Intro to Emergency Management

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The primary purpose of this assignment is an introduction to the basics of college writing by adopting a formal style (American Psychological Association or APA) that presents a student’s views objectively and by taking the “self” out of the writing and referencing source material. This assignment differentiates writing in third person versus writing in first person. Writing in third person allows the writer to present views that are unbiased, and a factually based view. A second purpose is to reflect on the importance of personal preparedness.

It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon as you drive back from a weekend visit with your folks. You are nearly home, about ten miles out of town, when your car goes bump. You brake and pull over to the shoulder, and notice that the road is waving up and down. You are bouncing up and down. The bridge ahead buckles wildly and collapse into the river. It is an earthquake. It is THE BIG ONE and it is happening right before your eyes. After a few minutes that seem like hours the shaking stops, for now.

You step out of your car and think about your situation. You are not hurt; your car is ok; you have a cellphone, a geographic positioning system, your Chromebook, Acer or laptop of choice, your over-night bag, and the emergency supply kit that you keep stashed in your trunk. [Note: Check your trunk. Its contents are your emergency kit.]

In short answers of about 100 to 200 words per question:

What are your priorities for the next 24 hours? Write in first person point-of-view. Avoid shifting to either the second person point-of-view or third person point-of-view.

What is in your emergency kit?

  1. How will you use what you have to accomplish your priorities?
  2. What do you wish you had packed in your emergency kit?
    1. Research online sources for emergency kits and use one source to compare its recommendations to those items in your emergency kit.
    2. Use a source such as American Red Cross, FEMA’s Build-a-Kit or Creek Stewart’s Bug-out-Bag Pack List. Analyze your kit versus that of your source and describe how you can improve your mobile emergency kit.
    3. Use the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Reading below) and reference your source using the basic rules for references.

What are some of the challenges the community is likely to face because THE BIG ONE hit the town? In contrast to assignments above, write this assignment from a third person point-of-view. Avoid shifting to either the first person point-of-view or second person point-of-view.


Columbia College recommends the Purdue Online Writing Lab as a source to APA Formatting and Style Guidance.

  1. Review the menu on the left column and take a look at Reference List: Basic Rules
  2. Review Style, Genre & Writing (click for link) at the Purdue Online Lab. Study First person point-of-view and compare to Third person point-of-view.

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