And why amÂ I mentioning this in a citizen preparedness blog? BecauseÂ I believe thatÂ thereÂ areÂ a couple key financial and publicity elements in the City’s anti-smokingÂ initiative that I think areÂ instructive for developingÂ effectiveÂ campaigns for public emergency preparedness. For example, the City is:
*increasing the cigarette tax to hit smokers where it (in the short term)Â really hurts
*giving away free nicotine patches (at about $60 a patch) to make it easier for them to start stopping
*and creating a special day to consolidate public and media attention
Like smoking, civilian emergency preparedness requiresÂ a major change inÂ publicÂ behavior.Â It will not happen unless the government gets really serious and takes advantage ofÂ some of the levers it normally uses when it wants to change public behaviorÂ (asÂ the City is doingÂ in its anti-smoking effort). We need to be willing to utilizeÂ financial incentives — such as tax-free holidays on emergencyÂ supplies — to get people to prepare. And IÂ have suggested that similarlyÂ there is a need toÂ pick one day for everyone to focus on preparedness.