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The MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management
Disaster Central
MCNY's Emergency and Disaster Management Blog

Special Powers Legislation, Terrorism, and Emergency Management

August 4, 2008

Throughout history, governments have during times of crisis devised and/or enacted special powers legislation as part of their efforts to thwart acts of terrorism, the growth of insurgency movements, and to allow for a more effective response to emergency situations.  In some instances, this special powers legislation has taken the form of martial law or curfews in the wake of a hydrological or seismological event, while in others it has resulted in significant changes to national law, protocol, and tradition.  In the United States, many on both sides of the political aisle point to the USA PATRIOT ACT as an example of special powers legislation – there are, however, differing views as to its efficacy and Constitutional legitimacy, and each side has its respective strengths and weaknesses.

There may also prove future instances where special powers legislation might be needed to enable a more robust response to, and recovery from, a catastrophic event.  Emergency managers at all levels of government may want to consider those scenarios under which special powers legislation might be needed, and what form this legislation would take.  In addition to curfews, special powers legislation might extend to containment and quarantine regulations and procedures, or to the handling of hundreds of thousands of decedent remains in an expeditious manner.  As part of their respective preparedness matrices, Emergency Management planners and policymakers may wish to consider the value and appropriateness of special powers legislation in advance of a catastrophic event.

What are your thoughts on the use of special or emergency powers legislation as a strategy and a tactic in the Emergency Management and Homeland Security communities?  Should there be limits to special powers legislation, and should all legislation of this type contain “sunset” or “renewal” clauses?  Is it possible that special powers legislation successfully prevents acts of terrorism?

Disaster Central welcomes your thoughts and insights.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Anti-Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, Emergency Management Planning, Homeland Security. Comments Off

Disaster Central is also a resource for information relating to MCNY’s MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, as well as providing insight and commentary on the topics of Disaster Management, Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Welcome to Disaster Management Blog

March 20, 2008

I’m Professor Ali Gheith, director of the MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security at Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), and I cordially welcome you to our Emergency Management blog, Disaster Central. It’s a catchy name, I know, but particularly so because of the vital subject matter it covers.

Right now at Disaster Central, we’re discussing numerous general topics relating to Emergency Management and Homeland Security, such as:

  • Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Terrorism
  • Maritime Domain Protection
  • Intelligence and Information-Sharing
  • Emergency Management Planning
  • Airline and Transportation Security
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Public Sector Continuity
  • Exercise Design
  • Human Services
  • Evacuation and Sheltering
  • Emergency Preparedness

Within each of these topics, Disaster Central features themed discussions that draw upon historical, operational, cultural, economic, philosophical, technological, political, and other sources and examples to create an on-line forum for the advancement of knowledge, insights, and wisdom relating to the Emergency Management and Homeland Security disciplines.

Disaster Central also posts topics relating to past emergency management and homeland security events, including historic natural, human-made, and technological disasters. In these posts, participants can discuss the circumstances behind some of history’s catastrophes, both large and small, as well as the often-harsh lessons learned.

Disaster Central is also a resource for information relating to MCNY’s MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and on how you can apply for admission to this selective program.

While one of the cardinal rules in politics is never make it personal, and never take it personally, Disaster Central respectfully requests that participants avoid engaging in personal attacks, threats, inflammatory language, and other unprofessional behaviors that can hinder an intelligent and relevant discourse on emergency management and homeland security topics. This includes the use of profanity. Thank you in advance for your professional cooperation, and welcome to Disaster Central, MCNY’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security blog.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Airline Security, Anti-Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Emergency Management Planning, Emergency Preparedness, Exercise Design, Homeland Security, Human Services, Intelligence and Information-Sharing, Maritime Domain Protection, Natural Disasters, Public Sector Continuity, Sheltering. Comments Off

Disaster Central is also a resource for information relating to MCNY’s MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, as well as providing insight and commentary on the topics of Disaster Management, Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

 

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