Graduation Date

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Emergency Preparedness

First Advisor

Sharon Medcalf, PhD

Second Advisor

Ted Cieslak, MD, MPH

Third Advisor

David Palm, PhD


The world is facing increasing risks from a variety of threats, especially those related to extreme weather and natural disasters. The substantial and sustained impacts of major disasters are reinforcing the calls for global collaboration. Nevertheless, worldwide emergency assistance efforts are confronted with several challenges that negatively affect the disaster victims, stress international diplomatic relations, and threaten the social and national security of nations. These challenges arise from the unique nature of each national emergency management framework and the lack of global standardization and governing rules.

We conducted this qualitative study. Using a variety of qualitative analytical methods. we examined and compared the national emergency management charters of China, the US, the Maldives, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. We used a variety of data sources, including national emergency management laws and strategiesas well as published studies.

The findings showed substantial differences between the five national emergency management charters. Among those findings are the government entity overseeing emergency management activities, the levels and categories of disasters, the structure, organization, and operations of the emergency management system, and the commitment to international directives and frameworks. One striking finding was the lack of any global emergency management ethics code.

The challenges of global response call for countries to work closely to standardize the types, levels, and categories of disasters. Additionally, they need to develop a process to facilitate and expedite the acceptance of international aid and assistance. Countries also need to commit to international regulations and frameworks and establish a code for global emergency ethics.

Available for download on Monday, April 19, 2021