Part I: Introduce yourself to your classmates with your
name, location, current employment, and future goals.
Part II: The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919 spread
worldwide and occurred in waves, resulting in the deaths of nearly five percent
of the world population. Do you think the United States is vulnerable to a flu
pandemic today? Why, or why not? What has changed since the Great Flu Pandemic
of 1918–19 that affects your answer? Give specific examples to support your
In Chapter 3 of the course textbook, David Butler considers
whether the Texas City Explosion meets the description of a human-caused
disaster resulting from the failure of complex systems. What is your opinion?
Do you think this disaster fits the criteria of a failure of complex systems?
Why, or why not? Discuss your reasoning.
According to the textbook, the Federal Disaster Assistance
Act of 1950 (P.L. 81-875) defined the roles and responsibilities during natural
disasters. Once the president issued a disaster declaration, federal relief
resources could flow to the affected areas for response and recovery. The
president would then delegate administrative control of relief efforts to the
Housing and Home Finance Administration. This law also instituted the federal
role in natural disasters as a supportive role, while instituting primary
responsibility for disaster response and recovery with local and state
governments. How had this changed by 1978? Why did it change? Do you agree with
the change? Why, or why not?
The textbook describes Presidential Disaster Declarations
and states that to some degree, they constitute a chronological record of the
pain and suffering caused by the major focusing events that have occurred in
the United States history. Consider the Presidential Disaster Declarations.
Which two declarations seems to be the most important in a disaster situation?
Explain your reasoning.
In this lesson, we learned that major catastrophes like
Katrina require a disaster response and recovery capability that is both
disciplined and agile. Recently, Hurricane Harvey, also a major Category 4
storm, impacted the Gulf Coast, not too far from where Hurricane Katrina made
In your opinion, how was the outcome of this hurricane
response and recovery effort different from the outcome of Katrina? What
differences did you see in organization (policy, structure, procedures) and
agility (creativity, improvisation, and adaption) that contributed to this
difference in outcome?
The media is often a considerable factor in how the public
views the relative success or failure of the disaster response to major
catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina. Do you think the media provides a good
service to the public, or do you think the media is detrimental to the disaster
response and recovery efforts? In your discussion, give an example to support
Describe some of the mistakes you believe were made leading
up to and in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. What actions do you
believe BP could have taken to prevent the spill or minimize the effects of it?
Discuss how the concepts in this course can be applied to
real-world situations and increase your chances of career or life success.