Disaster Management Collaborative Practices

Local disasters happen on a regular basis. As a result, local organizations must act right away. (Col, 2007). Police, hospitals, and firefighters are a few of the major organizations that are essential to the initial reaction process. During catastrophes, these organizations frequently work together. But over time, this decreases, and new safeguards must be put in place in case another emergency arises. (Kapucu et al., 2013). In order to maintain the continuity of the collaborations between these organizations, this paper concentrates on the sustainability of networks in disaster management. This will go a long way toward ensuring that they execute flawlessly and admirably in dire circumstances. The paper will focus on the importance of this collaboration, how it can be formed and sustained, and the key aspects that determine its success.

Importance of Collaborative Networks in Disaster Management

Disaster management is a crucial function of the government and the success of a government is often weighed depending on the manner in which they handled disasters while in power. Disasters occur unannounced and respective government departments and agencies do not often have information on the resources and strategies required (Kapucu et al., 2013). Therefore, it is upon them to ensure that they are always prepared to respond to any emergency situation when it occurs. However, disasters come with challenges that may overcome the local governments and necessitate that they involve departments and agencies from other jurisdiction in the response plans (Kapucu, 2008).

Collaborative Networks in Disaster Management

Collaborative networks are key in determining the effectiveness of partnerships between local government agencies and other relevant departments in disaster management. They not only aid in the timely response of human and non-human entities in disasters but also ensure that there is proper coordination of their activities to reduce the impact of disasters on the affected individuals. Collaborative networks help the relevant entities to ensure that their activities are aligned towards the achievement of a common goal both before and during a disaster (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011). They help in facilitating efficient flow of information. This information is used in capacity building where the entities in charge understand the capabilities of each other and go ahead to implement strategies to ensure that they are in a position to supplement these capabilities in case need arises.

The Formation and Sustainability of Collaborative Networks by Counties in The US

In the US counties, entities in charge of disaster management seem to work efficiently under the hierarchies formulated in the respective jurisdictions (Col, 2007). Disaster management by agencies under county jurisdiction does not only involve response to distress. It also entails a rigorous process where the respective entities source for resources and combine them towards a common goal. This combining may not necessarily involve physically bringing together the resources. The sharing of information on the preparations and capabilities of the entities makes decision-making easier as the coordinators understand what should be done in case of a disaster (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011).

The Formation of Sustainable Networks in Emergency Management

The formation of collaborative networks in the United States has made the entities involved drift from the traditional structure and planning. Instead, stakeholders have focused on a new non-hierarchical structure that can allow flow of information and resources. The elimination of hierarchy from the structure is geared towards the enhancement of flexibility. This helps towards responding to the needs created in the ever-dynamic environmental conditions that disasters occur. The Emergency Management Assistance Compact's (EMAC) during hurricane Rita and Katrina demonstrated the efficiency that comes with an incorporated decision-making structure. EMAC's performance was lauded by stakeholders and has been utilized in formulating collaborative plans among other relevant entities (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011).

Key Aspects in The Formulation of Sustainable Networks in Emergency Management

Communication is the key pillar that supports networks in emergency management. Each entity should understand fully, or at least be able to estimate to a reliable extent, the capabilities of the other stakeholders. This will help the management in strategizing towards building capacities that can supplement that of the other entities. Communication enables these entities to update each other on their progress and the likely gaps that have to be filled both during the normal times and when responding to a disaster (Kapucu et al., 2013). The entities involved in disaster management should ensure that they establish reliable communication channels that allow the efficient sending, receiving, and interpreting of information and data from their partners. This can be done by giving such information priority over others (Kapucu, 2008).

Formation of sustainable networks also involves trust-building. Entities involved can only act on information and data provided by their counterparts if they are sure that they will replicate when time comes. Trust building involves showing the other stakeholders that the entity is committed to ensuring that each of them derive mutual benefits from the network. Stakeholders have been committed to bridging discrepancies in inter-agency value as a key strategy to enhance trust between them (Kapucu et al., 2013). These efforts establish shared mental values and help the entities in carrying out truthful and open exchange of ideas. This facilitates coordination and collaborations in the event of an emergency.


Sustainability of collaborations in emergency management is key in determining the efficiency of relevant entities. This can only be done if they establish strong communication with each other. The communication enhances the ability of the entities to understand the capabilities of their counterparts and aligning their policies and activities towards complementing them. This should be backed with trust-building that establishes shared mental values and enhances truthfulness and collaboration when sharing ideas.


Col, J. M. (2007). Managing disasters: The role of local government. Public administration review, 67(s1), 114-124.

Kapucu, N. (2008). Collaborative emergency management: better community organising, better public preparedness and response. Disasters, 32(2), 239-262.

Kapucu, N., & Garayev, V. (2011). Collaborative decision-making in emergency and disaster management. International Journal of Public Administration, 34(6), 366-375.

Kapucu, N., Garayev, V., & Wang, X. (2013). Sustaining networks in emergency management: a study of counties in the United States. Public Performance & Management Review, 37(1), 104-133.

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