Community Preparedness Initiative
One of the biggest struggles when it comes to preparedness is distribution of information that will actually grab the attention of those who are reading it. Anybody can build a website and post information but if no one knows where to find it then its meaningless. We need to start thinking outside the box and start a Community Preparedness Initiative (CPI). The concept of CPI would be to develop a single source entity (SSE) whose sole job is to seek out the various networks of information and provide one place for everyone to find it. This concept is similar to the intelligence community. Information is handled by several different agencies and then combined to determine an overall analysis of the threat. The CPI would create a standardized system that would make finding information as easy as a few mouse clicks.
An important component of this CPI would be developing a Public Education System (PES) that would network organizations who can provide various levels of training and education. When push comes to shove an organization or community will hire the lowest bidder because the country is in a recession and everyone is experiencing budget constraints and cuts. From a federal level the CPI can develop a standardized curriculum that defines the education requirements for various levels of officials from the Federal level all the way down to the local and tribal level. Everyone wants to develop their own way of doing things, and in some cases that works, but we need to find a common ground for all entities to start with that allows everyone to have the same minimum education no matter what level of the government you belong to.
Another important component to this CPI is social media networking. Today millions of people find themselves tweeting, blogging, talking to friends on Facebook and Myspace and joining various online communities to discuss topics that are important to them. Over the last five years officials and citizens on all levels have began using these social networking websites to develop a network of friends. We can use this same concept to pass information regarding preparedness. Local Emergency Managers should be utilizing news papers, radio, bulletins, blogging websites, and/or other various social media networks to pass critical information regarding preparedness. Why not publish preparedness tips in your local news paper on Sunday? Why can't we use the radio to pass important preparedness information? We have the tools to pass the word we just don't utilize them to their fullest capabilities.