HSMN 630-9040 (Spring 2017)
Mid-Term Essay Exam
Please review the Syllabus, as well as the Guidelines, Expectations and Grading Rubrics for the Essay Exams, and follow the instructions below:
- Please include a cover sheet with the course title, a sub-title of “Mid-Term Essay Exam,” and the date of submission.
- Select and respond to one question from each session/week, for a total of five responses.
- Make sure to indicate which questions you selected by using the same, corresponding numbers with your responses (e.g., #2, 4, 6, 7, 9) so that I can easily match up your responses with the proper questions. Please don’t repeat or restate the questions.
- Your responses should be clear, complete, succinct and substantive, addressing all of the main themes, elements or sub-questions in each overall question selected.
- Your own critical thinking and analysis should be supported by evidence of research in appropriate sources such as assigned or supplementary sources used in this course, or from other scholarly/authoritative sources found in your own research, with source attribution and in-text citations in your responses in proper APA format for all conclusions, statements of fact, quotations, ideas or other supporting content.
- Please do not cite my introductory presentations, or any comments from others in discussion forums, although you may repeat or expand on some of your own comments from the discussion forums with no need for citations.
- This is not a research paper, so please don’t overdo it in terms of direct quotes, reproduced lists or tables, or citations. At the same time, while I want to see what you think about these topics, I’m not looking merely for opinions; rather, well-reasoned arguments or assertions supported by evidence with at least a few citations from authoritative sources. The challenge is to maintain a high proportion of original work, and limit the use of material quoted or paraphrased from the sources you cited.
- UMUC requires the use of an accepted manual of style for citations, as indicated in the Syllabus. APA is preferred.
- Please include a single overall list of References or Works Cited with full citations at the end of the exam rather than piecemeal after each response.
- I would expect at least one in-text citation corresponding with each full citation in the list of References or Works Cited, and each in-text citation should match up clearly with a full citation in the list of References or Works Cited.
- Make sure to follow a single, correct, consistent citation style for both in-text citations in your responses and full citations in the list of References or Works Cited; don’t “mix-and-match” APA with other styles in the same exam.
- Proofread and edit your replies for organization, coherence, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
- Your responses should be in Times New Roman, size 11 or 12 font, and may be either single or double-spaced.
- Please include pagination (i.e., insert sequential page numbers).
- Your completed exam should total approximately 5-10 pages (a minimum of one page or 250-300 words per response—a little more is better than a little less), excluding the cover sheet and list of References or Works Cited.
- Submit the completed exam as a MS Word doc attachment into the Assignment folder dropbox linked under the Week 6 folder of the Course Content area in LEO, no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday night, March 13, 2017. Earlier submissions will be appreciated. Requests for extensions must be approved in advance. Remember, you will not be submitting this exam in Turnitin.
The copy of the examination that you submit into your Assignment folder must include the following statement:
“This paper, examination, report, or the section thereof for which I have indicated responsibility, is my own work. Any assistance I received in its preparation is acknowledged within the report or examination, in accordance with academic practice. For any data, ideas, words, diagrams, pictures, or other information from any source, quoted or not, I have cited the sources fully and completely in footnotes and bibliographical entries, as required. Furthermore, I certify that the material was prepared by me specifically for this class and has not been submitted, in whole or significant part, to any other class in this university or elsewhere, or used for any purpose other than satisfying the requirements of this class, except that I am allowed to submit this material to a professional publication, peer reviewed journal, or professional conference. In adding my name following the word ‘Signature’, I intend that this certification will have the same authority and authenticity as a document executed with my hand-written signature.”
Signature ___(just type your name here)_________________ Date______________
Your exam is as follows. There are two multi-part questions relating to each of the five weekly sessions in terms of the main topics, assigned readings and discussion forum questions we have covered thus far in each sequential week. You will see that some of these questions reflect a synthesis or expansion of the discussion forum topics. Select and respond to five of the following ten questions, one from each session:
Session/Week 1: Resilience (Select and respond to one question for Session 1)
1.)Drawing from any of the assigned readings or resources provided in this session, or from your own research, what do you think is the best definition for resilience? How would you explain the relationship of resilience to the emergency management phases of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery? What are the essential elements or characteristics of national resilience, and how does that compare with, or differ from, and relate to resilience at the state and local government or organizational levels?
2.) Assume that you are an advisor for either the president of the United States, the governor of your state, the director of a government department or agency, or the CEO of a major corporation or nonprofit organization (you choose which of those roles you are most interested in), and that you need to convince that person to support investing in achieving or improving resilience for the country, or for the state, agency, company, or organization you selected. You must prepare a concise briefing memo of 1-2 pages to prepare that leader for an upcoming meeting on the topic. The briefing memo should include or address the following issues and elements:
- How resilience is defined, and what it would look like if your jurisdiction or organization achieved or improved resilience.
- Why achieving or improving resilience is vital and important.
- How you would justify the expense in terms of money, effort and other resources to achieve or improve resilience.
- Potential consequences for failure to support or invest in resilience, and the issue of risk tolerance for your jurisdiction or organization.
