Paper Sample on Risk Management Division and Technology

Published: 2024-01-01
Paper Sample on Risk Management Division and Technology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Technology Risk management
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1077 words
9 min read


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is an agency under the United States Homeland Security created in 1978 and implemented through executive orders in 1979 under the leadership of President Jimmy Carter. It is mandated to support the public and the first responders to disasters and in improving the capacity to respond and mitigate hazards.

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FEMA's risk management division's mission is to develop plans for reducing the impact of disasters using Hazard Mitigation Resources. The role of this division I to conduct risk assessments manage risks by deploying relevant mitigation measures. They are mandated to ensure they focus on countering all threats to ensure the least amount of risk is borne. This report will highlight Technology and in risk management.

The Role of Technology

Technology is essential to the process of threat and risk identification and the assessment of risks. FEMA Risk Management division has continued to rely on Technology in both its internal and field operations in making the country safe and habitable. Some of the technologies that they have been using instead are:

Emergency data communication technologies such artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, which is a network of physical objects connected via sensors and software to enhance the collection of data from physical environments and then swiftly relay data to the relevant department. This can be especially applicable to the National Hurricane Program for hurricane planning and response. These two technologies have the advantage of ensuring emergency data is captured, processed, customized, and disseminated effectively to enable the relevant organizations to make important decisions to mitigate possible future risks.

Geographic Information System- GIS is a powerful technology used in Spatial Decision Support Systems as a risk assessment tool for assessing hazards that threaten life and property that are due to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. It is expected that the FEMA Risk Management department will use this Technology to map out information about the history and potential risks due to hazards in particular geographic locations.

The advantage of GIS is that it improves the decision-making process because relevant information is presented about a particular geographic position. It also reduces the cost of operation while at the same time, increasing efficiency.


We have observed with great concern that FEMA could be overlooking the potential of Technology as a powerful tool in their operations, particularly mitigation of risks disasters. There has been little reference to Technology in the past by the agency to Technology in their deliberations about risk management. As such, we made an inquiry as mandated by the Inspector General Act into the use of Technology by the agency's risk management division in operations and capturing, processing, and communication of emergency data.

We observed that the agency did not allocate any substantial amount of resources in the acquisition and maintenance of technological infrastructure and resources. We also observed that the agency hardly employs geospatial decision support tools, which are essential in seismic risk management.

Examination of Information

FEMA's failure and particularly the risk management department to mitigate and hence enable a robust response to the disaster has mostly been blamed on policy-related issues as in the Katrina Hurricane (D’andre, 2017). The Hurricane is one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of the United States. Following this unfortunate event, the United States Congress passed the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, which was one of the main recommendations from an inquiry that was conducted in response to preventing future occurrences of a calamity of such magnitude. This inquiry cited a lack of sufficient Technology by FEMA in its risk management operations. The act required that FEMA develops and deploys IT programs that will ensure efficiency in risk management.

The department of risk management of FEMA is not giving enough attention to the application of Technology in its operations, which has been the norm since its inception (Bagget, 2017).

According to the US Government Accountability Office, FEMA still has the challenge of employing Information Technology Programs to adequately support its ability to mitigate major disasters that pose a threat to the national security of lives and property. It wrote in the report that: “None of the three emergency management programs GAO selected for this review had fully implemented key IT management controls in the areas of risk management, requirements development, project planning, and systems testing and integration” (GAO, 2016).


The results from our inquiry are that FEMA has not fully adopted the use of Technology in the practice of risk management as required by the Post-Katrina Act Emergency management of 2006. We found that FEMA does not allocate enough resources to Technology as it should. FEMA is not up to date with the emerging trends in risk management technologies.


The Post-Katrina recommendations insisted that FEMA should work on their technological infrastructure. The nation learns from such experiences. There is a need for flexibility in addressing the ever-changing needs in the field. Resources are an important driving force in ensuring the implementation and maintenance of technological resources.

Risk management and disaster response require the collaboration of various government agencies. As such, there is a critical need for a multiagency approach towards the implementation of mitigation measures, and in response to emergencies, Technology plays an important role in coordination and communication of important emergency data for effective and inclusive decision making. This can be achieved through the creation of information technology programs and systems integrations between the subsystems of all the stakeholders.


The use of Technology is very crucial in analyzing complex data about the potential hazards that could impact such a big nation. Therefore, it cannot be trivialized in action. We recommend that FEMA should make use of Technology for effective operations. It should allocate resources to acquiring infrastructure and hiring competent staff. It should most importantly focus on research about technical needs in the field to address emerging trends and on the emerging technologies in the practice of risk management.


Baggett, R. K. (2017). Homeland Security Technology Assessment and Implementation. Homeland Security Technologies for the 21st Century, 39.

D'Andre, D. L. (2017). Technology Disaster Recovery.

GAO (2016). Information Technology: FEMA Needs to Address Management Weaknesses to Improve Its Systems.

Schumann III, R. L. (2018). Ground truthing spatial disaster recovery metrics with participatory mapping in post-Katrina Mississippi. Applied geography, 99, 63-76.

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