THE MAGAZINE

Introduction to Emergency Management

By W. Todd Best

***** Introduction to Emergency Management. By Michael K. Lindell, Carla Prater, and Ronald W. Perry; published by John Wiley & Sons Inc., www.wiley.com (Web); 624 pages; $51.95.

With tragic natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina still fresh in people’s minds, and with the constant threat of disasters, both natural and man-made, security managers must be proactive, incorporating emergency plans as a fundamental part of any security operation, and preparedness starts with education. In Introduction to Emergency Management, the authors successfully present all aspects of emergency management in an organized and thorough manner.

The content is comprehensive and well-organized; fundamental concepts are dealt with first, after which the author delves into more involved subject matter. From defining hazards, emergencies, and disasters to discussing the future of the discipline and emergency management in foreign countries, the book covers virtually every aspect of the issue. Granted, it provides only a general overview of subjects, but an extensive bibliography gives readers additional resources that can offer more in-depth information.

The textbook format lends itself to students. Simple, direct language is used to define terms and explain concepts, and each chapter is organized consistently, with pretest questions, new terms introduced, and learning objectives listed. Numerical headings make for quick reference, and examples are included to clarify ideas. Summary and review questions at the end of each chapter help tie information together, while open-ended questions are added to encourage focused reflection on the subject matter.

A unique feature of the book lets readers access further resources through the publisher’s Web site. A companion study site offers additional tests that anyone can take before and after reading this book, as well as other resources, like a 2002 FEMA summary of post-9-11 reports, a 2006 report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and a 2006 Government Accountability Office critique of the Katrina response.

Clearly a textbook designed with students and teachers in mind, the Introduction to Emergency Management also gives managers a handy reference for terms, concepts, and subject matter. Its clarity and solid organization make it an outstanding text for students and a good source of information for anyone wanting to improve their fundamental knowledge of the subject.

Reviewer: W. Todd Best, CPP, is the assistant security manager for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and an Air Force Reservist assigned to the 442nd Security Forces Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. He has experience with creating and managing emergency plans in a variety of environments and is a member of ASIS International.

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