10/27/081GUIDE TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND RELATED TERMS, DEFINITIONS,CONCEPTS, ACRONYMS, ORGANIZATIONS, PROGRAMS, GUIDANCE,EXECUTIVE ORDERS & LEGISLATIONA Tutorial on Emergency Management, Broadly Defined, Past and Present 2007 B. Wayne BlanchardB. Wayne Blanchard, Ph.D., CEMOctober 22, 2008(Date of Last Modification)“Not until terms and concepts have been clearly defined can one hope to make any progress inexamining the question clearly and simply and expect the reader to share one’s views.”(Carl Von Clausewitz, On War, Princeton University Press, 1976, p. 132)NOTE: This is not a comprehensive, definitive, exhaustive or official treatment of “emergencymanagement” and related terms, definitions, acronyms, programs or legislation. It is simply acollection of terms, definitions, acronyms, and program and legislative descriptions and pulledtogether into a single document as time and opportunity have allowed to be assembled.The original “Emergency Management-Related Terms and Definitions Guide” was developed asa student handout in an Introduction to Emergency Management college course taught by theauthor in 1999 and has been maintained as time allows for the authors’ own purposes, one ofwhich is to continue supporting collegiate emergency management courses. Another is as an aidto quickly accessing hard-to-remember terms, definitions and acronyms, etc., particularly whennot used on a regular basis.At the time of original development the primary purpose was to demonstrate to the students thevery wide range of definitions and meanings given to such words as “hazards,” disasters,”“emergencies,” “risk,” “vulnerability,” and “emergency management.” In the classroomproductive time was spent trying to come to a group consensus on the variables comprising adefinition of each word.The thought then and now was that words make a difference and that an indicator of a professionand of professionalism is a shared understanding of (better yet, general consensus on) key terms,definitions, concepts and principles that are part of a body of knowledge for a profession. Ashared understanding of key terms, definitions, concepts and principles is also a constituentelement for the development of the academic discipline of Emergency Management.The reception by Emergency Management collegiate faculty and students (as well as EmergencyManagement Professionals), over time, was such that a decision was made to expand the scopeof the handout into other, mostly U.S. specific, emergency management and related terms anddefinitions.

10/27/082After the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA’s incorporation into theDHS, the scope broadened again and also changed to incorporate references to relevantlegislation, programs and organizations.More recently, as discussion of the development of international principles of disaster/emergencymanagement seems to have gained momentum, a modest effort has been extended to theincorporation of international terms and definitions, particularly those originating from hazardsrelated United Nations organizations and bodies.Note 1: Obsolete and historical terms, definitions, etc. are included as an aid to understatingsuch terms when encountered.Note 2: A bibliography of sources cited is at that the end of the document. All within-textcitation sources have been included in this bibliography.Note 3: Use of this material for educational and professional purposes is unrestricted provided thatproper attribution is provided.Terms, Definitions, Acronyms, Programs, Concepts, Organizations, Guidance, LegislationAlphabetically Organized – Full References at the EndA Zone: “A Zone is defined as the Special Flood Hazard Area shown on a community’s FloodInsurance Rate Map. The A Zone is the area subject to inundation during a 100-year flood, whichis the flood elevation that has a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded each year. Thereare several categories of A Zones, including AO (shallow sheet flow or ponding; average flooddepths are shown); AH Zones (shallow flooding; base flood elevations are shown); numbered Aand AE Zones (base flood elevations are shown); and unnumbered A Zones (no base floodelevations are provided because detailed hydraulic analyses were not performed).” (FEMA,Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding – A Guide for Communities (FEMA 511), 2005, vii)AAC: After Action Conference, HSEEP. (FEMA, About HSEEP, 2008)AAC: Applicant Assistance Center. (FEMA, FAAT List (FEMA 524), 2005, p. 1)AAR: After Action Report. (DHS, TCL, 2007, p. 30)AAR: After Action Review. (Dept. of Army, WMD-CST Operations, Dec. 2007, Glossary 1)AAR/IP: After Action Report/Improvement Plan. (FEMA, About HSEEP, 2008)ABCP: Associate Business Continuity Planner, DRII.ABM: Anti-Ballistic Missile.

