Emergency Services Grant Proposal Thesis

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Emergency Services Grant Proposal

Disasters are part of life in the United States of America. They come in many shapes and forms. Natural disasters, terrorism, and chemical emergencies are only three examples of the many emergency situations that Americans have faced in the country. The problem investigated in this research is not so much the disasters themselves, but rather the lack of public knowledge to deal with such calamities. Indeed, many lives can be saved if a proper contingency plan and preparedness equipment are in place.

Importantly, the research recognizes that the public should be part of the disaster management process. In addition, health organizations and disaster management entities such as the police should make a conscious effort to work together in handling disasters. By means of educational programs, each member of the public should be fully aware of his or her role should disaster strike.

The research then investigates the hypothesis that 1) not many schools and businesses have a clear disaster management plan, and 2) that not many individuals are aware of what their role would be in a crisis brought on by disaster. Furthermore, emergency professionals and services spend a large amount of time and energy solving problems that could have been handled by well-trained and aware citizens.

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The hypotheses will be investigated by means of interviews and questionnaires. A training program for disaster management will be tested at one school and one business in Oklahoma City. The success level of this program will determine the recommendations for the future of such programs. The program will be modified according to the findings.

Funding will be required for equipment and personnel involved in the research project, and will also be applied in the longer term, to secure research and disaster equipment.

Statement of Need

Thesis on Emergency Services Grant Proposal Assignment

The world today is plagued by both expected and unexpected emergencies of all kinds. These emergencies emanate from natural disasters, chemical emergencies, disease outbreaks, mechanical failure, and the like. The most recent disease outbreak is for example the H1N1 virus, for which there is yet no cure. Hurricane Katrina is one of the most prominent examples of the devastation that a natural disaster can cause. Many died, and those who were left lived in terrible conditions for an extended period of time. A targeted emergency plan in collaboration with citizens and officials could have eliminated much of the misery experienced during this time.

The most significant act of terrorism is the events on 9/11, in which many thousands of people died. Interestingly, all the staff at Lehman Brothers' Business Information Services, just across the street from the World Trade Center, vacated their building safely on this day because of off-site contingency and staff contact plans that were in place in anticipation of Y2K.

In order to respond effectively to such emergencies, officials and the public need an integrated, collective emergency plan. Such a plan will entail specific task for each person and group affected by the disaster. By implementing an emergency plan, the public is empowered to proactively handle disaster rather than becoming victims who must be rescued by officials. In the case of large-scale disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, such a plan is particularly important. With the public's help, rescuers can pay attention to medical and severe emergencies, while members of the public can handle evacuation and other services that are necessary during such times. Indeed, when the public awareness is raised regarding their own contribution to disaster response, the task of disaster professionals will be much easier and also more effective. Rather than waiting for a disaster to achieve public attention in the aftermath, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in Oklahoma City believes that it is time to recognize that the United States is a country that will probably experience many more disasters in the future. This recognition should be used to raise the public awareness in terms of the fact that disasters -- both unforeseen and predicted -- can strike at any time and with any level of severity. The public needs to be aware that it is not necessary to wait for these disasters to educate them on what should be done to respond most effectively. A much more proactive response is to achieve a high level of disaster education before calamities occur. In this way, the public will be prepared once disaster strikes.

In order to achieve this, the research will attempt to assess the current education level in Oklahoma City. This will reveal the need for public education plans. To be prepared for a disaster however entails much more than raising public awareness. It also entails the integration of official services both with each other and with the role of the public in managing disasters.

The research will therefore also investigate the possibility of integrating official institutions such as The Health and Services Administration Agency (HRSA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The U.S. Agency for International Development, (USAID), the Animal Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), and the National Resource Centre for Family-Centered Practice and permanency Planning (NRCFCPPP).

All these institutions can make a contribution towards educating the public regarding the health and safety of themselves, their children, and their pets. The research will also investigate how these agencies can be integrated with the OEM in order to create a targeted and balanced contingency plan when disaster strikes. Such a plan needs to take into account all possible contingencies in order to ensure that all citizens involved know what their roles are should any major disaster occur.

Project Description

The research will be conducted in five progressive stages, namely: 1) a preliminary survey, 2) the involvement of official agencies, 3) results and action, 4) evaluation, 5) recommendations.

The first stage will involve surveys, mainly by means of questionnaires and interviews. For this, a selection of high schools and businesses in Oklahoma City will be approached. Where possible, interviews will be conducted with school principles and business directors either in person or via email. Questionnaires will be distributed among employees and learners. The questionnaires will focus on determining the level of disaster awareness among businesses and schools, and also on an individual level. In other words, in addition to having disaster management plans in place at the school or business in question, it will also be determined whether each individual is aware of his or her responsibilities within the larger context of such plans.

The second "stage" can run concomitantly with the first, in which the official health and wellness agencies are approached for help in integrating a disaster management plan for the schools and businesses chosen. Each agency will be notified of the aims of the research, with the proposal that they take part in integrating their expertise with an educational program to raise the public awareness of disaster management, and the responsibilities involved in it.

Preliminary interviews will be conducted to determine the current level of their integration with the public in terms of disaster management. In other words, the question is: to what extent to official health and wellness agencies work together with the public to put in place disaster management programs, and to what extent is the public empowered in terms of their roles when disasters occur?

Each agency will then be invited to provide proposals and ideas for such a program. Representatives will also be invited to take part in the disaster training program, and the implementation of contingency plans for schools and businesses in Oklahoma City. These ideas will then be used together with the survey results in order to create a program and plan for raising the public awareness.

Stage 3 involves the results of the investigation and the implementation of educational programs. The surveys will be scrutinized for the level of public awareness of disaster programs. It is hypothesized that, while many schools and businesses may indeed have disaster management plans in place, particularly in the case of fire, not many individuals are sufficiently aware of their specific role in such plans.

A second hypothesis is that there is probably not a high level of integration of official agencies with the public when it comes to disaster management. Health and wellness agencies, as well as disaster officials such as firefighters and the police are mostly concerned with responding to emergencies, while the public is the recipient of these services, without being aware that citizens also have a role in mitigating the disaster. The research seeks to change that. The surveys will either prove or refute these hypotheses.

Once the survey results have been investigated and integrated, the next step within this stage is to draw up an educational plan for schools and businesses. This plan will initially be implemented only on a minor, experimental scale. One school and one business will be chosen to take part in the education program, based upon their survey results, indicating the least awareness of disaster management programs.

One preliminary education program, comprising five hours, will then be drawn up for the school… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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