Monday, May 25, 2009

Money often dictates response quality

Disaster News Network: With one of the most diverse populations in the U.S., California is a melting pot of nationalities, molded into communities. Climate along the coastal state is as different as the communities it affects and disasters are common, ranging from wildfires to mudslides.

How well are these diverse communities prepared for disasters? A study at the Center for Health Equality at Drexel University examined the preparedness of diverse communities and Dr. Dennis Andrulis, director for the center, shared his findings recently at the 2009 National Emergency Management Summit.

…And the findings of the study reaffirmed what they discovered in the national examination, according to Andrulis. "They include the importance of looking carefully statewide as well as looking at areas within the state," he said. "It's not just one state level of preparation for diverse populations. There are major regional differences. There are resources that are substantial in some areas and others are lacking significantly in resources."

So what can states do to even out the resources? Well, Andrulis said it's a matter of money. "The study pointed out that while some dollars are available, dollars need to be more flexible for application. The engagement of communities is essential. And they must engage communities at their level in a way that builds trust and promotes empowerment," he said. "That means reaching them at their level -- at places they are."….

California sea lions on a pier in San Francisco, shot by David Ball, Wikimedia Commons,  under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License

No comments: