August 21, 2008 By Jim McKay, Editor
As the population increases so do hazards, but that increase in the hazards isn't being met with an increase in readiness among businesses, nonprofits and government, according to a report published by New York University's Center for Catastrophic Preparedness and Response (CCPR) and The Public Entity Risk Institute.
The report, Predicting Organizational Crisis Readiness: Perspectives and Practices toward a Pathway to Preparedness, found a large number of organizations lacked effective preparedness programs to respond to and recover from a crisis (such as a natural disaster or an act of terrorism), despite predictions that crises are becoming more frequent and more complex.
"We asked whether organizations were prepared for internal crises such as a financial crisis or accident and external crises such as a terrorist attack or natural disaster," Light said in an e-mail.
Slightly more than half of government officials that responded to a survey for the report evaluated their preparedness level as "very ready." Just 29 percent of nonprofits considered themselves very ready and just 20 percent of businesses put themselves in that category.
The report acknowledges a direct relationship between population increases and an increase in hazards and states as this occurs, "levels of crises readiness among organizations remains low or poorly understood."
The report examined characteristics that better position organizations and government to mitigate disasters and looked at predictors of crisis readiness. The report included results from a survey of leaders in government, business and nonprofit organizations and concluding with some of the following recommendations:
Predicting Organizational Crisis Readiness: Perspectives and Practices toward a Pathway to Preparedness can be downloaded at the Web site and from the Resource Library on the PERI Web site. In addition to PERI and CCPR, the report was supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Morgan Stanley and the Prudential Corp.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.