Year of Publication
Martin School of Public Policy and Administration
Master of Public Administration
Statement of the Problem
During the first 24 to 72 hours following a terrorist attack, local officials and first responders will be responsible for dealing with the initial aftermath. While most officials—federal, state, and local—have all acknowledged that domestic preparedness must occur at the bottom of the governmental structure, it is unclear if any changes to emergency response planning have actually occurred at the local governmental level.
The intention of this capstone is to answer the following questions:
- Has change in emergency response planning occurred at the county level?
Are there regional differences present in terms of organizational change and emergency response planning?
A self-designed survey was sent to all county judge executives in Kentucky except for Fayette and Jefferson counties where the directors of emergency management received the survey (N=120). The response rate for the survey was 63 percent, which is approximately 76 counties. The data collected from the surveys used SPSS statistical software to calculate frequency distributions, correlations, Cronbach’s Alpha test, and a logistic regression analysis.
This study demonstrates that change in the dependent variable (drastic change to emergency response plans) can be explained 73.8 percent of the time by the independent variables (‘Mitigation Practices,’ ‘level of resistance to change,’ ‘person in charge of emergency response,’ long-term vision,’ ‘political barriers,’ and ‘regional location’). 44 county judge executives stated that they had drastically changed their county’s emergency response plans since the events of 9/11. This study also found that counties in the Pennyrile region of the stat are more likely to have drastically changed their emergency response plans based on the influence of the independent variables which all relate to increasing emergency response.
The following recommendations are suggested: 1) further research needs to be conducted to measure factors not captured in this study, 2) focus emergency response planning as an organizational change problem and to utilize different planned change models for different change agents.
Cross, Christopher, "Securing the Commonwealth: Changing Emergency Preparedness in Kentucky: A Study of the Efforts of the Department of Homeland Security in Changing Emergency Preparedness at the County Level" (2005). MPA/MPP/MPFM Capstone Projects. 201.