BOX 5.6
New York City Preparedness Benefits from Government—Health Care Partnership

The New York City Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Program (HEPP)a is a coalition of hospitals, long-term-care facilities, primary care centers, emergency management services, professional associations, and medical university partners that conducts emergency preparedness activities. The coalition is coordinated with assistance from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The number of facilities includes 65 hospitals and acute care facilities, 400 outpatient centers, and 73 emergency medical services organizations, in addition to participants from public safety, emergency management, public health, medical societies, and hospital associations.

The goal of the program has been to create integrated and coordinated emergency planning and response in the New York Area and the coalition works toward meeting specific benchmarks such as isolation capacity, trauma care, and pharmaceutical capabilities. The program has used hazard vulnerability analysis, has developed connections to other medical facilities and city agencies, has implemented an incident command system, and has conducted training exercises and citywide drills.



SOURCE: Toner et al. (2009)


The third theme in building resilience is communication and public education, which may result in a populace that knows what hazards it faces, has the social connections that will help it endure, understands how to protect its safety and well-being, and sees itself as capable and self-sufficient. Such communications should happen at all levels, especially in promoting resilience as a national priority and a goal. However, communication and public education may be most crucial at the local level, where they strengthen social ties and capabilities, and where local knowledge and trusted relationships can amplify the power of communications. Understanding the purpose of communications is a key element in motivating resilient actions (Box 5.7).

The tactical details of risk communication—such as warning strategies, emergency communication planning, and content of messages—are vital to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery and they have been well documented elsewhere (NRC, 1989a, 2005b; Mileti and O’Brien, 1992; Mileti and Peek, 2002; Morgan et al. 2002; Fischhoff, 2009). Tactical risk communication strategies ensure timely information, reduce economic losses, prevent stigmatization, and save lives and suffering. However, communication for resilience encompasses more than tactical risk communication because

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