The development of the human civilization is associated with the persistent impact on the environment. The scale of this impact is measured through the number of ecological changes, which are exposed in a form of various footprints. As a result of human activity, the changes of the ecology bring certain environmental hazards for people. The most typical fears of this issue are connected with the global climate change, which is generally believed to be caused by a man-made factor. However, the history of humanity brings other concerns associated with the emergency. Apparently, such factors as revolutionary social changes, wars, virus epidemics and other become typical for both developing and the developed countries. Therefore, one needs to perform the analysis of the recent issues regarding emergency and disaster issues and their management. This analysis would allow introducing a comprehensive program designed to manage the most relevant and urgent emergencies of the contemporary time. The implemented measures would lead to the control of industrial, political, financial and social resources maintaining ecologically friendly and peaceful life on the planet.
Emergency and Disaster Management at Different Levels of Organization
A wide range of emergencies of the modern world endangers big and small communities as well as the developed and developing countries. The environmental disasters may influence the location of the country. However, those having a social origin or influenced by the social factor have more destructive effect for the developing countries. Cascio claims that modern developed countries have a wide range of technological solutions to manage various emergencies. At the same time, a poor level of technological and cultural progress of the developing countries prevents them from the provision of valid and timely responses. Additionally, the situation in such regions might be aggravated by different social conflicts. For instance, the processes of responding to Ebola in Ghana and the US would have totally different patterns. The WHO statistic claims that Ghana has increased children mortality rate, low total expenditures on health as well as problems with the usage of fresh water and sanitation. Therefore, the country with the low overall development in the medical sphere cannot compete with the US in terms of timely responses or comprehensive medical programs. Additionally, the problem is aggravated by insufficient knowledge and skills of local medical personnel. That is why countries similar to Ghana are more exposed to the threats of the social origin. Their economic problems significantly restrain the development of the social areas. Additionally, one presumes that such countries have weak responses to natural emergencies. For instance, experts in this sphere claim that in case hurricane Sandy landed in Malaysia, this country would suffer from significantly more losses than the US. Such statements are based on the facts that the local government and services have no equipment predicting hurricanes and informing the citizens. Scholars argue that “the early preparation is the key of success in surviving through natural disaster”. That is why Malaysia and other developing countries are less protected against natural emergencies when compared with the developed ones.
Furthermore, such organizations as United Nations Organization and World Health Organization support various countries in their disaster responses. The typical example of it is the UN military and police, which assist in resolving military conflicts and the consequences of natural disasters. The quantity of such personnel is estimated to be around 97,000 people from over 110 countries, which monitor disputed borders, secure conflict zones, protect civilians and other. Other non-governmental and international organizations (NGOs) provide disaster response addressing more narrow aspects because of their limited resources. For instance, African Action on AIDS (AAA) helps African youth in five countries gaining knowledge about the nature and prevention of HIV and AIDS. Additionally, Serbian organization Anti Sex Trafficking Action (ASTRA) is a regional European anti-trafficking network of organizations resolving different human right issues. According to the statistics of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2015, there were estimated to be 3204 NGOs of local, regional and worldwide levels. Furthermore, various financial institutions provide assistance to populations suffering from disasters. Usually, they are directed by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction in order to manage the problems effectively. The example of such work is the establishment of a 2007 World Food Programme, which assisted the populations of Far- and Mid-West regions of Nepal to combat food shortage. Such initiatives aim at providing the support of populations, which become vulnerable after hurricane and flood strikes as well as other natural and manmade disasters. These organizations demonstrate that society can unite and effectively respond to various contemporary threats even without the initiatives of the governments.
Moreover, one should mention that the emergency management is being gradually transformed in order to respond the upcoming disaster trends. Apparently, one of such threats is terrorism, which may endanger any community independently of its location, wealth, religious or other beliefs. Terrorism is defined as a low-cost method of raising awareness of the messages of radical groups of people and influence the attitudes and actions of the endangered communities. The danger of terrorism after 9/11 and Boston Marathon attacks has become a reality of modern days. That is why various governmental and non-governmental organizations aim at raising the level of the domestic security in order to prevent terrorism. One of them, is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was established by President Bush in 2002 after the 9/11 attack in 2001. Its basic aim was established as providing “comprehensive and effective means to disseminate information regarding the terrorist acts to federal, state, and local authorities and to the American people”. At the same time, DHS failed to provide an adequate response to other critical issues, which has been demonstrated by Hurricane Katrina. Experts claim that a poor response was the cause of a failure to manage a number of risk factors, among which was the ineffective leadership of DHS. Therefore, it is a primary priority of the government to improve the efficacy of DHS as a leader of federal, state, and local disaster responses in the future. Consequently, modern societies have a wide range of methods in order to provide timely and valid disaster responses. At the same time, different countries and communities have to help each other raising the efficacy of the responses. Additionally, some governmental institutions, such as DHS, require changes in their policy allowing them to manage various disasters more effectively.
Summarizing the presented information, one comes to a conclusion that the modern world has enough knowledge and resources to assure valid and timely disaster responses. It is important for the communities of different levels of development to collaborate their resources and knowledge in order to raise the effectiveness of their emergency responses. There are thousands of governmental and non-governmental institutions helping small and large communities in the management of their problems. At the same time, there are new social threats such as terrorism, which require the introduction of new levels of the national security. Likewise, some organizations such as the Department of Homeland security require changes in their policy in order to manage various threats more effectively. Therefore, people have enough knowledge and resources for disaster management, but they require paying more attention to the issues of emergency response management.