10/27/083ABO: Agents of Biological Origin. (FEMA, FAAT List (FEMA 524), 2005, p. 2)A-Bomb: “An abbreviation for atomic bomb.” (Glasstone, Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 1977,Glossary, p. 629)ACADA: Automatic Chemical Agent Detection and Alarm. (FEMA, FAAT List, 2005, p. 2)ACAMS: Automated Critical Asset Management System. (DHS, NIPP, 2006, p. 101)ACBIRC: Advanced Chemical and Biological Integrated Response Course, DOD.ACC: Acute Care Center. (CA EMSA. Hospital Incident Command Sys. Guidebook, 2006, 206)ACC: Agency Command Center. (FEMA, FAAT List (FEMA 524), 2005, p. 2)Acceleration: “A change in velocity with time; in seismology and in earthquake engineering, itis expressed as a fraction of gravity (g), with reference to vibrations of the ground or of astructure.” (UN DHA, Glossary, Disaster Management, 1992, p. 16)Acceptable Down Time: “The period of time a function or activity can be disrupted withoutsignificant impact to production, customer service, revenue, or public confidence. Each businessactivity must develop its individual maximum allowable down time. Also referred to asMaximum Allowable Recovery Time.” (Jones, Critical Incident Protocol, 2000, p. 37)Acceptable Risk: “AN ACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF RISK for regulations and special permitsis established by consideration of risk, cost/benefit and public comments. Relative orcomparative risk analysis is most often used where quantitative risk analysis is not practical orjustified. Public participation is important in a risk analysis process, not only for enhancing thepublic's understanding of the risks associated with hazardous materials transportation, but alsofor insuring that the point of view of all major segments of the population-at-risk is included inthe analyses process. Risk and cost/benefit analysis are important tools in informing the publicabout the actual risk and cost as opposed to the perceived risk and cost involved in an activity.Through such a public process PHMSA [Pipeline and Hazardous Materials SafetyAdministration] establishes hazard classification, hazard communication, packaging, andoperational control standards.” (DOT, Risk Management Definitions, Office of HazardousMaterials Safety, 2005)Acceptable Risk: That level of risk that is sufficiently low that society is comfortable with it.Society does not generally consider expenditure in further reducing such risks justifiable.(Australian National 1994)Acceptable Risk: Degree of humans and material loss that is perceived as tolerable in actions tominimize disaster risk. (Nimpuno 1998)Acceptable Risk: Risk tolerance.

10/27/084Given that the provision of absolute safety is impossible, there is great sense in trying to determinethe level of risk which is acceptable for any activity or situation. Thus, when a hazard is beingmanaged, the financial and other resources allocated to the task should theoretically match thedegree of threat posed by the hazard, as indicated by the rank of the risk .One must always specify acceptable to whom and that implies a conscious decision based on all theavailable information .The 1993 floods in the upper Mississippi river basin had an estimated return period of more thanone in 200 years, yet some people who were flooded asserted that this event should now be regardedas an unacceptable risk. Such arguments ignore both the economic and social benefits derived bythose communities from their floodplain location over the previous 100 years or so, when few floodlosses occurred, and the cost to the taxpayer implied in protecting floodplain basins against a floodof the 1993 magnitude. (Smith 1996, 57)Acceptable Risk: Degree of human and material loss that is perceived by the community orrelevant authorities as tolerable in actions to minimize disaster risk. (UN DHA, InternationallyAgreed Glossary of Basic Terms Related to Disaster Management, 1992, p.16)Acceptable Risk: “The level of loss a society or community considers acceptable given existingsocial, economic, political, cultural, technical and environmental conditions.” (UN ISDR,Terminology: Basic Terms of Disaster Risk Reduction, 2004, p. 1)Accepted Risk: “An approach that does nothing with a risk, but rather prepares for and dealswith the consequences of a risk should it occur. No risk management resources are expended indealing with accepted risks.” (DOA, Infrastructure Risk Management (Army), 2004, p. 12)Access Disaster Risk Assessment Model: “A model that explores how an individual or groupsrelative resilience to disasters is impacted by differences in access to the economic or politicalresources needed to secure a livelihood. The strengths of the model are that it provides a broadview of vulnerability including root causes, it gives weight to natural hazards, and it provides aframework for looking at livelihoods and vulnerability. The limitation of the model, is that it is atool for explaining vulnerability, not for measuring it. The model cannot be applied operationallywithout a great deal of data collection and analysis.” (UN Disaster Assessment Portal,Techniques Used in Disaster Risk Assessment, 2008)Accident: “The word ‘accidental’ carries with it the connotations of both something that occursby chance and something non-essential or incidental . The thesis that ‘accidents will happen’and that therefore nothing can be done to prevent their occurrence reaches its logical fulfillmentin the thesis of Charles Perrow that accidents are so inevitable and therefore non-preventable thatwe are even justified in calling them ‘normal’” (Allinson 1993 15-16).Accident: “Unintended damaging event, industrial mishap” (D&E Reference Center 1998).

