In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

In D.C. Speech, Israeli Resilience Expert Argues “An Active Public Is A Resilient Public And A Passive Public Is A Vulnerable Public”

April 30th, 2010 · No Comments

As the concept of ‘resilience’ in homeland security gains prominence here in the U.S., the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) at George Washington University hosted a timely speech by Brigadier-General (ret.) Meir Elran, of The Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, “The Israeli Experience: From Civil Defense To Resilience.” According to the HSPI summary of the event:

Elran began his remarks by noting two key points. First, that societal resilience plays a vital role in how democracies respond to crises. Second, that it is only in the last few years that resiliency has begun to receive serious attention in both Israel and the United States, and to challenge previous views of homeland security based upon civil defense.

Elran then discussed how terrorism, potential natural disasters, and the realization that none of Israel’s enemies are prepared to engage its defense forces directly, have illuminated the fact that national security is more than physical defense. According to Elran, the primary issue is the defense of society from a mental, social, cultural, and political perspective—a fact recognized by terrorists, who select targets based upon their psychological impact.

According to Elran, societal resilience consists of the capacity to contain major traumas; the capability of the public to ”bounce back”; and the ability of the system to return quickly to (perhaps even exceed) previous functions…Elran argued for the need to engage civilian populations in disaster response. To accomplish this, he stated that more needs to be done to educate, involve, and connect the public to issues of preparedness—and that these efforts ought to be focused at the community level.

And, he underscored the importance of involving the citizenry in this effort: ”…an active public is a resilient public and a passive public is a vulnerable public,” adding that if you can engage people “with the issues of preparedness, they will be exposed to the systems, to the threats, to the responses, and they will be better prepared to participate in the management of the crisis once it happens.”

The audio of the speech can be found here. Elran’s presentation slides are here.

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Technorati

Tags: International · Preparedness Events

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment