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Human Resources and Emergency Planning: Preparing Local Governments for Times of Crisis

Author: STACEY MANN
Published in PAQ, Vol. 38 No. 2

Following Hurricane Katrina, Goodman and Mann (2008) found that many locales along the Mississippi Gulf Coast did not have plans that addressed human resources (HR) issues in the aftermath of a disaster, and many vital employees were not included in the emergency planning process. The authors concluded that if involved in planning, HR managers could address typical HR issues such as compensation, retention, recruitment, and task re-orientation that become more difficult following a disaster.
The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of cities that include HR personnel in planning. A nationwide study of HR professionals revealed that while most local governments include HR departments in planning, the extent of their participation varies. This paper will highlight some of the characteristics of cities that have addressed various human resource issues in their emergency plans, and offer a basic foundation of understanding the role of human resource management in emergency planning.

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