Managing major emergencies : recommendations to develop effective contingency planning in the United Arab Emirates

Alshamsi, HR 2017, Managing major emergencies : recommendations to develop effective contingency planning in the United Arab Emirates , PhD thesis, University Of Salford.

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Major Emergencies do pose a challenge for emergency organisations and services to manage when they occur. As observed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), major emergencies occur at locations and times that increases the complexity of the event, thereby straining existing resources for response. Although major emergencies have been managed in the UAE using some of the best resources, the poor response due to coordination problems, and lack of planning arrangements that incorporate lessons learned makes the occurrence of major emergencies more severe than it should be. This means that in-depth knowledge, understanding and coordination of major emergencies is mandatory for emergency organisations responsible for dealing with major emergencies. Having in place a comprehensive planning process such as Contingency Planning that can sufficiently mitigate the unfolding characteristics of major emergencies is also important. Thus, this study aims to develop guidelines and recommendations for UAE governing authorities for managing major emergencies through contingency planning.

Study adopted interpretivism philosophical stance and inductive approach. The research aim is achieved by conducting a survey and case study strategies. A questionnaire survey was distributed to 90 officers and 17 senior officers and managers were interviewed. All participants were from three organisations; the police, civil defence and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) in the UAE. The research participants were experts who are either responsible for planning for emergencies or who had been involved in dealing with major emergencies. The case studies of major emergencies from the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Japan were examined in order to identify mechanisms for lessons learned. Two case studies of major emergencies in the UAE were also critically evaluated in order to examine the current practices and arrangements for dealing with major emergencies and evaluated against learning mechanisms used in other countries.

The research findings revealed that, there is lack of knowledge and understanding of major emergencies and contingency planning amongst practitioners which leads to a wide spread confusion amongst emergency organisations. Second, current practices and arrangements for dealing with major emergencies are insufficient and lack effective contingency planning processes. Third, best practice exists within each of the three organisations examined which can be adopted as mechanisms for lessons learned. Lastly, challenges peculiar to occurrence of major emergencies are not well-known in UAE emergency organisations, thus response to XVI major emergencies have not been effective. The implications on contingency planning in UAE is that without addressing these findings, major emergencies will continue to have significant impacts on life and livelihood in the country. Therefore, the research recommends a four- principle process for UAE governing authorities as guidelines for educating and training emergency organisations to better understand the characteristics of major emergencies and steps for effective contingency planning. By so doing, contingency planning will be more effectively implemented, monitored and sustained throughout the phases of emergency management in the UAE.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments (UPRISE)
Funders: UAE Government
Depositing User: HAMDAN RASHED Alshamsi
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 11:03
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2018 11:03

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