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  • Writer's pictureBruce Crandall

What To Do Before Disaster Strikes Your City?

I recently attended a city managers’ conference in Utah and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I had the chance to interact and meet many good, dedicated leaders, passionate about their roles and their cities.

One of the sessions that caught my attention focused on emergency management. The South Jordan Assistant City Manager, Dustin Lewis, shared some of the issues his city has dealt with in preparing for and responding to emergencies and disasters. He posed several questions that city managers should be asking in their community to become more disaster-resistant and resilient.

I live in North Texas. Not quite Tornado Alley, but springtime here can bring torrential downpours, flash-flooding, large hail, high gusts, and yes, occasional funnel clouds. Texas is still recovering, too, from an unusual deep freeze last February that caused widespread power outages, busted pipes, and $ billions in damage.

Dustin’s excellent presentation got me thinking about some additional questions that can help cities better assess their emergency planning assumptions…

  • What are the hazards in our community that we should be ready for, both natural and man-made?

  • Where are the most vulnerable and high-risk areas in our community?

  • Is our community ready with a plan to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster?

  • How prepared are the residents and other stakeholders in our community?

  • Do they have disaster supply kits on hand to take care of themselves until we can provide them assistance?

  • What kind of assistance might they need and expect from us to provide?

  • Have they put together their own individual response plan?

  • Are there any functional needs for individuals or groups that we should be planning for?

If you find yourself asking these same questions, you may want to consider using MDI’s CommunityView™. It’s a quick, cost-effective feedback system that helps cities quickly gauge the pulse and mind of residents on topics of all sorts, including understanding your community preparedness from a new perspective.

Definitely something to think about.

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