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Heriberto Urby, Ph.D. FEMA HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE June 2011 MEXICO’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: MORE NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT.

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Presentation on theme: "Heriberto Urby, Ph.D. FEMA HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE June 2011 MEXICO’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: MORE NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Heriberto Urby, Ph.D. FEMA HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE June 2011 MEXICO’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: MORE NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT

2 Outline of Presentation Introduction Significant hazards and vulnerability in Mexico Major disaster history – three of top 100 worst disasters Law and organization Emergency management activities Lessons for other countries Conclusion and Recommendations

3 INTRODUCTION More serious, intense, and frequent disasters are expected, especially in densely-populated urban areas Mexico must continue to bring its emergency management system to standards necessary for humankind in the 21 st century

4 Significant hazards and vulnerabilities Earthquakes Tornadoes Floods Wildfires Droughts Mudslides Tsunamis Gas Explosions

5 Major disaster history 3 worst disasters among world’s top 100 have occurred in Mexico Attitudes of fatalism are still strong Mexico’s large urban areas are permanently on the verge of disaster

6 Major emergency management laws of this nation Systems of Civil Protection, etc. Mexico’s organizational structure Highly bureaucratic and hierarchical (i.e., vertical) organizational chart for emergency management Law and Organization

7 Emergency management activities Mitigation – better land use planning; educating the public (especially children) about hazards and ways to not only reduce but also prevent risk Preparedness – developed response procedures, installation of warning systems, evacuations plans, simulation exercises, and training of emergency personnel Response – bring damaged services and systems back online, search and rescue, food and shelter programs, how to better deal with emergent groups Recovery – help restore normal operations to the community fast and effectively. Restoration of power, water and other municipal services

8 (Negative) Lessons Learned Many first responders are not certified; this can (and often does) create a disaster-within-a-disaster. Collaboration among emergency managers in the past has been very minimal (i.e., more collaboration is needed). Public intervention needed to protect life, livelihood, and property has been insufficient, erratic, and late in coming (Puente, 1999).

9 (Positive) Lessons Learned Prevention, through reduction of vulnerability, may contribute to the creation of a culture of safety. If professionalism in EM is improved, emergency managers’ effectiveness will increase.

10 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Mexico’s EM system has improved in last 2-3 decades; more to 21 st century standards, however more progress is needed Encourage participation in “simulacros,” and more collaborative public-private endeavors The government could afford more incentives and opportunities to enhance public participation in the EM system

11 THANK YOU! Questions Comments


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