Comprehensive Common Operating Picture (COP) for Disaster Response
Monograph, Jul 2011-Apr 2012
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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In the aftermath of the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, government reviews highlighted the need to implement a comprehensive Common Operating Picture COP. The COP requirements were to provide the situational awareness needed to improve understanding and facilitate collaborative decision-making across all echelons. Today, seven years after Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA, the governments lead entity for disaster response, has yet to implement a comprehensive COP, why FEMA has made notable advances in programs that support coordination and collaboration and has established an active posture focused on situational awareness. However, these advances serve purposes other than that of establishing a COP. To answer the research question it was first necessary to describe how FEMA currently obtains information to create situational awareness for disaster response. Next it was necessary to examine the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina to identify the information that were needed by emergency managers but lacked. Lastly, research was necessary to determine the authority and responsibilities that govern state, local and federal decision-making because those responsibilities determine their information needs.
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