10/27/085Accident: “An unexpected or undesirable event, especially one causing injury to a smallnumber of individuals and/or modest damage to physical structures. Examples would beautomotive accidents or damage from lightning striking a house.” (Drabek 1996, Session 2, p. 3)Accident: “ situations in which an occasion can be handled by emergency organizations. Thedemands that are made on the community are within the scope of domain responsibility of the usualemergency organizations such as police, fire, medical and health personnel. Such accidents createneeds (and damage) which are limited to the accident scene and so few other community facilitiesare damaged. Thus, the emergency response is delimited in both location and to the range ofemergency activities. The primary burden of emergency response falls on those organizations thatincorporate clearly deferred emergency responsibility into their domains. When the emergencytasks are completed, there are few vestiges of the accident or lasting effects on the communitystructure” (Dynes 1998, 117).Accident: “An unexpected occurrence, failure or loss with the potential for harming human life,property or the environment.” (European Environment Agency, EEA Environmental Glossary)Accident: “The very language used to describe the [TMI] accident revealed the very diverseperceptions that enter such interpretations. Was it an accident or an incident? A catastrophe or amishap? A disaster or an event? A technical failure or a simple mechanical breakdown?”(Nelkin 1981, 135).Accident: An event which only requires the response of established organizations – expansion oractions such as going to extra shifts is not called for. (Quarantelli 1987, 25)Accident: “The evidence suggests that accidents are not the product of divine caprice, nor of a setof random chance events which are not likely to recur, but that they are incidents, created by people,which can be analyzed, and that the lessons learned from that analysis, if implemented, will help toprevent similar events from taking place again.” (Toft 1992, 58)Accident, Technological: “Technological accidents are almost never understood as the way theworld of chance sorts itself out. They provoke outrage rather than acceptance or resignation. Theygenerate a feeling that the thing ought not have happened, that someone is at fault, that victimsdeserve not only compassion and compensation but something akin to what lawyers call punitivedamages.” (Erikson, 1989, 143)Accountability: “Everyone, including private individuals and organizations and governmentagencies and officials, should be accountable for their actions before, during and after anemergency.” (ACLU, Pandemic Preparedness, 2008, 7)Accreditation: “Empowers certifying/qualifying organizations with the authority to declare anindividual/organization capable of performing critical tasks and capabilities.” (Capital HealthRegion, ICS100: Incident Command System Training Student Manual, March 2007, p. 50)ACE: Army Corps of Engineers (correct acronym usage is USACE).

10/27/086ACECenter: Assessment of Catastrophic Events Center, Defense Threat Reduction Agency,Fort Belvoir, VA. (DTRA/DOD, ACECenter Public Page)ACEHR: Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction.ACEP: American College of Emergency Physicians.ACF: Alternate Care Facility. (FEMA, FAAT List (FEMA 524), 2005, p. 2)ACFM: Advanced Certified Floodplain Manager. (FEMA, FAAT List (FEMA 524), 2005, 2)AC/IC: Area Command/Incident Command. (DHS, JFO Activation and Operations, 2006, 1)Acid Rain: “Rain containing