For the past 35 years, I have worked in the Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity industry (EM/DR/BC) – starting in 1985 as a provider of earthquake preparedness supplies for the west coast and Pacific Rim, then expanded in 1996 by publishing the Disaster Resource GUIDE as the first comprehensive industry source for education, thought leadership and products/services resources.
As far back as I can recall the message has consistently been: Disaster preparedness starts at the local level. There has always been the understanding that when a major disaster happens, such as an earthquake, it would take days and perhaps weeks for help to arrive. Families, schools, businesses, communities and government agencies must prepare to care of themselves during the early phase of recovery.
Effective disaster response and recovery requires long-term planning, analysis, provisioning and lots of TIME. The current global crisis is exceedingly complex. Criticism abounds, along with lots of questions. Why have tests not been more readily available? It is one question many of us are asking. I look forward to knowing the truth on this issue – and I believe it will not be a simple answer.
Prevention, mitigation, preparedness for this kind of nationwide disaster needed to begin a LONG time ago– a decade, two decades ago. And, it needed to be done at all levels — local, state, regional and federal levels. None of us caused this disaster, yet all of us must do our part now and in the future to ensure better preparedness. It’s time to stop blaming and instead focus on solving the current problems – all of us in our corner of the world. But lest we find ourselves in the same, or worse, when a future crisis hits…we should be willing to invest the time and money to prepare and mitigate well before the next crisis.
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