Introduction to Emergency Management. By George D. Haddow and Jane A. Bullock; published by Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 800/545-2522 (phone), www.bh.com (Web); 275 pages; $49.95.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, Newton said. Likewise, adding action to the narrative of a book or movie usually produces a commensurate positive reaction from readers and viewers. Although books on security, by the very nature of the industry, are particularly suited to action, it's remarkable how many of them are lifeless and abstract.
Not so this book on emergency management, where the protagonists--disasters--take center stage. The authors load the book with bracing case studies and examples, which have infinitely more impact than generalizations and theories.
But the case studies and examples go beyond giving life to the book. They also inspire ideas that emergency managers can themselves implement.
The book is organized logically, leading the reader through specific disciplines of emergency management, including preparedness, disaster, response, mitigation, recovery, and communications. Though the book focuses on emergency management in the United States, the concepts can be transferred to other nations. And one interesting chapter on international issues focuses on the impact of disasters on developing countries, in the process detailing systems and resources of the United Nations.
Of particular note is a chapter on emergency management and the new terrorist threat. It plumbs into the detail of emergency management after 9-11 and the anthrax mailings. Specifically, the chapter touches on economic losses, first responders, lessons learned, remaining challenges, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. The chapter acquits itself nicely in its description of the department and its impact.
Two appendices offer a wealth of resources, including a list of emergency management Web sites and a glossary of acronyms. The combination of this material with the case studies, facts and figures, examples, diagrams, and templates makes this book a fine resource.
Reviewer: Mark Folmer, CPP, is the general manager for Intercon Security Limited, located in Calgary, Alberta. He is the legislative representative for the Calgary/Southern Alberta Chapter of ASIS International.