropriate predictions for disasters so as to prepare in advance
K. The 1918 great influenza pandemic
- The influenza pandemic progress
a. Influenza developed and extended in waves next many years with the 2nd and 3rd outbreaks mostly happened in the winter of 1918 to 1919.
- Its historical setting
a. Influenza entered into the United States during World War I through young men in the training camps in the country.
b. Between 1918 and 1919, influenza outbreaks were specifically fatal for younger adults.
c. It also spread to Europe in 1918
- Preparedness and Response
a. Adequate supply of medical facilities and health practitioners
b. Blue publishing of warning against influenza flu
c. Proper preparations against influenza flu both by the government and the public
d. Quarantine of the infected people
e. Military and Red cross intervening to offer relief aid and rescue missions
L. Present concerns, future threats, the mandate of emergency manager
- The possibility of reoccurrence of similar epidemic again. Fear for reoccurrence of such disasters has created a lot of concerns.
- The anxiety and fear of the consequences if such epidemics reoccur
- What roles are emergency managers expected to play when responding to these epidemics that may reoccur.
M. The 1933 Long Beach Earth Quake
- The consequences
a. Creation of building design and safety codes act. This was to help ensure that proper houses were constructed to avoid easy damage by floods.
b. Adoption of the Riley Act. This act was adopted as a mitigate tool against natural disaster.
N. Disaster Management Evolution
- Adoption of proper and effective laws and policies on disaster management. Efficient and appropriate regulations ensure sound an efficacious disaster management
- Increased public awareness through public education. Public education such as seminars and advertisement are making the public aware of the disasters likely to occur.
- Shift to building strong and proper houses. This kind of shift was significant in ensuring that properties such as houses will not be hard.