On 29 August, 2005 the category 5 huge Hurricane, Hurricane Katrina hit USA land. This natural disaster brought massive flood, damaging the property and resulted into high death toll. Although the projects related to the protection of areas by Hurricane were constructed 60 years ago but this exceptional unexpected disaster was the most terrible one in USA history (GAO-06-934, 2006). The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was beyond the expectation of the officials of the emergency management, which resulted into delay in supporting the effected people and the area by the guards and military.
This uncontrolled situation showed the absence of management and lack of the ability to take a quick action by the people responsible to handle the problem because of their unawareness of handling the situation (Cooper & Block, 2005). Bureaucratic/ Hierarchical model vs. Network model Professor Charles Wise asserts that effective and efficient running of organizations can be achieved through a combination of strategies and techniques. He further states that the organization must utilize all its resources in order to achieve business goals (Wise, 2006).
Wise laid importance for the implication of network model rather than the hierarchical model. He explains that in hierarchical model, the decisions take place at the top level without communicating all the levels of organization and there is no evaluation of the progress. Due to this, flaws and unfavorable situations results at the end. In network model, there is continuous flow of information between the different levels of organization, which brings good results in managing any emergency. Waugh and Streib also laid emphasis on the change in the hierarchical model in which only top management contributes in making the decision (2006).
The failure in handling the hurricane Katrina showed the inability and flaw in the decision making of the hierarchical management (Takeda & Helms, 2006). Adaptive Management Approach The approach of government organizations of dealing with the natural disaster created a negative impact on the people of America. It showed that serious steps need to be taken in managing any kind of disaster (Schneider, 2005). Applying adaptive management hypothetically following steps should be followed: • All the problems should be discussed with the stakeholders.
• There should be no communication gap and the flow of the data should be continuous between all the levels of the organization. • The strategies should be followed and monitored to get positive outcome. • There should be monitored resources. • Policies and procedure should be there and should be consistent. • Activities for the future should be planned and communicated at all level of the organization and different ideas by all should be encouraged. The management approach to deal with the hurricane Katrina should be a strategic approach. People of the effected area should be informed and educated to deal with the situation.
They should be moved to the safe place. Instruction should be communicated by the organization through T. V and other mode of communication before the occurrence of the hurricane. There should be a complete planning. Measures and goal should be set to deal with such natural disaster. There should be training provided to the people, responsible to handle the situation. The programs for the affected people and victims to overcome the situation and so that they can get back get back in normal condition should be introduced to deal with any emergency created by natural disaster.
Recommended Management Approach An effective management approach utilizes different strategies and tactics in order to reduce or mitigate the impact of a natural disaster. The first step is that adequate preparations must be made for any emergency by the presence of specific contingency plans. Governments must devise long term and short term solutions that can assist in reducing the impact of natural disaster (Wisner, 2004). This could be through the use of technology and administrative regulations that could help and assist people during times of natural disaster.
Emergency and civil services must be adequate and competent enough to effectively and efficiently respond to any natural disaster. They must ensure the provision of vital services for people who trapped or injured because of the natural disaster. Stockpiles of essential items and goods must be performed by the local government in order to provide urgent relief to disaster zones. Successful disaster management plans utilize a competent and trained force of volunteers (Wisner, 2004). These volunteers can be instrumental in saving lives and delivering services.
Response is the last stage of the disaster management plan as it consists of the provision of emergency and rescue services for people who have been hit by the natural disaster. Conclusion Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster that severely impacted the people of New Orleans. The poor and slow response by the Bush administration was extensively criticized by the public. The disaster shows the necessity of effective and efficient disaster management programs. These plans must be adequate and competent enough to prevent death and destruction caused by the natural disaster.
These programs should effectively utilize a number of rapid emergency and civil services in order to provide relief and aid in the disaster zone. Empirical studies have found evidence that the hierarchical model of organizational change leads to inefficiency and inflexibility. It retards the ability of organizations to effectively respond to emergencies and contingency plans. The network model of organizational change on the other has been found to give autonomy and freedom. This allows staff members to use their creativity and innovation in order to devise solutions for problems.
Adaptive management takes a proactive and dynamic approach in resolving problems. It seeks to divide tasks into smaller goals which are distributed to team members. It can be used for disaster management because it efficiently and effectively utilizes and allocates resources. Disaster management must be systematically and methodically planned and arranged by the government. It is essential that reducing or mitigating the threat take place at the first level. Similarly rapid response should be developed by speedy and reliable delivery of services to people living in the disaster zone.
GAO-06934, (2006, September). Hurricane Katrina: Strategic Planning Needed to Guide Future Enhancements Beyond Interim Levee Repairs. Retrieved April, Saturday, 2009, from http://www. gao. gov/new. items/d06934. pdf. Cooper, Christopher, and Robert Jeffrey Block. Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the failure of Homeland Security. New York: Times Books, 2006. Wise, C. (2006). Organizing for Homeland Security after Katrina: Is Adaptive management Whats Missing? Public Administration Review, 66(302-318). Waugh, W. , Streib, G. (2006). Collaboration and Leadership for Effective Emergency Management.
Public Administration Review, 66(p 131- 140). Takeda, Margaret B. , Marilyn M. Helms (2006). Bureaucracy, meet catastrophe: Analysis of the tsunami disaster relief efforts and their implications for global emergency governance. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 19 (204- 217). Schneider, S. (2009). Administrative Breakdowns in the Governmental Response to Hurricane Katrina. Public Administration Review, 65(515-516). Wisner, Ben; P. Blaikie, T. Cannon, and I. Davis (2004). At Risk – Natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters Wiltshire: Routledge
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