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Mitigation and Government Department Collaboration

Mitigation and Government Department Collaboration

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Mitigation is one of the most important aspects of emergency management. With mitigation, communities are able to figure out what risks there might be in a community and lessen those risks before a major disaster happens.

One useful example of proper mitigation is occurring in Connecticut. According to the Hartford Courant, the Department of Transportation is currently working to cut down approximately 60,000 trees that are in danger of falling on highways.

This work will have a definite impact on emergency management efforts in Connecticut in the near future, since it will keep fallen trees off of roadways in the event of major storms. Emergency vehicles will be able to reach incident sites more easily.

Mitigation Isn’t Always Easy in Practice

However, budgeting for mitigation and effective risk management are also factors to be considered. Budgeting for mitigation efforts can often be difficult. For instance, budgeting can be politically charged.

All too often, governments that control budgets may make saving money their primary focus and deny first responder agencies the funds they urgently need for vital equipment or personnel. First responders then have to follow the mandate “do more with less.”

Department Collaboration Also Plays a Role in Mitigation

In recent years, states have developed offices of emergency management. These agencies help governments to keep up with the demands of emergencies, disasters and the administrative restructuring of the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11.

Department collaboration, however, is an important consideration for emergency management. With department collaboration comes resource sharing, instead of the need for first responder agencies to "reinvent the wheel."

The situation in Connecticut provides insight into how different government agencies can work together for mitigation efforts. Understanding what we know about agency collaboration, asking departments to come together for mitigation efforts is not only incredibly beneficial for public safety, but is an important consideration where budgets and manpower are concerned.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.