FEMA report finds local culture understanding, compared to top-down approach, is more important in disaster response

According to a FEMA report at 2-day workshop at Georgetown University:  Review of the last couple of decades of the federal government's approach to developing more disaster-resilient communities found that efforts have failed because of a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach that doesn't fit most communities. FEMA recommends development of 'individual cultures of preparedness' from the bottom up .

"We've achieved our national preparedness goals when it comes to first responders [as per Presidential Policy Directive 8] but when it comes to preparedness of individual households and communities, we've failed," said Laura Olson, a lead author of the report. "To say we've failed it putting it mildly. We really haven't been able to achieve any of our goals for two decades at least, which is the amount of time we've been tracking this."


training.fema.gov/hiedu/docs/latest/2019_cultures_of_preparedness_report_10.22.18%20final.pdf [PDF]