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From Hurricane Katrina to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami to 911emergencies and disasters have caused billions of dollars in damagemedia attentions and increased public demand on government to protectcitizens property and the environmentIn 2012 the UN estimated thatnatural disasters caused over 130 billion in damage Alongside actualdamage there is a growing awareness of people and property being moreexposed to disasters as a result of climate change or human settlementpatters In response to increased media attention and exposure toemergencies and disasters the field of emergency management has in thelast decade experienced a renaissance Globally the demand forpractitioners is - and expected to continue in the future - to growAlongside the demand of practitioners is an increasedprofessionalization within the field in the formation of internationallyrecognised professional certification standards offered by theInternational Association of Emergency Managers to a growth ineducational programs and research in academia Yet while the field of emergency management is undergoing growth andprofessionalization the value and practices differ between NorthAmerica Europe Africa and Asia The following paper will present acomparative analysis of emergency management practices and the policyprocess in Toronto Canada and Amsterdam the Netherlands to understandcontinental differences within the field Moreover while the Europeanintegration project continues to deepen - with more responsibilitiestransferred to the European Union - this paper will assess theinvolvement of the EU in emergency management and the impact onactivities in Amsterdam Yet Amsterdam and Toronto offer a uniquecomparative approach Both Toronto and Amsterdam are the largest citiesin each respective country with a growing and diverse population Thesecities are at the centre of major transportation networks air railwater and road and act as important national and regional centers ofcommerce with each city being the home of their respective nationalstock exchange While Toronto and Amsterdam reap the benefits of theirstatus municipal governments must enact adequate emergency managementprograms to serve citizens the business community and industry of thecityComparing these two cities will demonstrate differences and similaritiesin emergency management practices in terms of legislative authoritythe
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