THE MAGAZINE

Introduction to Emergency Management, Second Edition

By Jim Ellis, CPP, PSP, CSSM

***** Introduction to Emergency Management, Second Edition. By George D. Haddow and Jane A. Bullock; published by Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, Item #1683, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 408 pages; $60 (ASIS members), $66 (nonmembers).

Already a staple in introductory emergency management and security certification courses, the original version of Introduction to Emergency Management quickly established itself as a well-written, easily read, and readily understood primer when it was released in 2003. This update is timely, especially given the occurrence of three of the most intense hurricanes in recorded history, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and an earthquake in Pakistan since the original book’s publication.

Authors George Haddow and Jane Bullock examine emergency management with a focus on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its role in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With insiders’ views of their agency born from their time with FEMA in the late 1990s, Haddow and Bullock have special insight into the responsibilities and organization of FEMA.

In this second edition, new information details FEMA’s 2003 absorption into DHS, as well as new marching orders given by various presidential directives. Discussion of the National Response Plan (the successor to the very capable Federal Response Plan) and the organizational structure of DHS makes the point that DHS is focused on terrorism and crime reduction, not disaster management and mitigation.

Although the critique of FEMA is spot on, the authors’ political jabs at the organization are sometimes gratuitous. It does not really seem necessary to point out that the original candidate to replace Tom Ridge as Secretary of DHS, Bernard Kerik, was dropped due to tax problems. Nor does it add anything to mention that the 2002 midterm elections gave the President the Republican majority in Congress to push through the homeland security bill that created DHS.

That’s not to say that all of their commentary that has political implications is off base, however. For example, they make the excellent point that mitigation (the practice of identifying and proactively correcting problems that may lead to disasters) is more cost effective, by a ratio of two to one, according to FEMA’s own figures, than the current focus on postdisaster response and recovery. They also make a well-founded argument against DHS’s focus on training and funding for terrorism response to the almost complete exclusion of training and funding for natural disasters.

Overall, this second edition is a worthy successor to the original, offering new thoughts, figures, and conclusions. It will leave practitioners eagerly anticipating a third edition.


Reviewer: Jim Ellis, CPP, PSP, CSSM (Certified in Security Supervision and Management), is the physical security planner for the Principal Financial Group of Des Moines, Iowa. He holds a B.A. in Justice Studies from Rhode Island College and is currently enrolled in the Master’s in Security Management Program at Webster University. He is an Assistant Regional Vice President for ASIS International.

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