Home Opinion National State of Emergency and the Need for Regular Communication
National State of Emergency and the Need for Regular Communication

National State of Emergency and the Need for Regular Communication


When major emergencies happen, some facets of the general public may look to the President to assist in the emergency. In actuality, major emergencies are handled in an all-hazards approach to streamline how the emergency is effectively managed at all levels of government.

This month, the President of the United States renewed the national state of emergency for the 16th year following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The efforts at the federal level will certainly help streamline resources if they’re needed in a disaster. However, good emergency management starts at the local level and works its way up to the presidency. 

The President’s system is only in place for if and when those resources are needed. Above all, good communication between all levels of government in emergency management is critical to good emergency management.

State of National Emergency

On September 9, 2016, Gregory Korte of USA Today reported that “President Obama extends post-911 state of national emergency for 16th year.”  Korte explained that in extending this national emergency, the President will have broad powers to call up the national guard and deploy troops overseas as needed.

The State of Emergency is certainly important as it allows for the President to streamline resources if and when they’re needed during a state of emergency. This act alone can allow for critical emergency efforts to take place through streamlining the policy process to make sure the government has the appropriate resources to handle the issues at hand.

Local Level Concentration

While the President has implemented the state of national emergency, ultimately, emergency management begins at the local level of government. The local level of government will manage the emergency and will request more resources as the management of the emergency requires.

Communication Needs

Further, emergency managers need to be actively working on relationships with the local, state and federal levels of government. It is important to foster these relationships as building a network will help tremendously with managing an emergency in the future. These relationships are critical to providing emergency managers with the appropriate resources they need when a catastrophe happens. It also helps to build an infrastructure to support emergency management efforts.

Without doing this, it can be difficult to coordinate the appropriate responses at the local, state and federal levels with the appropriate resources. The President’s state of national emergency is great for the resources he provides, but the system will not function well in the other levels of government unless communication is taking place and relationships are fostered.

Policies can do a lot for streamlining resources when emergencies happen. They can also create a certain amount of red tape that can complicate matters. The state of national emergency is a good policy, but because of how emergency management efforts work, it is critical for local, state and federal levels of government to establish good communication patterns prior to a catastrophe’s outbreak.

American Military University


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