Getting Ready for the Next Emergency

Planning, training, learning, mentoring, stockpiling – there are many actions people take to get ready for emergencies and disasters. Each person, agency, organization, and sector have a unique way of preparing for anticipated and unexpected events. However, the need for good leadership crosses disciplines. On May 30, 2023, Domestic Preparedness brought together five leaders who discovered their strengths and arrived at their positions along different career and life paths. A key takeaway from that discussion is that each person must be ready when needed. Emergencies are not planned events, so the question is, “Will you be able to step up, say yes, and lead at a moment’s notice?” 

Many private citizens are taking steps to assist in crises, build personal resilience, and bridge critical emergency response gaps. For example, after receiving specialized training, service animals are tasked with performing specific daily tasks. However, their critical roles must integrate into other emergency response efforts. This requires awareness and coordination with first responders and others assisting in the aftermath. Amateur radio operators also train to voluntarily operate and, when needed, serve as a communication lifeline during emergencies. The National Association for Amateur Radio’s annual Field Day in June was a great opportunity for individuals and clubs to practice and fine-tune their skills. 

In organizations and agencies, first responders and public health agencies train and prepare for numerous scenarios but cannot anticipate every possibility. In some cases, prank calls can drain critical resources when law enforcement, fire, and medical services may be needed elsewhere. In other cases, these calls may endanger the safety and lives of the responders. In either case, organizations and agencies must be ready to address these challenges. In the public health space, COVID-19 highlighted the need to evaluate existing plans and ensure that the field promotes a readiness mindset. 

During an emergency, it is common for communities – comprising private citizens to large agencies – to come to the aid of others. The interdependencies become more apparent when one or more services, critical infrastructure sectors, etc. are interrupted. In this June 2023 edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal, representatives from various sectors share the strides that practitioners are making and the challenges they face within their areas of expertise. Emergencies will happen, and they will not wait for us to get ready. 

Catherine L. Feinman

Catherine L. Feinman, M.A., joined Domestic Preparedness in January 2010. She has more than 35 years of publishing experience and currently serves as editor of the Domestic Preparedness Journal,, and The Weekly Brief. She works with writers and other contributors to build and create new content that is relevant to the emergency preparedness, response, and recovery communities. She received a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University.



No tags to display


Translate »