Disaster response: Civic involvement along with private sector and government
| 10.08.2006 | 08:02:04 | Views: 2861 | ID:
A greater awareness of the civic responsibility of each citizen to participate in community response and preparedness in response to a disaster - whether natural or man made is the greatest hurdle to disaster response and preparedness. First response is an amalgamation of federal, state, local and tribal governments, medical services, law enforcement as well as community involvement and cooperation within the private sector.
Communication between community business leaders and government leaders to incorporate and include citizens in community response and preparedness is essential to improve awareness and improved security. Because there is no "silver bullet" for disaster response - private sector and government bodies can join their respective resources to help secure infrastructure, involve community responders and help to educate the public so that when disaster strikes, Americans can respond accordingly, efficiently and quickly. Private sector entities such as nonprofit and for profit business have access to supply chains that can be quickly deployed in times of emergency. Those existing supply chains (as was seen during Hurricane Katrina) could be deployed to help government responder services without the red tape of government services. Wal Mart was able to supply water in Mississippi when FEMA could not because Wal Mart had the trucks, the water and the stores carrying the supplies in areas around the disaster site. The barriers are only in the mind. It will take a sea change in culture to move citizens, businesses and government into a mind set of community involvement and cooperation. There should be no difference between government, business and citizen involvement in community. It is not merely the responsibility of the government to provide disaster response, as it is not just the responsibility of the private sector to look to the government to elicit change.
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