In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

On Earth Day, Why Efforts On Global Warming & Emergency Preparedness Should Be More Closely Connected

April 22nd, 2009 · 4 Comments

With all the focus on the environment on Earth Day, I wanted to reiterate a point about the connection I think should be made between the public service campaigns on global warming and emergency preparedness. 

It is my contention that the two efforts are complementary and should be more linked closer together in the public’s mind — and actions. In both, society is being asked to mobilize in order to avert or mitigate potential disasters, and both are part of strengthening the nation’s general national resilience. In fact, it is likely that climate change is contributing to the frequency and scale of natural disasters that will require a more prepared nation. Yet, Americans have largely embraced one cause and ignored the other. 

The global warming campaign can and should be a model for citizen emergency preparedness in a variety of ways, including getting kids to lead the way and more extensively involving the media and entertainment industries. But preparedness will also require the same kind of governmental and corporate commitment, high profile public spokespeople and incentives that has boosted the climate change effort. Yes, global warming has some skeptics, but so does emergency preparedness — ironically they are usually not the same people which may conveniently add to its complementary synergy. 

A reader and fellow CERT member, Roger Ma, suggests that the global warming issue is “very accessible to a broad population, including kids, because it fosters the idea that tiny changes can help better the environment (recycling cans, taking public transport, lowering your carbon footprint, etc.) without having to focus on the worst case scenario of a catastrophic natural disaster caused by the warming of the planet.”  I agree and believe it is the challenge of those of us in the emergency preparedness field to do a better job of making the subject more accessible to more Americans of all ages. That is one of the objectives of this blog. One way to do it I think is to try to find ways of connecting the efforts on emergency preparedness and global warming.

earthday_NY.jpg earth day image by craobh23

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Tags: Hurricane Preparedness · Preparedness Incentives

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