Are We Ready Yet to Deal with Large-Scale Disasters?

What seems to be abundantly clear, however, is that the United States is still not where it should be in terms of the general response capacity following major disasters, whatever their cause. Part of the problem is unchanged from last year. We will have not defined what we mean by “prepared” whether we are speaking of this concept on a national or local level. Not that this is in any way easy. The concept of preparedness or readiness is understood to be arbitrarily determined, so that it is always possible to under or over-prepare for future disasters. No two major events are exactly the same and the consequences can encompass a relatively wide range. That is precisely why it is essential for appropriate officials – particularly on the federal level – to establish criteria for what it means for the nation and for communities to be sufficiently prepared. That definition should take into account the major threats that the U. S. faces, guidelines for appropriate planning on a regional basis and, ultimately, an arbitrary decision with respect to much will be spent on preparing.