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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Good Radio Interview With Citizen Preparedness & Engagement Expert

March 19th, 2009 · No Comments

Monica Schoch-Spana of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Biosecurity, one of the (if not ‘the’) leading authorities on citizen preparedness and engagement, did an interesting interview on the radio show, Homeland Security Inside & Out. In it, she makes some recommendations to the new Administration on bolstering public preparedness and engagement. This week’s show focuses on the Center For Biosecurity (An audio file of the broadcast can be found here with Schoch-Spana’s segment about 25:30 in.) I have also summarized some of her points below:

*Contrary to most disaster movies, “up to 50 years of social research show that people by and large do not panic, they creatively cope…people are reaching out, adapting to changing situations and putting others ahead of themselves.”

*We have to think more broadly about the citizen’s role in public health preparedness. Typically, we’re asking citizens to set aside an emergency stockpile of essential goods and asking them to tune to media in an emergency for instructions. Both are important. But don’t limit citizen role to private action.

*Involve citizens more in community action and decision making. Give people opportunities to volunteer and provide input to public health planning.

*Citizens offer complementary skills and resources to uniformed responders in a disaster.

*To promote community resilience, government should allocate some public health spending for community-based and faith-based organizations who can work along side authorities and medical personnel building up infrastructures to distribute information and mass amounts of medicines if necessary.

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Tags: Media · Preparedness Ideas · Preparedness Interviews · Public Health Preparedness

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