NCORP and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
| 04.03.2006 | 05:04:26 | Views: 2762 | ID:
April 3 '06: The first 72 hours are the most important moments for any emergency and those responding to it. Along with that idea, representatives from responder communities and state and local leadership from around the country gathered at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts for three days to discuss how to assess risks, harden targets, prepare for responses, respond appropriately to crises during the Northeast regional meeting of the Advisory Committee to the National Task Force on Community Preparedness and Response. "Ready America: The First 72 Hours" was designed "to develop a national template of the best practices for community preparedness and response leading up to and during the first hours of crisis."
The gathering last week was organized by the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, headed by former Virginia Governor James Gilmore who said in a live webcast last Friday that the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to a crisis was a national responsibility that begins with the first responder community because the US "cannot count on the federal government to be on the scene of a terrorist attack or similar crisis within 72 hours.""We need a coordinated national effort that brings together government at all levels with leaders in the business, charitable and civil communities," the Gilmore said. "This has to be an effort that brings all of our strengths to bear upon the most pressing challenge facing America." During the conference, five critical areas for responder awareness and preparedness were identified. They included the responder organizations; the ability to assess regional surge capacity during a crisis; community responders for a local crisis; a guardian corp; and a public network which would help disseminate information in real-time. Gilmore said, "Risk is inherently built into the American character. We are prepared to run risks. ... But we cannot be scared. We cannot fear. We must forge ahead with confidence and take actions that put the destiny of our country in our own hands."
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