Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What is a crisis situation?

What is a crisis situation?
There is often a lot of talk in the media and other forums about different kind of crisis. A crisis is a situation when something bad has happened. There is a lot different types of crisis, some examples are

* The Chicago Fire of 1871
* The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire
* The Mississippi flood of 1927
* The attack on Pearl Harbor 1941
* The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
* The Three Mile Island accident 1979
* The volcanic eruption at Mount St Helens 1980
* The industrial accident in Bhopal, India 1984.
* The meltdown at Chernobyl 1986
* The terror attacks in New York and Washington 9/11 2001
* The train bombings on march 11 2004 in Madrid
* The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
* The bombings i London 7/7 2005
* Hurricane Katrina 2005
* The Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in England
* The current economic crisis and the H1N1 Pandemic

Different persons have different definitions of what a crisis really is. In the book “The Politics of Crisis Management: Public Leadership under Pressure” the authors define a crisis with from three key components. The first key component is urgency. When a crisis accrues time is short. It’s important to act fast; it may be a question of life and death. The second component is threat. The threat may be to lives and health of people, physical objects like homes and property or other values like belief in the system or economic values. The third component is uncertainty. When a crisis happens there is always uncertainty about what’s has happened, what will the consequences be and how the crisis should be dealt with (Boin, Hart,, Stern & Sundelius 2007: 2-4).

This is the kind of events that this blog will try to focus on. The main focus will be on prevention, early warning, risk assessment, intelligence analysis, crisis management, crisis preparedness, survival and recovery.

Boin, Arjen; Hart Paul; Stern, Eric & Sundelius Bengt (2007) The Politics of Crisis Management: Public Leadership under Pressure, New York: Cambridge University Press

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