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Watch the video in which the course, Emergencies and Disasters: Trends and Issues, is introduced by Ron Mountain.
Every community has its own way of responding to disaster. There usually is a plan. Troops may be called in, volunteers often help out with a rescue effort. Charities get involved. People pull together to help one another. But why do we rarely provide a long-term solution to a recurring problem? A traditional reaction to disasters is to respond to a particular event when it occurs and not to worry about too much preparation beforehand, or not to really be that concerned about recovery after the disaster. If you consider that disasters are acts of God, or manifestations of the forces of nature, then on that view you can’t do very much else, other than to just respond.
The social, economic, and political circumstances of a disaster are generally just not thought about, because the focus has been on responding to a disaster as a particular event.
In this course you will: investigate trends and issues in emergencies and disasters, interpret the significance of specific issues such as public profile and presumptions of responsibility, evaluate the implications for intervention, and consider alternative perspectives on events and how key terms and concepts shape our intervention following disasters.
Welcome to this course on Integrated Emergency Management: Policy and issues.
Traditionally, emergencies and disasters have been considered to be one-off, individual events that have been dealt with primarily through response or relief efforts undertaken at the time.
As will be explored throughout this course, dealing with emergencies and disasters in this way may be a rather narrow and limited approach.
This open course is the introductory two-week course for a program in Integrated Emergency Management: Policy and Issues which forms part of MSc Emergency Management and Resilience online degree at Coventry University delivered via FutureLearn.

This week …

Through this week’s activities you will:

Meet the team

Image of Ron Mountain
Your lead educator for this course is Ron Mountain, a former London Fire Brigade SEVESO industrial emergency planner and a lecturer in emergency preparedness, UK Civil Contingencies Act, and public policy & political economy approaches to emergency intervention at Coventry University.
Your associate lecturer is Gareth Black, an emergency planning and crisis management practitioner, who will guide you through the course. He is an emergency planning and crisis management practitioner. Gareth has worked with companies all over the world to improve their crisis management capabilities with a particular specialism in the health sector.
You can follow them by selecting the link to their FutureLearn profile page and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that he makes including course updates and feedback.

Checking your progress …

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, select the ‘Mark as complete’ button. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your ‘To do’ list.
You can check your progress page by selecting the icon at the top of the step, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve completed. These steps will turn blue on your to-do list.

Your task

Introduce yourself and share your reasons for wanting to learn more about the place of risk in emergency management.
Have a look at other learners’ comments. If you can relate to a comment someone else has made, why not ‘Like’ it or leave a reply? You can filter comments in a variety of ways including ‘Most liked’ and you can also ‘Bookmark’ comments.
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Emergencies and Disasters: Trends and Issues

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