APWA Book Review

Emergency Management: Field Manual for Public Works
139 pp * 2003 * APWA * ISBN 0-917084-97-7

Why this Field Manual? It is only a matter of time before your community will be involved in an emergency—they adversely affect communities everywhere, although event types, frequency and severity vary depending on the area. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, transportation accidents, hazardous materials incidents, terrorism and civil disturbances are common examples of hazardous events which can strike the community you serve. Changing technology may produce new threats through infrastructure cyberspace and computer intervention. Emergencies and disasters are dynamic, dangerous, complex and confusing, which adds to the need for preplanning for such events.

This publication has been developed with several goals in mind. The book is designed to strengthen the understanding of the vital emergency management roles and responsibilities of public works, and the necessity for public works to work as a team, both internally as well as with other emergency service providers. Some contextual background on overall emergency management concepts and the roles of others illustrates where and how public works fits into the overall picture.

This publication provides the reader with a comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide to the often complex profession of public works. The body of the text focuses on an in-depth explanation of the all-hazards approach to disaster through the four states of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. You will find sections on emergency planning, coordination, training, and the importance of live exercises. This publication ends with chapters on hazardous materials, and the new reality of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

For persons new to public works leadership and management, this publication should clarify the profession's many roles in protecting the community from the adverse effects of disasters and emergencies. Public works is especially active in the initial and final phases of emergency management, and has many important responsibilities in-between. This book is a reference source for more experienced managers and also can serve as a training aid at all levels of an organization. The Field Manual offers assistance to public works agencies for developing and strengthening their emergency plans and procedures and includes suggestions, based partly on the experiences of others, on more effective and efficient disaster-related operations.

Divided into fifteen chapters, this publication covers:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Overview of Emergency Management
  • Chapter 3: Role of Public Works in Emergency Management
  • Chapter 4: Management and Control of Emergency Events
  • Chapter 5: Mitigation and Risk Analysis
  • Chapter 6: Emergency Preparedness
  • Chapter 7: Emergency Response
  • Chapter 8: Recovery
  • Chapter 9: Emergency Operations Plan
  • Chapter 10: Emergency Planning for Public Works
  • Chapter 11: Building and Safety Codes
  • Chapter 12: Hazardous Material
  • Chapter 13: Public Works and Terrorism/WMD
  • Chapter 14: Public Works Employee Assistance
  • Chapter 15: Conclusion

Through coordination, cooperation, mutual support and planning, communities can prepare for all types of hazardous events. The emergency management teams in every jurisdiction must be thoughtfully organized and periodically test their readiness and ability to work together through live exercises. Planning and staff training are a direct responsibility of all public works managers and supervisors. The goal should be to ensure that your public works unit is and remains prepared.

Public works, in support of the all-hazards approach to disasters and terrorism events, is involved in every aspect of emergency management, from planning and mitigation to disaster response and the important task of disaster recovery. These professionals are committed to working within their communities to make residents better prepared and to minimize the loss of life and property in communities across the country.

For more information on purchasing this book and other American Public Works Association books, please visit the APWA Bookstore online at www.apwa.net/bookstore or call the Member Services Hotline at (800) 848-APWA, ext. 3560.