By Terry L. Wettig
Industry leader reviews top text on emergency planning.
***** Emergency Planning. By Ronald W. Perry and Michael K. Lindell; published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., www.wiley.com (Web); 552 pages; $51.95.
Now more than ever, the public appreciates the critical value of emergency management, yet few see the gargantuan planning effort that serves as its foundation; they just hope that when called to service, responders will be effective. By reading and following Emergency Planning, those responsible for emergency preparedness can ensure that their plans are current and effective when needed.
This 552-page book is, at first glance, an intimidating read. Yet the book's detailed table of contents and organization throughout show that the authors' approach to this complex subject is both logical and systematic. While designed primarily as a college textbook, this work can serve as a reference guide for planners across the emergency management spectrum.
The authors use the CASE Learning System (Content, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation), along with learning aids and assessment tools to get their points across. Each chapter outlines learning goals and presents tests at the beginning, middle, and end so that students can assess their progress.
Applying an all-hazards approach to real-world examples, the authors guide readers through the intricacies of plan development, governmental roles, and methods of fostering community support. The book does a great job of emphasizing that just preparing for disasters is not enough. Planners need to understand the people, the political systems, and the infrastructure of their areas of operation. The text also differentiates between issues specific to natural versus man-made disasters.
The authors put their nearly 70 years' collective experience together to make Emergency Planning a ready reference guide for anyone from college students to seasoned emergency planners at the local, state, and national levels. It could also be useful for members of the media who need to understand the planning and processes they often cover.
Reviewer: Terry L. Wettig is the senior security analyst with SchoolSecure in Champaign, Illinois. A retired U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant, he is a member of ASIS International.