Decision Making And Problem Solving PDF

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Decision Making andProblem SolvingIndependent Study 241.aMay 2010FE FEMA

TABLE OF CONTENTSPageCourse Overview . 1Unit 1: Course IntroductionIntroduction . 1.1Decisions in Emergency Management . 1.1Case Study 1.1—Sebring County . 1.2Decision Points . 1.3What’s at Stake? . 1.3About This Course . 1.4Activities and Exercises . 1.5Job Aids . 1.5Knowledge Checks . 1.5Appendix . 1.5Course Objectives. 1.6How Will You Benefit? . 1.6How to Complete This Course . 1.7Sample Learning Schedule . 1.8Goal Setting . 1.9Activity: Personal Learning Goals . 1.10Summary and Transition . 1.11Unit 2: The Decision-Making ProcessIntroduction . 2.1Problem Solving vs. Decision Making . 2.1Where Does the Process Begin? . 2.2Case Study 2.1—Mandatory or Voluntary Evacuation? . 2.2The Starting Point . 2.4Recent Changes to Emergency Planning Requirements . 2.6Problem-Solving Model . 2.12Step 1: Identify the Problem . 2.13Step 2: Explore Alternatives . 2.16Case Study 2.2—What Are Your Options? . 2.16Step 3: Select an Alternative. 2.20Step 4: Implement the Solution . 2.22Activity: Implementing the Solution . 2.23Step 5: Evaluate the Situation. 2.27Activity: Evaluating Your Solution . 2.29Summary and Transition . 2.31For More Information . 2.31Knowledge Check . 2.32Decision Making and Problem SolvingPage i

COURSE OVERVIEWPageUnit 3: Identifying Decision-Making Styles and AttributesIntroduction . 3.1What Is Psychological Type? . 3.1What Are Preferences? . 3.2Using Personality Assessments to Determine Preferences . 3.2Preferences and Decision Making . 3.4Activity: Where Should You Flex? . 3.5Who Decides?. 3.8Successful Group Decision Making . 3.10Activity: Individual or Group Decision? . 3.13What Is an Effective Decision Maker? . 3.17Attributes of an Effective Decision Maker . 3.17Activity: Identifying Your Strengths and Limitations . 3.19Summary and Transition . 3.20For More Information . 3.20Knowledge Check . 3.21Unit 4: Ethical Decision Making and Problem SolvingIntroduction . 4.1What Is Ethics? . 4.1Ethical Issues and Emergencies . 4.2Activity: Ethical Issues and Emergencies . 4.3Components of Ethical Decision Making . 4.6Applying the Problem-Solving Model to Ethical Issues . 4.7Activity: Applying the Problem-Solving Model to Ethical Issues . 4.8Summary and Transition . 4.11For More Information . 4.11Knowledge Check . 4.12Unit 5: Decision Making in an EmergencyIntroduction . 5.1Decision Making and Stress . 5.1Case Study: Hurricane Hortence . 5.3Summary and Transition . 5.10Unit 6: Course SummaryIntroduction . 6.1The Decision-Making Process . 6.1The Problem-Solving Model . 6.2Decision-Making Styles . 6.3Attributes of an Effective Decision Maker . 6.4Ethical Decision Making . 6.5The Final Step. 6.6Appendix A: Job AidsDecision Making and Problem SolvingPage ii

Course Overview

COURSE OVERVIEWAbout This CourseBeing able to make decisions and solve problems effectively is a necessary andvital part of the job for every emergency manager, planner, and responder. Thiscourse is designed to improve your decision-making skills. It addresses: The decision-making process Decision-making styles Attributes of an effective decision maker Ethical decision making and problem solvingFEMA’s Independent Study ProgramThe Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Independent StudyProgram is one of the delivery channels that the Emergency ManagementInstitute (EMI) uses to provide training to the general public and specificaudiences. This course is part of FEMA’s Independent Study Program. Inaddition to this course, the Independent Study Program includes courses infloodplain management, radiological emergency management, the role of theemergency manager, hazardous materials, disaster assistance, the role of theEmergency Operations Center, and an orientation to community disasterexercises.FEMA’s independent study courses are available at no charge and include afinal examination. You may apply individually or through group enrollment.When enrolling for a course, you must include your name, mailing address,social security number, and the title of the course in which you want to enroll.Decision Making and Problem SolvingPage 1

COURSE OVERVIEWFEMA’s Independent Study ProgramFEMA Independent Study ProgramAdministrative OfficeEmergency Management Institute16825 South Seton AvenueEmmitsburg, MD 21727(301) 447-1200Information about FEMA’s Independent Study Program also is available on theInternet at:http://training.fema.gov/ISEach request will be reviewed and directed to the appropriate course manageror program office for assistance.Final ExaminationThis course includes a written final examination, which you must complete andreturn to FEMA’s Independent Study Office for scoring. To obtain credit fortaking this course, you must successfully complete (75 percent correct) thisexamination regardless of whether you complete this course through selfinstruction or through group instruction.You may take the final examination as many times as necessary.Course CompletionThe course completion deadline for all FEMA Independent Study courses is 1year from the date of enrollment. The date of enrollment is the date that theEMI Independent Study Office will use for completion of all required coursework, including the final examination. If you do not complete this course,including the final examination, within that timeframe, your enrollment will beterminated.Decision Making and Problem Solving has no prerequisites.Decision Making and Problem SolvingPage 2

COURSE OVERVIEWHow to Complete This CourseWork through this course at a pace that is comfortable for you. You shouldresist the temptation to rush through the material, however. Take enough timewith each unit to ensure that you have mastered its content before proceedingto the next.Knowledge ChecksTo help you know when to proceed, each unit is followed by a KnowledgeCheck that addresses the material contained in the unit. The Knowledge Checkasks you to answer questions that apply to what you have learned in the unit.The answers to the Knowledge Check follow each Knowledge Check.When you finish each exercise, check your answers, and review the parts of thetext that you do not understand. Do not proceed to the next unit until you aresure that you have mastered the current unit.When you have completed all units, take the final examination online EMI willscore your test andBegin the CourseYou may begin the course now.Decision Making and Problem SolvingPage 3

Unit 1: Course Introduction

UNIT 1: COURSE INTRODUCTIONIntroductionDecision making and problem solving are critically important skill areas foremergency managers, planners, first responders, voluntary agencycoordinators, and other professionals in emergency management.As an emergency management professional, your ability to identify current andpotential problems and to make sound, timely decisions before and during anemergency can literally affect the lives and well-being of the local citizenry.Your decisions can impact the ability of response agencies to do their jobs andcan make the difference in how quickly the community is able to recover froman event.Decisions in Emergency ManagementHow often are your decision-making abilities tested when an emergencythreatens? Let’s begin with an example. Review the case study that isprovided on the next page.Decision Making and Problem SolvingPage 1.1

UNIT 1: COURSE INTRODUCTIONCase Study 1.1—Sebring CountyInstructions: Read the following case study. As you read, try to identify whatdecisions must be made by the emergency manager or other emergencymanagement officials. Jot down your ideas before continuing.Background: Heavy rainstorms have hit, and counties across the en

Good problem solving and decision making can avert tragedy and help the community recover from the event more quickly. Conversely, poor decision making or the absence of decisions potentially can result in injury or death to victims or responders. (Clearly, in our case study, if the Emergency Manager