Far too often, organizations consider the public a liability — something to be rescued in an emergency situation. The opposite is true. The public is one of our greatest resources in times of crisis and should be included as an important part of your resilience planning and training.
The reality of emergency management is this: The bigger the disaster, the less likely the government can provide the best response.
For smaller disasters, there are multiple organizations that can respond, from the Red Cross to the Salvation Army to our own National Guard. For larger disasters, there is so much demand for assistance that we invariably fall short. We cannot get to people fast enough. In those situations, the tendency is to tell the public to be passive and wait. That is not the best solution and increases the number of lives lost.
In the case of almost any disaster, the fastest response will be from your neighbor. There are countless examples of this…