Week 8: reflection & summary | COUN 5450 | Webster University

Disaster Response and Hostage Negotiation

There appears to be an increase in hostage situations around the globe in recent years. Your readings this week take you to the world of Crisis/Hostage negotiation, addressing both a hostage taker, as well as the hostages in such a situation.

You will also learn about large scale disaster relief in cases such as natural disasters or racial and ethnic intolerance.


 International Association of Hostage Negotiators (www.hostagenegotiation.com) is typical of crisis/hostage websites in that it is mainly members-only and particularly geared towards law enforcement. However, this website does have some good information and links, and also has audio of an actual hostage situation being negotiated.

Read the assigned chapters from James this week and discuss the following:

  1. What is the worst eco-systemic crisis you can imagine? Why?
  2. Are we better at managing some types of eco-systemic crises than others? If so, what are they? Why?
  3. What kind of training, education, and experience do you believe should be required to be an effective and competent manager of a crisis such as the scenario one described above?
  4. Given a natural disaster such as is contained in this scenario, how do you go about coordinating and communicating an effective response?
  5. When the crisis situation exceeds your local capacities and resources to respond, how and when do you decide to call for help, and who do you call?

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