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City Manager Issue

Happytown Disaster Response Plan: A Citizen Based Approach

Research on disaster preparedness and response has shown that people who often think of themselves as prepared for disaster response quite often discover the contrary when disaster strikes (Wilson & Temple, 2007). In a recent survey conducted by Citizen Corps, 40% of respondents were found not to have household plans, 80% had not gone through evacuation drills, and over 60% had no idea about community evacuation routes (Citizen Corps, 2013).

Happytown USA has adopted a strategy of improving community disaster preparedness and response by reaching out to the citizens. This has been informed by the awareness that we are living in a society prone to disasters and calamities, both natural and artificial. With the danger of natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods and rise of global terrorism, disaster response cannot succeed if the citizens do not themselves play a role (Landesman, 2011). With this is mind, Happytown is taking a community based approach to disaster preparedness and response. We have named this strategy Safe Happytown Initiative, through which we will set up a community outreach department on disaster preparedness known as HappyTown Safe Corps.  

We have developed a community preparedness toolkit, which is a systematic guide alongside other useful resources that will make our community safer, improve resilience, and make them better-prepared (Citizen Corps, 2007). This strategy will lobby government and community leaders in citizen involvement. Through already establishing networks, we will launch an aggressive safety campaign and ask citizens to take personal responsibility on their safety by being prepared, attending training on first aid and emergency skills, and volunteering to aid emergency responders and community safety initiatives.

To make this strategy successful, we will launch mobile safety clinics in all the wards. This initiative is being popularized through media campaigns, billboards, posters, and flyers. Happytown Safety Corps will set up mobile training grounds to train citizens on the requisite skills in disaster preparedness and response.

References

Citizen Corps (13, September, 2013). Be Involved. Retrieved from http://www.ready.gov/community-preparedness-toolkit

Landesman, L. Y (2011). Public health management of disasters. np.

Wilson, S., Temple, B. et al (2007). The Lack of Disaster Preparedness by the Public and it’s Affect on Communities. The Internet Journal of Rescue and Disaster Medicine, 7(2). Retrieved at https://ispub.com/IJRDM/7/2/11721