Good Example Of Project Communication Plan Assignment Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Disaster, Government, Management, Hurricane, Emergency, Wind, Politics, Hurricane Katrina

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/06

Project Communication Plan Assignment

Emergency correspondents get involved prior or during disasters to help survivors and salvage property. The improbability and uncommonness of disasters make it difficult for responders to corroborate that their response plans will be successful. However, due to such situations the organizations concerned with emergency response employ procedures for establishing and distributing lessons in the hope that others will make improvements in the future. Despite such efforts, there has been evidence that implies that mistakes are still repeated unique to every new incident. The 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster was not well managed in terms of the structure of command, control mechanisms and existing structural plans by the Federal response. Control centers in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and in the Federal government had undecided, overlapping functions and tasks that were appearing to be faulty during the disaster (Littlefield & Quenette, 2007). The lack of coordination that was illustrated at the Federal centre was an indication of the kind of confusion that existed. Most government personnel deployed during the disaster had no knowledge of the National Incident Management System.

Failures of Leadership and Fixes

Some of the failures in leadership during the Hurricane Katrina disaster are:
Uncoordinated leadership
Failed communications
Weak planning
Resources constraints
Poor public relations
Uncoordinated Leadership
Uncertain, numerous, conflicting control structures are unavoidable when disaster strikes. This is because when disaster many agencies are involved each with a responsibility to channel its resources. For this reason, specific roles and responsibilities propagate with the each agency trying to combat problems relevant to their department. There lack unity because there is unspecified leadership which leads to duplication of some of the efforts and at times conflict. It is important to have interagency training so that responders from different agencies can work in a sound manner during a disaster. This will ensure that incident management functions are practiced in a coordinated manner.
Judgements are made in several ways on the different leaders that succeed each other. This fact is true and is supported by the fact that the opinions made about a particular leader may change with time. It is also critical to note that humanity will never go short of opinions. Decentralization of responsibilities avoids organizational disasters such as the failure experienced during the Hurricane Katrina.

Failed Communications

According to experts, a communications structure is like a game of dominos when one part collapses the rest follow. If communications fails then the rest of response fails as well (Harrald, 2006). A primary difficulty with disasters is that they obliterate physical infrastructure this includes vital communication equipment. For instance, Hurricane Katrina tore down the transport and communications infrastructure all over the Gulf Coast Region. The total destruction of communication and transport networks resulted in an unreliable infrastructure from which responders and citizens could coordinate. This problem can be resolved through the willingness to agree on a shared system, committing to operate using this system and the discipline to use it appropriately.

Weak Planning

The evacuation troubles that were witnessed in New Orleans left thousands of individuals clueless on how to leave the city during the Katrina disaster. This problem was probable as the city had an inadequate evacuation plan; the plan highlighted on evacuation but did not give details on where the citizens would be evacuated to and the responsibilities of government respondents. When creating a planning process it is important that agencies clearly outline the requirements of each department and how the efforts may be coordinate across the different agencies.

Communication Matrix

Matters concerning susceptibility, storms, hurricanes and wild fires are most prevalent alarms for many organizational structures such as governments and corporations. Most of these crises occur without warning but due to advanced warning efforts can be made to predict and manage them. The most appropriate methods to manage these forms of crises are to employ an all-inclusive, well-detailed plan to deal with the options for resource allocation. This can be accomplished by carrying out an emergency sustainable communications matrix.
The US Disaster Response Matrix is decentralized at the national level because it is divided amongst the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Disaster response in the US is a state and local government responsibility, and the function of federal control is mainly supportive. During Hurricane Katrina, the synchronization of efforts was a great challenge especially with the complicated disaster preparation arrangements in place and the numerous numbers of people that need to work together. For instance, in Louisiana, there are 64 counties at the local level and each has an emergency preparation manager who answers to the county president, response policies, and procedures.
The series of response matrices available did not correlate efficiently during the hurricane. For example, agencies from various counties relied on similar transportation sources, which resulted in inadequate capacity. The regional rehearsals and planning had not been conducted this resulted in disordered efforts in local coordination. Furthermore, the many dysfunctional matrices at the regional and local levels the aspects of the federal disaster response matrix did not border efficiently with each other. According to a report by the US House of Representatives, it was established that there were problems at the various levels (Waugh, 2006). The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency did not have properly and experienced personnel. Both agencies had challenges coordinating activities. When responders look at the planning from the point of view of those being served will make easy incorporation of resources and quicker assimilation of rescue effort into the fabric of the community. An all needs matrix to integrate, compare and resolve all of the issues with regard to needs, populations, emergency strategies, communications, and providers.

Hierarch of Roles

After the Hurricane, a matrix was created to offer taxonomic structure for populations in terms of resources to meet common needs across populations. The vital roles leading up to a disaster involve coordinating multiorganizational, intergovernmental and inter sectoral response and recovery operations. People become more involved when the disaster gets larger and larger, therefore, important to create a unified command system. A unified command system means more sharing of information and coordination of effort. However, taking part in decision-making is restricted in major emergency response actions. In large jurisdictions such as New Orleans, the emergency management director works as an agent of the chief executive officer and provides strategic direction when necessary. The differences are delineated between the coordinative roles of the emergency manager and the operational role of first responders.
Figure 1: Hierarch in Roles during a Disaster (Birkland & Waterman, 2008)

Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities

Disaster plans encompass local, state and federal government agencies during their formulation. The local government department includes; city manager, finance, public works, planning, police, fire, building inspector and local floodplain administrator. The roles and responsibilities are as follows:

Responsible for hiring contractors

Accountable for reporting the status of the recovery effort to the public, mayor and city council
Active in the policy change
Documenting disaster expenditures
Tracking of reimbursable costs
Financial tracking of grant applications
Public Works
Post-disaster damage assessment
Restoring pubic water and sewer
Restoration of damaged infrastructure
Developing disaster recovery plan
Developing pre and post-disaster grant applications
Dissemination of disaster assistance information
Identification of suitable sites for post-disaster reconstruction
Police and Fire
Police should assist individuals in need of help
Police should also protect public and private property
The fire department should initiate search and rescue
They should also suppress fires
Assist with damage assessments
The general roles of responsibilities of the State Emergency Management are:
Creating and sustaining an emergency management program
Organization of state-wide training
Provision of technical assistance and funding
Coordination of post-disaster assistance
Intermediary between local and federal government
Local needs assessment
In conclusion, the Hurricane Katrina served as a major revelation to the condition of the national, local disaster management communication plan. Since the disaster, there has been an established Disaster Recovery Division in 2012 and a $5billion funding by Congress to cater for the recovery projects after Katrina. The disaster resulted in 60,000 damaged homes in the coastal counties the damaged had extended to regions that FEMA had not expected. Major infrastructures were destroyed though the reaction to the disaster was chaotic the hurricane’s strength was as not expected.


Birkland, T., & Waterman, S. (2008). Is federalism the reason for policy failure in Hurricane Katrina?. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 38(4), 692-714.
Harrald, J. R. (2006). Agility and discipline: Critical success factors for disaster response. The annals of the American Academy of political and Social Science, 604(1), 256-272.
Littlefield, R. S., & Quenette, A. M. (2007). Crisis leadership and Hurricane Katrina: The portrayal of authority by the media in natural disasters. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 35(1), 26-47.
Waugh, W. L. (2006). The political costs of failure in the Katrina and Rita disasters. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 604(1), 10-25.

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