Regional emergency response best practice to help states
| 08.24.2006 | 06:18:57 | Views: 2957 | ID:
August 24 '06: Most of the time, state and local first responders are able to handle emergency situations in the first 72 hours while federal resources are pooled and deployed. During the terrorist attacks in 1993 in Oklahoma City and in 2001 in New York and Virginia, state and local emergency responders were able to effectively respond the the crises.
However, in the event that state and local resources are overwhelmed, such as was the case during Hurricane Katrina, the Heritage Foundation has said that coordinated regional planning between states could help in disaster preparedness.Currently, the disaster planning, preparedness and response model survives on a three-tiered system: local, state and federal emergency response structures operate according to the level of disaster. However, the Heritage's article has said that adding a fourth tier would help disaster response and planning. A regional, cooperative effort that would include several states would help to "learn the capabilities of their partnering states and quickly tap or merge resources as needed." "Successful regional programs would focus not on federal structures in each region," the Heritage wrote, "but rather on regional emergency management programs and capabilities that are developed, coordinated and managed by the states." Examples of such regional groups include the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Through EMAC, states are able to shift disaster funding to areas that need immediate assistance "and receive assistance from other member states quickly and efficiently," the EMAC website read. Coordination of the states could be managed by a Regional Emergency Management Support System "developed by self-selected states through interstate compacts, [that] would allow states to work together to establish emergency preparedness, response, and recovery plans that would be triggered by preidentified events."
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