Crisis in Haiti: Responding to the 2010 Earthquake
According to the crisis management theory of Malloch and Porter-O’Grady (2009), crisis is unpredictable but expected. Haiti suffered from unpredictable crisis in January 2010 when an earthquake struck near the capital and crumbled its poorly constructed infrastructure, destroying families and functions of the country. As an early responder to the disaster, I observed management of the crisis and its challenges on a relief operation near the Haitian border. Using the crisis management theory of Malloch & Porter-O’Grady (2009), reflections about the management of the Haitian crisis are made. Although the theory provides a basis for discussion of the Haitian crisis, the theory has limitations explaining long-term management of a severe natural disaster crisis on a large macro level.
Managing Crisis Theory
The Haitian earthquake crisis in January 2010 was unexpected and the extensive damage it caused unanticipated. Although crisis is unpredictable, it is not unexpected (Malloch & Porter-O’Grady, 2009). The inevitability of the circumstances that could lead to a potential onset of crisis should be understood, expected, recognized, and planned for so that an organization is capable of responding to crisis (Malloch & Porter-O’Grady, 2009). Malloch and Porter-O’Grady (2009) explain that ongoing leadership and a systematic approach must be in place to make crisis awareness apart of the organization and a structured model to address the conditions associated with the crisis (Malloch & Porter-O’Grady, 2009). Good leadership is not enough (Malloch & Porter-O’Grady, 2009). “The failure to recognize the relationship between seemingly nonrelated elements or events can be the first sign of a potential crisis or conflict” (p. 69 Malloch & Porter-O’Grady, 2009).
In the event of crisis, the response from leadership should be systematic, balanced, and organized (Malloch & Porter-O’Grady, 2009). This will provide rationality...