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Trust And Compliance During Disaster Emergencies

1011 words - 4 pages

Extreme disaster emergencies, such as the Hurricane Katrina, may burden state’s emergency operation plans when the extent of the situation strains the response plan to its maximum limit (Davis, 2006). When all resources are depleted, states may request a presidential disaster declaration to receive more support; yet they would be unlikely to manage such tremendous response by themselves. Partnership with private-sector such as businesses and institutions may be pivotal to fill important gaps in emergency response. Therefore, an effective emergency response should include a multidisciplinary approach and inter-organizational coordination from public-private partnership (Kapucu, Interorganizational Coordination in Dynamic Context: Network in Emergency Response Management, 2005).
One good example of a partnership between government officials and private-sector professionals is the collaboration strategy that the state of Georgia, Division of Public Health created with the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) (Buehler, Whitney, & Berkelman, 2006). They planned a hypothetical scenario of a massive exposure to aerosolized anthrax, where government needed help with the mobilization of supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). BENS is a “national, nonpartisan organization of business leaders who apply the lessons of their successful businesses such as pro-bono, best business practice solutions to its most difficult national security problems” (Business Executives for National Security, 2012). In this hypothetical scenario, BENS provided expertise in logistics, access to a large number of potential volunteers, business infrastructures for training organizing and communication with volunteers. Other state’s collaboration with BENS also exists in Kansas City, New York City, California, Southeast, Texas and Washington, DC. Although this collaboration has proven to be successful, some cultural differences and operational limitations may beset the replication of this practice to other states such as Pennsylvania.
The state of Pennsylvania counts with innovative softwares, such as the Previstar’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Planner which facilitate meetings between different stakeholders (Gordon, 2011). Also, in 1998, the former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge created nine Regional Counter-Terrorism Task Forces (Wade, 2007), which provided support in case of a terrorist attack. Furthermore, institutions such as UPMC all over the state have a strong compromise with the emergency planners and responders. However, the state of Pennsylvania does not have any documented collaboration with business professionals or statutes that require private-sector or institutions to collaborate or share information in case of an emergency, like California for example do. Expanding our risk communication to private-sector may bolster state’s emergency planning and response, with expertise in matters such as logistic, sophisticated programs,...

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