1 Introduction

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This exploration of emergency management in the United States reveals that there is no single location that is immune from hazards. This study also suggests that emergency managers and politicians need to better understand hazards and the causes of vulnerability, and deal more effectively with the consequences of their interaction. As the United States is experiencing additional disasters, it is also imperative that we move from a reactive policy toward one that is anticipatory in nature. In light of the many actors involved in emergency management, we should also improve coordination and communication. There are many challenges and opportunities awaiting emergency management now and in the future.

While the United States has been a model for emergency management programs around the world, it is not without numerous weaknesses. The emergency management profession has much room for improvement in the U.S. as it does elsewhere. It is hoped that this paper will increase understanding of emergency management in the United States and provide ideas on how to improve this important function here and elsewhere around the world.

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