The term “culture of preparedness” has grown in popularity over recent years in emergency management circles. Generally, the term is used to describe the goal of instilling readiness principles into community residents in order to minimize the loss of life and property in a crisis.

However, creating a culture of any sort must begin with the vision and principles set forth by leaders. Creating a culture of preparedness must start with the ideals, disciplines and practices of local emergency management agencies.

Is it possible an emergency management agency, with its sole purpose of planning for and responding to critical events, could actually improve its own culture of preparedness?

Having worked with hundreds of agencies to help create over 10,000 preparedness plans, the BOLDplanning team frequently engages EM professionals who say their organization’s preparedness culture could be enhanced.

Here are just a few indicators of an agency’s need for improvement:

  • Missing, incomplete or outdated HMP, EOP or COOP plans
  • A “check the box” planning mentality (doing the minimum needed to meet funding requirements)
  • HMP, EOP and COOP plans that do not leverage today’s technology, but exist solely in hard copy binders
  • Plans that are standalone and siloed, not leveraging common information across documents
  • Insufficient collaboration with community and partner stakeholders
  • Inadequate regional and cross-jurisdictional planning
  • Erratic or loosely managed exercise programs
  • Unmanaged or poorly focused training

To help agencies assess and improve their internal cultures of preparedness, BOLDplanning has developed the Preparedness Cycle FrameworkTM. This planning approach aligns with the emergency management preparedness cycle and illustrates the agency’s commitment to a thorough, well-managed process over the course of five years.

BOLDplanning will soon release a new white paper that outlines this process. Watch for it in the coming days.

Could your organization improve its own culture of preparedness? Focusing on this achievement—both externally and internally—will likely pay significant dividends in improving overall readiness and helping emergency managers do more with less.