Mar 6, 2019

NEW Anthropologist-led FEMA Report on national preparedness

The publication of a new 38-page FEMA Report, Building Cultures of Preparedness, an initiative funded by FEMA Higher Education to present research related to FEMA's new Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, "Building a Culture of Preparedness."

The report is the first FEMA work to be authored by environmental and cultural anthropologists, joined by practitioners and academic colleagues. The majority of authors are members of the Culture and Disaster Action Network (CADAN) organized to bring local and cultural knowledge into disaster policy and practice.

Preparedness strategies to date have increased first responder and government capabilities, but individual and community progress towards enhanced levels of preparedness has been limited. Authors of the new report suggest that achieving the 2018–2022 Strategic Plan's vision of enhanced preparedness requires a bottom-up approach to close these gaps.

Highlighting the vast diversity of American communities and households, the report demonstrates that a one-size-fits-all strategy is not well-suited to the demands of variable and distinctive environments – a national Culture of Preparedness will have to be built one community at a time. Preparedness is a local matter, requiring solutions tailored to different cultural contexts and embraced by communities. Achieving the reality of a resilient nation as envisioned in the Strategic Plan requires us to think in the plural, building "Culture(s) of Preparedness."

The report lays out four Guiding Principles for building Cultures of Preparedness followed by practical strategies and examples as well as successful outcomes in real-world settings.

The report's authors include:
Katherine E. Browne, (lead author) Colorado State University / CADAN
Laura Olson, (lead author) Georgetown University, Emergency & Disaster Management Program / CADAN
Jenny Hegland, Jenny Hegland Consulting
Ana-Marie Jones, Interpro Inc. 
Julie Maldonado, Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) / CADAN
Elizabeth Marino, Oregon State University / CADAN Keely Maxwell, Environmental Protection Agency / CADAN
Eric Stern, University of Albany-SUNY, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cyber-Security
Wendy Walsh, FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Program

Thank you for sharing with others who might find this interesting or useful.