General Preparedness

Key Principles of Effective National Preparedness Planning

Key Principles of Effective National Preparedness Planning


"The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disentrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country." - Abraham Lincoln



(1) Assessment of the entire range of threats – both acute and easily perceived, as well as chronic and insidious – is an essential first step in our national preparedness planning process.


(2) All subsequent steps in national preparedness planning depend on an accurate recognition, comprehension, and anticipation of all hazards that threaten our nation.


(3) Recent population-based scientific evidence has confirmed the presence of a chronic and insidious threat to our national security*.


"Kay Erikson has defined both the threat and challenge posed by a chronic disaster: 'it gathers force slowly and insidiously, creeping around one's defenses rather than smashing through them. People are unable to mobilize their normal defenses against the threat, sometimes because thy have elected consciously or unconsciously to ignore it, sometimes because they have been misinformed about it, and sometimes they believe they cannot do anything to avoid it.'"


"For an epidemic of influenza, a hurricane, earthquake, or tornado the worst is quickly over; treatment and recovery efforts can begin. In contrast, the chronic disaster that results from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is insidious, constantly rolling out from generation to generation."


"Until very recently, this public health disaster has been hidden from view. Our society has treated the abuse, maltreatment, violence, and chaotic experiences of our children as an oddity that is adequately dealt with by emergency response systems - child protective services, criminal justice, foster care, and alternative schools - to name a few. These services are needed and are worthy of support - but they are a dressing on a greater wound."


*Anda RF, Brown DW. Adverse Childhood Experiences & Population Health in Washington: The Face of a Chronic Public Health Disaster. Results from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Washington State Family Policy Council. July 2, 2010.


(4) The survival of our nation will depend on how effectively we address this critical vulnerability.


(5) State-of-the-art enterprise social networking software will become an essential national preparedness tool because it not only leverages an organized, efficient, team approach to the acquisition, synthesis, and dissemination of effective evidence-based primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies, but also serves as a secure environment for common access to documents, stakeholder feedback, discussion, ongoing dialogue, and continuous quality improvement.


Hagel J, Brown J, Davison L. The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion. Deloitte Development. Basic Books, New York, 2010.


(6) Skillful use of enterprise social networking software will make a huge difference in transforming our nation’s greatest weakness into our greatest strength by facilitating the integration of lessons learned into subsequent practice, and capturing institutional memory so that valuable lessons learned will not be forgotten.



12 votes
Idea No. 94