Free «Assessment of Relief and Recovery Needs» Essay

Assessment of Relief and Recovery Needs

Strengths and Weaknesses for the Development of Concept of Operations

The majority of emergencies and disasters are controlled by governmental and local respondents. The federal government, therefore, is responsible for providing additional assistance in case the outcomes of a disaster are beyond state and regional capabilities. If necessary, the federal government can activate a range of resources to ensure assistance and support to local and governmental efforts. Introduction of the support personnel, various emergency teams, specialized equipment, assistance programs, and operating facilities are among major functions of the federal disaster operation network. The concept of operation involves algorithms and descriptions of team’s actions, which are directed at controlling disaster and responding to contingencies (Ghosh, Prelas, Viswanath, & Loyalka, 2002). Despite the fact that the concept of operation is well-described and managed, attention should still be paid to strengths and weaknesses of a proposed emergency plan.

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Unknowns and Uncertainty

When it comes to the emergency plan, attention should be paid to flexibility and readiness to adjust to a constantly changing environment. In this respect, Kapucu (2009) analyzes the Federal Response Plan (1999) from the perspective of complex adaptive systems, which in fact experience significant challenges in introducing the emergence plan with regard to the external environment. Due to the fact that the concept of operation is a section that describes rules and algorithms for individuals who actually plan to use this plan, there is no concrete description of rules and sequence of steps for users. Indeed, the information is too general and some of the exempts could not be used in practice. For instance, the concept of operations includes the list of agencies and organizations taking part in emergency operations, such as the regional support team, DHS office, and other agencies. The section also discloses major legal rules and legislatures, which could be adopted in specific situations. Some of the information delivered in the concept of operation is still helpful. This is of particular concern to the matrix of emergency support function distribution, in which individuals can learn more about duties and responsibilities, as well as designations of some of the companies, including primary agencies that take responsibility for the ESF coordination and support agencies that are responsible for the primary agency.

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Much confusion relates to the fiduciary responsibility, particularly, how it should be encouraged, where it is located, and what procedures and systems are to be introduced. The confusion can lead to hoc decisions, but the delay relating to additional requirements is still provided for verifying goods and services. Furthermore, the procurement has been performed in an expeditious way under restricted time schedules although main procedures have failed to adhere to the established standards; some of the control has not been adequate. Consequently, there has been no inventory system employed to track and consider materials and goods. Additionally, no clear program has been established for effective distribution of goods and services.

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Development of Mission Statement, Goals, and Communication

The section provides general information about major goals and objectives of the Federal Response Plan, but there is no accurate development of the mission statement. Instead, attention has been drawn to the analysis of functions and responsibilities of the Federal Response Plan, its structure, principles, and basic models. Description of the implementation of related emergence plans involves participation of the FRP and its assistance in settling the contingency. In order to understand effectiveness of the Development of Concept of Operations, it is essential to refer to events and disasters, which have been handled by the FRP. In this respect, Mignone and Davidson (2003) focus on the 9/11 events to define the way health agencies re-evaluate their institutional procedures and capabilities to react to incidents that include weapons of mass destruction. Before the fatal event in 2001, planning of public health reforms focused on more natural and traditional events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and chemical spills despite the fact that the threat of the use of weapon of mass destruction was a growing concern as well. Due to the fact that the natural disaster management differs significantly from the one proposed in plans before the attack, management of response activities directed as protecting the population from the terrorist attacks has experienced difficulties. With regard to these assumptions, analysis of these issues shows that the concept of operations fails to consider this issue in the most effective way.

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Apart from the absence of the clear mission of the plan, goals and objectives are distributed among different organizations and agencies, including DSH, Emergency Support Organization, and many others. However, successful mission accomplishment depends largely on the degree of cooperation and efforts integration.

Possible Command Structure, Problems with Accountability

Program leaders and financial managers are obliged to provide sound support of important public funds and ensure assistance within established timeframes. In this respect, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched the Federal Response Plan to introduce insurance of victims of natural disasters (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1993). Federal departments have created Emergency Support Functions that help victims and promote financial assistance and control to ensure proper management of contingencies. Consequences of Hurricane Andrew made emergency leaders take responsibility for managing financial support activities and encourage accomplishment of the Federal Response Plan. The concept of operation introduces certain obligations and accountability issues of agencies and organizations participating in the project. At the same time, the level of financial accountability still needs improvement. When it comes to concrete disasters like Hurricane Andrew and Typhoon Omar, little awareness of the plan and its understanding could be noted. As a result, there have been significant procedural problems faced while implementing sections of the plan.

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The problem with accountability also relates to the difficulty of employing mission assignment process by means of which the FEMA creates tasks concerning response operations and resources. In other words, there are no specific guidelines to deal with emergency situations (Jenkins, 2009). In general, the concept of operation should point out the central agency that would guide all emergency management activities, including organizational structure, financial activities, logistics, response, and recovery operations regardless of the number of other agencies participating in the management of the program.

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