Long before the word “resilience” became popular, NCDP committed to educating the public and policymakers about changes and improvements that are needed to make public health and emergency response systems, and the communities they serve, better able to withstand a severe blow from a disaster and effectively move forward with recovery.

Whether documenting citizens’ exaggerated expectations about what responders can accomplish, observing and evaluating preparedness exercises, identifying barriers that may prevent responders from reporting for duty during a crisis, highlighting flaws in the design and execution of backup systems, describing gaps in supply chains that interfere with mobilizing critical resources, measuring responders’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities, or recommending ways to increase citizen engagement and inclusiveness, NCDP has brought scrutiny to weaknesses in America’s system of preparedness.

Since NCDP’s inception, its staff has served as invited experts in numerous panels and commissions that have produced and enhanced specific tools for policymakers and practitioners. Following Superstorm Sandy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo implicitly recognized NCDP’s leadership in this policy arena by appointing Dr. Irwin Redlener, as a co-chair of the New York State Ready Commission, charged with “finding ways to ensure critical systems and services are prepared for future natural disasters and other emergencies. This was one of several venues in which NCDP experts have provided specific insights and perspectives on the lessons that public health, response, and recovery systems—at all levels of government and within the private and philanthropic sectors—should take from Sandy, as they have following prior domestic disasters.