Disaster Preparedness

Discussion #4 (Week 7)What best practices from around the globe have the United States shared with the world, and what could the United States learn from other nation’s Emergency Preparedness, Response & Management practices?

In the United States, disaster management is left to the local governments. The state and national governments have their systems and resources in place to help when the local government needs it. However, the local government caters for preparedness, response, rescue, mitigation, and recovery. This is much different from other countries where the role of disaster management and response are handed to the national government. In the United States, the state and federal governments can guide safety measures ahead of a disaster, but it is up to the local governments to enact the systems. The federal and state governments have the right and responsibility of creating disaster preparedness policies and the local governments only have to adopt them. This makes it easy for the local governments to prepare well in advance and ensure that once the disaster strikes, the effects felt are minimal. 

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On the other hand, in Japan, the government rarely takes part in the first response issues (Greer, 2012). The local authorities are well trained and funded to respond to disasters. In Japan, the identification of the vulnerabilities is part of the disaster preparedness. This means that the government, through this practice, can educate its people on how to handle these disasters. For instance, the families in Japan are trained on how to respond to disasters. This reduces the panic and cluelessness factor that can be observed in the United States. It is a difficult and costly model to implement in the United States but not impossible. Whereas the United States works with a decentralized response model, Japan depends on technology to handle these challenges. Japan has strong technology to detect any dangers and maintain the damage to the lowest achievable levels. The preparedness levels of the two countries cannot compare but are useful in their ways, given that the two countries are not in the same kind of natural disaster risks.


Greer, A., (2012). Earthquake Preparedness and Response: Comparison of the United States and Japan. Leadership and Management in Engineering, https://ascelibrary.org/doi/full/10.1061/(ASCE)LM.1943-5630.0000179.

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