The Citadel Political Science Systems Approach to a Crisis Question

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  1. Describe a situation from your experience or background in which taking a “systems approach” to a crisis event or problem would be beneficial (versus merely treating a symptom or the most salient crisis issue).

Background: “general systems theory” is introduced, and then connected to an organizational approach to systems, which connects to disaster management, because whole communities can be thought of as systems. It is key to remember that our communication (or lack thereof) is an “input” into the systems that we work with. The SIR COPE acronym is introduced finally in order to provide practical ways for us to help our communities in their “sensemaking” or crisis and disaster. Since no two crisis events are identical, this approach is helpful to keep us and our communities evolving and adapting.”

Course Description

This is an advanced examination of modern emergency management concepts, national and international trends, practical and political issues and policies, technological applications to emergency management, and the development and practical implementation of sound emergency management practices designed to protect people, communities, critical infrastructure and key assets. Course content includes reviews of emergency management policy and procedures in the U.S. and other countries, legal issues, social science perspectives, planning concepts and techniques, disaster modeling, operational problems, analytical methods, special populations, and management styles. Case studies are used to examine examples of effective and ineffective plans, responses, and recoveries from natural and technological disasters.

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