Session/Week 2: Risk Assessments and Impact Analysis (Select and respond to one question for Session 2)
3.) Select one of the 16 Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources (CI/KR) sectors identified by DHS in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan and PPD-21 that is of greatest interest or relevance to you. Describe what you perceive as the most significant risks, threats and vulnerabilities pertaining to that specific sector, and the potential consequences if there were a major disruption from any type of hazard or cause, whether natural disasters, technological disasters, terrorist attacks, or other incidents. What do you feel is the likelihood or probability of that type of disruption, and the associated consequences or impacts? What specific mitigation measures would you recommend?
4.) Select one of the 16 Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources (CI/KR) sectors identified by DHS in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan and PPD-21 that is of greatest interest or relevance to you. Then, find a news story, article or report about a high-impact, low-frequency disaster or catastrophe (other than the 9/11 attacks or Hurricane Katrina) that affected one or more major assets, facilities, systems or services within that sector. What were the impacts or consequences of that disaster for that particular sector, and any other interdependent sectors? How (if at all) could these impacts have been prevented or mitigated?
Session/Week 3: Risk Management and Treatments (Select and respond to one question for Session 3)
5.) Select a jurisdiction, agency, organization, industry or CI/KR sector that you are familiar with or interested in. What are the most significant risks they face, or actual disasters or other critical incidents that they have experienced? How would you describe the dominant approach of that jurisdiction or entity to risk management, and their level or view of risk tolerance? What factors or issues would they most likely consider in applying cost-benefit analysis in the process of risk assessment, risk management, and determining risk tolerance? Have there been any “near misses” as described in the overview presentation, and if so, what was their response to that experience?
6.)Deadly incidents of workplace, school or campus violence have plagued the United States in the past two decades, generating intense media coverage. This has also become an urgent homeland security issue. Select one highly publicized case of workplace violence, and one involving school or campus violence. What do you believe were the three major causes or contributing factors in each case, and what mitigation or risk management measures do you believe might have been effective in preventing or reducing the impacts of each incident? What are the similarities and differences between workplace and school/campus violence regarding these issues? What kinds of assistance, expertise, resources or guidance can DHS, or state and local homeland security and emergency management agencies, provide to help alleviate this modern curse, or is it purely a law enforcement problem?
Session/Week 4: Program Management and Planning (Select and respond to one question for Session 4)
7.) Identify a local community or jurisdiction, or a public sector agency or organization, or a private sector business, company or industry that experienced a major disaster or critical incident of any type within the past ten years. Based on news accounts, journal articles, official reports or any other sources that you may find covering the response to that event and subsequent recovery process, what, if any, evidence did you find that they had engaged in continuity or operations (COOP) or business continuity planning prior to the disaster? How would you assess or evaluate their apparent planning? In other words, was it comprehensive, effective and successful, or was it woefully lacking, inadequate and a failure? Were there any key lessons about planning that they derived, or that you could glean, from any type of “after action” report or analysis of the event?
8.)Select a community, jurisdiction, government agency, private business, or other organization that you are familiar with or interested in. What types of plans have they developed, and how do they approach the planning process? Who are the major internal and external stakeholders, and to what extent, or in what way—if at all—are they engaged in the planning process? What are the most serious challenges or potential pitfalls for planning faced by the entity you selected, and what can be done to address or overcome those challenges and pitfalls? What is your evaluation or assessment of the overall effectiveness or success of their plans and approach to planning?
Session/Week 5: Preparedness (Select and respond to one question for Session 5)
9.) Identify a community or local jurisdiction where you currently live or have lived in the past, or an industry or organization of any type that you are, or have been affiliated with as an employee, member, or volunteer. Briefly describe andevaluate the overall emergency preparedness of that community or entity in terms of as many of the following issues or elements that you can easily find information about, or are familiar with:
- Emergency preparedness planning, training, and exercising.
- Resource/equipment acquisition and pre-event staging.
- Personnel and credentialing.
- Compliance with the NIMS and implementation of the Incident Command System (ICS).
- Mutual Aid or Emergency Management Assistance agreements, compacts, or MOUs.
- Political leadership/executive management support for emergency preparedness.
- Evidence of effective preparedness as demonstrated by successful response to actual disasters or critical incidents.
- Vital records, networks or data management and protection.
10.) Identify areal organization in your life such as your current or past employer, school, military unit or base, faith-based or other nongovernmental organization that you may serve as a member or volunteer, or that you are otherwise familiar with. Provide your concise analysis of the following questions or issues involving that organization in the broader context of emergency preparedness drills and exercises:
- Does your organization conduct emergency preparedness training, drills and exercises? For what specific types or categories of hazards, disasters, or critical incidents? Are there other types or scenarios that should be included? Have you found the drills or training useful, or an annoyance, or possibly even counterproductive?
- Are the drills always scheduled and announced in advance, or are there “surprise,” no-notice drills and exercises? What are the pros and cons of each approach?
- Are there “injects” of new information or changes in the original scenario to challenge the participants?
- Is there a progressive exercise program involving a successive series of relatively simpler discussions-based orientations or tabletop exercises, followed by more complex or intense functional or full-scale operations-based drills and exercises?
- After drills or exercises, are there “hot wash” briefings, after-action or lessons learned reports prepared, or meetings held to evaluate the results and develop action or improvement plans?
- What improvements would you recommend regarding preparedness?
Your completed exam is due in your Assignment folder by 11:59 p.m. on Monday night, March 13, 2017. Any extensions must be approved in advance.