Contingency Planning Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Integrated Emergency Management

In the last several years, the concept of integrated emergency management has been continually evolving. This is taking place by focusing on how communities, businesses and government officials are prepared for a host of events ranging from natural disasters to terrorism. In 2007, the UK experienced a series of floods between June and July. This was the largest peace time rescue operation in the history of Britain. (Flin 2008)

However, in the aftermath of these events, the government determined that more preparation needs to occur. To fully understand how these issues were addressed, requires looking at the shortcomings of the flood and what changes have been enacted. Together, these elements will illustrate the lasting lessons and the most appropriate steps to prepare for them. (Flin 2008)

Main Body

The Shortcomings of the Flood

The situation with the 2007 floods in the UK is showing how integrated emergency management must take place. This is because there was a lack of planning for these events. For the most part, everyone assumed that these were not as big of a threat to communities. This is from improvements in the ability to control flooding, through building a series of dams and water control projects. (Klein 2008)

These attitudes meant that a number of construction projects were built along the flood plains for many different rivers. In the summer of 2007, excessive amounts of rain created a situation where the water began to flood these areas. The problem was compounded by the fact that no one was prepared or felt that these regions would be vulnerable. When this happened, it meant that many communities were not prepared for these issues in the future. (Klein 2008)

A good example of this can be seen with observations from Howlett (2009) who found that Cabinet Office review illustrated the different types of knowledge for flood risk management. It also examined weaknesses in the current system. The government explored how to expand the knowledge base, the relationships among officials and local the changing nature of local community flood risks. Commenting about these challenges Howlett said, "The research involved stakeholder interviews undertaken before and after the 2007 floods, Severn catchment, UK and examination of policy documentation. At the same time, there was a focus on scale issues in relation to knowledge types suggesting that local knowledge can be 'expert' in large-scale mapping of flood processes. This reflects on how local flood knowledge can be captured, shared, harnessed and used and assimilated into governance structures for flood resilience planning." As a result, the 2007 UK flood experience is demonstrating key weaknesses and the impacts they are having on a variety of stakeholders. (Howlett 2009)

These insights are showing how the UK had no effective integrated emergency management system. The result is that these challenges could negatively have an impact on the way various stakeholders are interacting with each other. When this happens, the odds increase exponentially of a natural disaster having adverse consequences on everyone. (Howlett 2009)

Moreover, many local councils and communities were not prepared for the possibility of flooding. This is because most people assumed that these regions would not have any issues. As emergency flood control measures were used, to limit the total amounts of excessive water inside specific regions. The problem was compounded by the fact that a number of areas received above average amounts of rain within a short period. (Freudenburg 2009)

The combination of these factors created a situation where attitudes of complacency and a lack of planning compounded the problem. This enabled the crisis to become worse when the extra water began running through its traditional floodplain. The result is that many residents were stranded and there were limited amounts of resources to help them. (Freudenburg 2009)

A good example of this can be seen with observations from Handmer (2013) who said, "The summer of 2007 was, without a doubt, one of the wettest on record, but we have had wet summers before, indeed some quite recently. Analysis of the Meteorological Office's rainfall series for 1914-2007 for the United Kingdom shows that in about 20% of years the UK's summer rainfall was greater than the median winter and autumn rainfalls. However, the UK's summer rainfall for 2007 (357.1mm) was the second highest on record, and only marginally less than in the wettest year (1956, 358.4mm)."(Handmer 2013)

This is demonstrating how the flooding in the UK was the result of above average rains during the summer months. The fact that most people felt this would not happen, made the underlying situation worse. This is because; attitudes of complacency began to influence the opinions of government officials and communities.

Over the long-term, Parliament cut funding for these programs. At the same time, there was no clear authority on who was in charge. Once the disaster hit, is the point these issues became more pronounced. This is when, there were clear challenges impacting officials and the long-term effects on a variety of stakeholders. (Hindmoor 2006)

What Changes have been Enacted?

