Emergency responses usually happen before and during disasters so as to save people and property. The nature of disasters, such as hurricanes and terror plots, is that they are unpredictable and they make it hard for emergency responders to confirm that their response initiatives will be fruitful. Regardless, homeland security agencies have a mandate to ensure that disasters shouldn’t happen when they can be prevented, and when they do occur, an effective response should mitigate the harm caused. According to Bullock, Haddow, and Coppola (2013), one of the ways that security agencies can prevent and minimize is by putting in place information sharing mechanisms that encourage all stakeholders to report vital information that could help save lives (p. 231). This essay discusses the importance of the exchange of information as well as one disaster incident where information sharing failed.
Failed Information Sharing Emergency Incident
The Oklahoma City Bombing of 1995 was an event where communication and command issues posed challenges. The Oklahoma Coty Bombing was a car bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, which occurred on April 19, 1995. The incident, executed by Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh, caused the death of 168 people, injured over 600 people, and resulted in the destruction of over 300 buildings. In this incident, just as seen in 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, communication was not available immediately as the event was occurring. Response communities could not communicate. What happened was that the communication infrastructure that was in place was too weak.
Seifert and Relyea (2004) state that information sharing ensures efficient mitigation and prevention of disasters (p. 401). In the absence of a robust information exchange framework, it is likely that preventable harm could occur. The Incident Command System (ICS), as well as the Integrated Emergency Management System, did not function well as the event unfolded. The implication was that the various agencies such as the federal, local, and state agencies could not communicate with each other. Also, the responders on the ground could not get the message to the relevant authorities. The consequence of this communication was that more lives were lost. More people were injured and property destroyed. If there were a proper communication channel and information was shared prior, and during the incident, the tragedy could have been foiled or mitigated.
The homeland security realm is quite broad and may encompass policy areas across many spectrums. According to the NGA Center for Best Practices (2007), communication and information sharing is one of the critical areas of homeland security that shows emergency preparedness (p. 8). State, federal, and local governments and stakeholders must put in place measures for sharing intelligence so as to deter and response to incidents effectively. Some guidelines exist that help stakeholders establish fusion centers as well as information sharing initiatives.
Bullock, J. A. , Haddow, G. D. & Coppola, D. P. (2013). Introduction to homeland
security (5th ed.). Waltham, MA: Elsevier Inc.
NGA Center for Best Practices. (2007). A governor’s guide to homeland security.
Seifert, J. W., & Relyea, H. C. (2004). Do you know where your information is in the
homeland security era? Government Information Quarterly, 21(4), pp. 399–405.
” The issue of information sharing between organizations was addressed in your post; however, the focus seemed to be on the ability of organizations to communicate. Keep in mind these are different issues. Try to identify other issues and impacts resulting from organizations not sharing information (elaboration is needed). Feel free to let me know if you need some guidance to get started.”
Respond to the concerns mentioned in the bold paragraph ABOVE base on the section above it… in APA format with At least two reference…..