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Redefining Readiness addresses a fundamental flaw that is undermining efforts in all areas of emergency preparedness. Currently, planners are developing emergency instructions for people to follow without finding out whether it is actually possible for them to do so or whether the instructions are even the most protective action for certain groups of people to take.
The Redefining Readiness study documented this problem in preparations for shelter-in-place emergencies and deadly contagious disease outbreaks, predicting that large numbers of people would suffer and die unnecessarily if response strategies are not based on what people will actually face when a disaster strikes. This prediction was proven to be correct during Hurricane Katrina, when many people could not follow instructions to evacuate due to barriers that had not been identified or addressed beforehand.
To fix the flaw, four Redefining Readiness demonstration sites have developed powerful new community engagement practices to harness the knowledge and experiences of the broad range of people who need to be protected in emergencies. Practical tools based on the combined insights of almost 2,000 diverse community residents in the demonstration sites can help households, work places, schools and early childhood/youth programs, and governments throughout the country prepare to respond more effectively to shelter-in-place emergencies and deadly contagious disease outbreaks. Communities can also use the Redefining Readiness small group discussion process to explore what residents would face in the kinds of emergencies most likely to occur in their locality.
is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative
Strategies in Health at The
New York Academy of Medicine and is funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
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