Emergency Preparedness: Life, Limb, the Pursuit of Safety and Social Justice

Emergency Preparedness: Life, Limb, the Pursuit of Safety and Social Justice

Marianne Robin Russo (Florida Atlantic University, USA), Valerie C. Bryan (Florida Atlantic University, USA) and Gerri Penney (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/javet.2012040103
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Abstract

Since 9-11, emergency preparedness has been the focus on federal, state, tribal, and local levels. Although current research describes emergency management response, many barriers may exist that effect response systems, including the role of first responders, social vulnerability, and the way technology interfaces with these variables. Several factors determine the success of emergency preparedness and its ultimate impact on the health and safety of the community, including social media response, Community Response Grid (CRG) and social networks for older adults, emergency Internet and Community Technology (ICT) training within tribal communities and graduate schools, and programs and innovative emergency management policies for ethnically and racially diverse populations. Negotiating these issues, the character and incidence of emergency technology benefits the adult experiencing an emergency by: a) obscuring the constructs of social and class hegemony; b) mitigating future emergency problems when new procedures and policies that depend on ICT are rendered; c) examining barriers that could hinder lifesaving emergency procedures; and d) creating a community identification and a community collaborative bond so disadvantaged communities are responded to in an expedient manner.
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Introduction

Data is being processed every moment of every day at a voracious pace. Private citizens, and the private and public sector rely on this technology-driven data to make a multitude of decisions. And, to make this situation even more intricate, technology designers are upgrading and changing both the software and hardware components with great rapidity. And, an integral piece of hardware that is going through a brisk evolution is the silicon chip, which assists computers in processing speed (National Research Council, 2006). It is therefore imperative that the adult e-learner understands and conforms or adapts to these changes. And, it is even more important to ensure safety that the adult e-learner adapts to this new technology as it applies to emergency preparedness.

When emergencies are being categorized, there are many kinds that could be quickly conjured up including, but not limited to: floods, medical epidemics, toxic and/or biological transmissions, fire, hazardous material spills or leaks, nuclear disasters, rock or mudslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, transportation accidents, and terrorist threats. According to Turoff et al. (2004), “By definition, an ‘emergency’ means that an event has occurred that makes it impossible for an organization to ‘conduct business as usual’” (p. 12). The question then becomes, how do we deal with these threats in order to mitigate safety problems the populace might have to encounter.

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