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Factors Influencing Disaster Preparedness and Response

The behavior and response of people and the community to disaster preparedness is very significant in the planning for emergencies and disasters, as well as the collaboration and teamwork in handling the “aftershock” of these disasters for a vigorous, fast and efficient recovery. Positive attitude, behavior, response and organization are needed for a competent, efficient and well-organized plan for preparing for future emergencies and disasters. (Decade of Behavior, 2002) Some factors influence people’s behavior and response to disaster preparedness.

These factors may be categorized as socio-demographic factors that describe the qualities, characteristics, and compositions of the community where these people belong. Three factors may include language barriers, social bonds, and income equality and economic resources. These factors greatly affect how people behave and respond to disaster preparedness, especially how people use these factors to an advantage or a disadvantage. If we look at these factors in a wider perspective, they can be of good influence in affecting positive and fruitful behavior and response toward disaster preparedness.

However, the disadvantageous and deficient make-up and structure of these factors may lead to an incompetent plan for preparing for future disasters, rehabilitation, and recovery. Language barriers are one of the factors that influence disaster preparedness and response. Needless to say, communication is an important tool in dealing with various issues and concerns in our day-to-day lives. Organization and planning cannot be easily carried out if there are language barriers and difficulties within a community.

For instance, information dissemination would not be as effective if people within the community do not understand the importance and the literal meaning of the warnings and significant information being presented to them. Language barriers cause misunderstanding and disorganization because of its disadvantageous effects. This would deconstruct team and community organization that aims to follow a carefully arranged plan that aims to prepare the community for disasters or, if they are already experiencing the destructive effects of the disaster aftermath, to follow a plan that aims to rehabilitate and reconstruct the community at all costs.

In general, language barriers would lead to a poor collaboration among the members of the community. (Cooke, 2008) The relationship between the members of the community also affects their behavior and response toward disaster preparedness. Cordial and harmonious relationships between the members of the community are very vital in the establishment of a well-coordinated and supportive working environment within the community.

If there their relationship with each other is detached, then it would be very difficult to create a community that strongly bonds to work together and espouse and advocate the aims and objectives of disaster preparedness and make way for a fast, well-organized, and practical rehabilitation or recovery. Efforts to prepare a community for disasters, also including rehabilitation and recovery, are less efficient and dependable with issues regarding income equality and economic resources.

Almost everything that we deal with in this world requires financial resources, not to mention the finances that are needed to promote disaster preparedness, rehabilitation, and recovery. Preparing for disasters requires large sums of money. From the most significant concerns such as information dissemination and disaster prevention, to least significant things such as accumulating food and medicine supplies, payment for healthcare services, rehabilitation, etc.

Carefully planned and coordinated disaster preparedness schemes are wasted without the necessary budget to promote the primary goals and objectives of disaster preparedness to inform and protect communities. References Cooke, N. J. (2008). Katrina Coordination. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from American Psychology Association. Website: http://www. apa. org/ppo/issues/katrinaresearch. html Decades of Behavior. (2002). U. S. Congressional Briefing: The Human Response to Disaster. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Decade of Behavior. Website: http://www. decadeofbehavior. org/policyseminars/Disaster/disaster_main. html

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