The answer to rightsizing a response capability lies partly in the step of a thorough hazard and risk assessment. Oftentimes cities and villages don’t really know what, when, where, and how emergencies occur in their jurisdiction. Instead of basing their actions on all hazards impact data, they work from memory. Memory tends to be emotional rather than logical.
Inside the gut of every elected official is the desire to to make their jurisdiction safe. And then the budget takes a downward spiral and they have to deal with budget demons. All parties end up at odds when, in fact, they need more than ever to work together in a game of collaboration and cooperation.
Jurisdictions need to complete a comprehensive risk assessment for their community, and use those statistics to develop a logical plan that facilitates prevention, maximizes the use of all resources available, and shares the costs of response with other stakeholders in the community. The answers are not inside the box. Officials can no longer afford, either monetarily or politically, to succumb to actions they cannot support strategically and statistically. Robbing Peter to pay Paul doesn’t work anymore. Sound reasoning starts with knowing the hazards and risks that exist, and having a full list of the alternatives to compose workable solutions. Those solutions are a result of parties who work together to find creative and effective new solutions to old problems. That’s how we create resilient communities with affordable answers.