3rd Edition

Emergency Management The American Experience

Edited By Claire B. Rubin Copyright 2020
    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    The spate of disaster events ranging from major to catastrophic that have occurred in recent years raises a lot of questions about where and why they happened. Understanding the history of emergency management policies and practice is important to an understanding of current and future policies and practice.

    Continuing in the footsteps of its popular predecessors, the new edition of Emergency Management: The American Experience provides the background to understand the key political and policy underpinnings of emergency management, exploring how major "focusing events" have shaped the field of emergency management. This edition builds on the original theoretical framework and chronological approach of previous editions, while enhancing the discussions through the addition of fresh information about the effects and outcomes of older events, such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. The final chapters offer insightful discussion of the public administration concepts of emergency management in the U.S. and of the evolving federal role in emergency management.

    Like its predecessors, the third edition of Emergency Management is a trusted and required text to understand the formation and continuing improvement of the American national emergency management system.


    Claire B. Rubin

    1. Introduction: 110 Years of Disaster Response and Emergency Management in the United States

    Claire B. Rubin

    2. Focusing Events in the Early Twentieth Century: A Hurricane, Two Earthquakes, and a Pandemic

    David Butler

    3. The Expanding Role of the Federal Government: 1927–1950

    David Butler

    4. The Formative Years: 1950–1978

    Keith A. Bea

    5. Federal Emergency Management Comes of Age: 1979–2001

    Richard T. Sylves

    6. Emergency Management Restructured: Intended and Unintended Outcomes of Actions taken since 9/11

    John R. Harrald

    7. 2005 Events and Outcomes: Hurricane Katrina and Beyond

    Melanie Gall and Susan L. Cutter

    8. The System Is Tested: Response to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Liesel A. Ritchie, Duane A. Gill, and John R. Harrald

    9. From a Painful Past to an Uncertain Future

    Patrick S. Roberts, Jeffrey Glick, and Gary Wamsley

    10. The Evolving Federal Role in Emergency Management: Policies and Processes

    Patrick S. Roberts, Jeffrey Glick, and Gary Wamsley


    Claire B. Rubin is president of Claire B. Rubin & Associates, LLC (clairerubin.com), a small business specializing in disaster research and consulting located in Arlington, Virginia. She is a social scientist with more than forty years of experience in emergency management and homeland security. Her experience includes independent researcher, consultant, practitioner, and educator. She was affiliated with The George Washington University’s Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management from 1998 through 2014. In recent years, her firm has produced a variety of educational products and services. She maintains the blog on disaster recovery called Recovery Diva.

    Ms. Rubin is the author or editor of three books, has written almost 100 additional articles, and has presented numerous lectures on emergency management and homeland security topics. She was the co-founder and Managing Editor of  the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. She holds a BS degree from Simmons College and an MA from Boston University.

    "Claire Rubin’s third edition is essential reading for students and scholars in emergency management and an excellent introduction to the history of American emergency management for other interested readers. The earlier editions have served as core texts in introductory and advanced classes and the new edition brings the history of the field up to date with new chapters by leading scholars."William L. Waugh, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Georgia State University

    "Emergency Management: The American Experience is an essential book in the field. The updated third edition adds important analyses of recent disasters and policy trends. This book continues to be essential reading for scholars of disaster policy as well as for anyone who wishes to understand the historical and political contexts of emergency management and disaster policy in the United States."Thomas Birkland, Department of Public Administration, North Carolina State University

    "The third edition of Emergency Management: The American Experience provides a rich account of disaster policy, to include important historical, social, and administrative issues that underpin our largely reactionary approach to emergency management. Claire Rubin and her colleagues adroitly describe the multitude of lessons learned and not learned following seminal disasters over time across the United States. This book provides crucial insights for both seasoned emergency managers seeking to develop more informed, proactive policy as well as educators who strive to teach the next generation of emergency managers how to more effectively plan for a more resilient future. Given the continued rise in disaster losses, including those exacerbated by a changing climate, the lessons derived from this text are more prescient than ever before and I look forward to further lessons drawn from the compendium book The U.S. Emergency Management System in the Twenty-first Century: From Disaster to Catastrophe."Gavin Smith, PhD, AICP, Professor, North Carolina State University