April 24, 2014

911 + 10 Years / How Prepared Are We?

With the 10th Year Anniversary of 911 getting near, many opinions are surfacing regarding the status of our nation’s preparedness level for the next National Disaster.

One of the recently released survey reports of a national survey of more than 1,000 public safety and public service professionals indicates both matters of concern and evidence of progress made.

PREPAREDNESS SURVEY BACKGROUND

The survey, completed by first responders, emergency managers, public health officials and others on the front lines of emergency preparedness and response teams, was conducted by national public safety associations including, the American Public Health Association (APHA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), the U.S. Council of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM-USA), the Comprehensive Emergency Management Research Foundation (CEMRF) and the FBI National Academy Associates (FBI NAA) in partnership with Capella University.

On this 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, it is important to examine the progress we have made in our ability to respond to a major terrorist attack or natural disaster, as well as identify what we have not yet adequately addressed,” said Charles Tiffin, PhD, Capella University provost, vice president of academic affairs, and former dean of the School of Public Service Leadership. “We went straight to the source and asked public service and public safety professionals — including first responders, emergency managers, police officers, firefighters and public health workers — for their views on critical questions in order to get a realistic assessment from the people in the best position to know.”

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

51% strongly agree and 37% somewhat agree that funds are allocated according to what’s best for politicians, not what’s best for emergency preparedness,

58% of respondents have seen their budgets decrease over the last two years,

When asked to evaluate changes made since 9/11 to improve disaster preparedness, respondents agreed that several other areas of focus have not improved as much:

Collaboration: the level of collaboration with non-governmental providers of services (private sector or non-profits) has improved a little (35%) or not at all (13%)

Equipment: the access to state-of-the-art emergency, laboratory and communications equipment has improved a little (35%) or not at all (11%),

Public Funding: the amount of government funding for disaster preparedness has improved a little (30%) or not at all (20%),

Private Funding: the amount of private and non-profit funding for disaster preparedness has improved a little (37%) or not at all (25%),

Nuclear Emergency: While respondents were split on whether local first responders would be prepared to deal with an emergency at a nuclear power plant (54% said they would be very or somewhat prepared, while 46% said they would be very or somewhat unprepared), 75% responded that area residents would not be aware of what to do in a nuclear reactor emergency.

Click here to read the full report, “10 Years Later: A National Survey of Public Service & Public Safety Professionals,” and, the survey results will be discussed as part of a panel discussion at the National Emergency Management Summit on Sept. 13 in New York City.

If applicable, please pass this information along to those team members in your organization dealing with emergency or crisis management, disaster preparedness, business continuity planning, PS-Prep compliance or risk management.  

Photo courtesy of tamilnadu.inetgiant.in

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