For many, January is a time for New Year’s resolutions – opportunities to avoid making past mistakes and a renewed energy for change and setting higher goals. For Domestic Preparedness readers, this may mean learning lessons from past incidents, creating or updating plans and procedures, or acquiring equipment and resources. It takes strong leadership skills, education, training, and forward-thinking to anticipate potential threats and consequences that could impact communities. However, as the old cliché goes, there is strength in numbers.
The authors in this January edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal describe how communities can strengthen their efforts to mitigate future threats and their impacts. One county discovered weather radar gaps that limited access to information needed to protect against incoming storms. Now they are installing a system to warn locals about impending threats and how to protect themselves. A group of researchers saw how low-lying homes and structural weaknesses could have catastrophic consequences in flood waters. This inspired them to create a new design tool to help homeowners safely raise buildings to better protect properties and lives.
Like in these two examples, collaborative efforts bring together knowledgeable stakeholders across disciplines to drive resiliency. For example, community leaders who listen to and communicate with local stakeholders can acquire information and develop relationships that promote stronger and safer jurisdictions. Information sharing helps communities prepare for emergencies and assists during and after an incident. Collaboration that helps community leaders identify and mitigate threats, track patients, and reunify families are just a few other examples mentioned in this month’s issue.
The roles, responsibilities, vulnerabilities, and interdependencies of three more critical infrastructure sectors round out the issue. These sectors provide basic utilities and facilitate common daily activities. Collaboration and relationships help build actionable knowledge and resources to make the best decisions under difficult circumstances. This is a new year and an opportunity to make the changes and reach the goals needed to strengthen communities to address future threats and hazards. What is your New Year’s resolution for your community?