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The Improvement of Emergency Services in Clark County, Nevada

Introduction

The following paper is an evaluation of the emergency services provided in the chosen location which is Clark County in Nevada. To start from, the disaster management program of the area that suffers from such calamities like floods, earthquakes, terrorist attacks and others needs some improvements. There is no doubt that these kinds of programs are crucial in today’s world as the environment of the planet is experiencing some adverse changes that have to be coped with. Generally, the disasters, both man-made and natural, have to be dealt with by proper schemes and management. Moreover, they should be well in place on all levels starting from the local one and up to the national one. 

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Clark County and Flooding

Though the Clark County is usually viewed as a hot and dry area, it has already encountered various flash floods in the recent years. As a matter of fact, it has been reported that the said region of Nevada suffered from numerous flash floods from 1905-1975 as well. As accounted by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, serious damages of public and private establishments and properties were experienced due to the 184 flooding incidents within the period, which were all documented. In addition, millions of dollars are lost while coping with each flooding incident. Actually, 11 of them have occurred in the said region since 1960, and they have resulted in the loss of 31 people. As it can be inferred, flash floods have become a natural occurrence in this part of Nevada. There were years when Clark County suffered from the disaster every consecutive month experiencing a lot of really detrimental storms.

The fundamental reason of the disaster in the analyzed area is the storms that emanate from the Gulf of Mexico. The unstable air is strongly moved upward by the currents of hot air. The described phenomenon usually happens during the hot summer months of the year. The frequent consequence of the said ecological process is the consecutivestrikes of lightning in the desert sky. Finally, heavy downpours with severe thunderstorms occur in the mountainous area that causes the running of rainwater that rushes toward the urbanized area (Regional Flood Control District, n.d.).

The said condition seems to be normal in the region of Nevada; however, people who reside in and visit the place are not fully aware of it. The flooding occurrences are usually encountered by the citizens when they have already happened. Unfortunately, most of the time, it is too late for them to evacuate or do something to lessen the impact of the disaster because of the low awareness about the natural conditions of the region. As a result, when a flash flood strikes, properties are destroyed, and many people are killed.

Aside from that, the roads have become really inconvenient for the residents because they have turned into impassable. Naturally, it is very hard for any vehicles to drive along the flooded roads. In such a situation, the emergency response team is usually delayed and cannot deliver the appropriate service. The slow reaction of the police, fire brigades and medical teams has aggravated the situation that has caused the increase of victims of such incidents, as clearly pointed out by the report (Regional Flood Control District, n.d.).

Undoubtedly, the disastrous events such as the flooding incidents experienced by the Clark County have adverse effects not only on the properties and people, but also on the local economy. It is inevitable that businesses and commercial establishments are influenced by such incidents because the access to significant areas is usually hindered by the destruction caused by the flooding. Consequently, financial losses of the organizations are unavoidable that leads to the losses on the part of the local economy as well. It is apparent that when such situations are handled poorly by the authority or the concerned agencies, it will become national news that would prevent the tourists from coming to the place (Regional Flood Control District, n.d.). As reported, the Las Vegas Valley has an average rainfall of 4.49 inches during the summer, winter and rainy seasons. This is considerably high in terms of the rate of flood incidents in this region (Regional Flood Control District, n.d.).

The Possible Improvements of the Emergency Services of Nevada

It has already been established that an effective design and implementation of a disaster management program is crucial in today’s era where the natural calamities are common occurrences. It is clear that the government agencies should do everything possible to lessen the impact of the consecutive flooding incidents and earthquakes that are encountered by the said state. Such schemes have to be prioritized because ignoring them would mean lost lives and tremendous damage of properties as experienced by Las Vegas. The issues and lessons learned from the Nevada experience should be well studied and addressed properly.

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For one thing, the development of effective mitigation programs beginning from the local level and up to the federal one has to be organized. While creating such a scheme, it is important to consider several important factors such as the funds, salary packages of the personnel, the skills and credentials of the staff members in handling emergency situations, and the organizational structure.

Furthermore, the leadership style and the organizational structure should be improved. It is worth mentioning that the emergency services are being implemented with the coordination of various federal and local agencies such as the local government units, FEMA, DHS, and others (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2003). This kind of structure has made the decision making process and response to disasters slower. Indeed, if analyzed carefully, the impact of disastrous events could have been lowered and mitigated if the programs in the local level had been well-established. Unfortunately, the disaster management institutions are too hierarchical and bureaucratic with top officials and politicians interfering with the decision making.

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