In light of these events, the government experienced a number of criticisms directed at their ability to deal with these challenges. What made the situation worse is a report from the Metrological Office found that many regions of the country were going to experience above average amounts of rain from El Nino like conditions. However, no ministers had the authority or responsibility to enact any kind of changes. (Dryzek 2009)

Evidence of this can be seen with information uncovered by the Drennan. He concluded that ministers were warned months ago that the country faced heavy flooding this summer. Yet, nothing was done to protect vulnerable towns and villages. Early in 2007, the Met Office and the government knew the El Nino effect, would change global weather patterns more than usual. However, at the same time, the government was planning to cut jobs at the Environment Agency, (which deals with theses defenses). Moreover, water companies had been prevented from building larger storm water drains and sewage systems. This is illustrating how the lack of planning led to more people facing tremendous challenges in those areas most vulnerable to flooding. (Drennan 2007)

The result is the government took specific actions to increase funding, planning and coordination among communities. The biggest changes occurred with the passage of the Flood and Water Management Act of 2010. This gives more power to the Environmental Agency and local authorities to prepare flood defenses. These shifts, require both entities working together to understand the potential threats and creating plans for dealing with them. (Birkland 2006)

At the same time, it provided added amount of funding for first responders, local and national governments. The basic idea is to provide them with the resources they need, in order to be prepared for these disasters in the future. This is used, to help communities to create sustainable drainage systems such as soak-aways. (Birkland 2006)

Moreover, there is an emphasis on creating a working strategy which can deal with these challenges in the longer term through effective planning for growth and emergencies. These elements help everyone to have a basic strategy to combat flooding in a host of regions. This is based upon the recommendations provide to the government. The most notable include:

• Establishing a Cabinet Committee dedicated to tackling the risk of flooding, bringing flooding in line with other major risks such as pandemic flu and terrorism.

• Publishing monthly summaries of progress during the recovery phase of major flooding events, including number of households still displaced.

• Ensuring proper resourcing of flood resilience measures, with above inflation increases every spending review.

• Establishing a National Resilience Forum to facilitate national level planning for flooding and other emergencies.

• Having pre-planned financial arrangements for responding to the financial burden of exceptional emergencies.


Cite This Essay:

"Contingency Planning" (2014, April 04) Retrieved December 5, 2016, from

"Contingency Planning" 04 April 2014. Web.5 December. 2016. <>

"Contingency Planning", 04 April 2014, Accessed.5 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Individual Financial Contingency Planning

    Individual Financial Contingency Planning Temporary Assistance is the temporary help for the needy women, men, and children. If one is cannot find a job or the job is not providing enough, and unable to work, temporary assistance ill help in paying the expenses. There are two types of Temporary Assistance programs: Family Assistance (FA) and Safety Net Assistance (SNA). Family Assistance is the provision of cash assistance to the needy families,

  • Risk Assessment and Contingency Planning

    Key challenge in any contingency planning and risk assessment process is to generate and maintain commitment and participation in the process from senior decision-makers and those at the working level within organizations, keeping the process dynamic and up-to-date is another key challenge, too often contingency plans and risk assessment processes have been 'consigned to the shelf' after the initial planning has been completed. Therefore to be truly effective, contingency planning

  • Planning Programming and Budgeting Understanding

    ..ERP combines them all together into a single, integrated software program that runs of a single database so that the various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other." (Pang, 2001) the work of Les Pang (2001) entitled: "Manager's Guide to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems" published in the Information Systems Control Journal informs this study that over the past ten years an organizations have significantly experienced

  • Planning A Literature Review in

    The value of this case study is demonstrative. It demonstrates how contingency planning can be used, but it says nothing of the results. A quasi-experimental design was used by Chermack & Kim (2008) to explore the effect of scenario planning on decision-making styles. It was found hat participants in scenario planning have a tendency to make a mental shift towards intuitive-based decision-making styles after their participation in the scenario planning

  • Contingency Approach to Change Contingency Approach Developmental

    Contingency Approach to Change Contingency Approach Developmental transitions, task-focused transitions, charismatic transformations, turnarounds and Taylorist methods Contingency theory suggests that there is no singular, prescriptive way of enacting change. Rather, the specific circumstances must be taken into consideration. In general, contingency theory proposes that change is dependent upon the relationship between the leaders and followers, the structure of the task, and the position of the leader (Doyle & Smith 2001). For example,

  • Comprehensive Disaster Planning

    Disaster Planning A Review of Crisis and Disaster Prevention Literature Disasters strike weekly, sometimes daily, all around the world. Crises happen, simply because humans create and perpetuate them. This is why nations and the leaders within them, just as companies and their leaders, ought to be ready for any eventuality. Crisis and disaster prevention thus becomes, not a need, but a vital fact of reality, and those who want to survive

  • Business Workplace Continuity and Contingency

    Threats due to weather include floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards. Planning for weather events should be very realistic in nature. Major weather events usually occur in 25, 50 and 100-year cycles. Disease outbreaks are also a big threat. A potential flu pandemic could be detrimental to many businesses. For example, the bird flu pandemic scenarios that are floating around are being modeled on the Spanish flu pandemic of

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved