Continuity of Neighborhoods
Serving Vulnerable Populated Areas – Labeled Under Served
Overview and Premise
Houston is long overdue for a multi-layer interdisciplinary approach to reduce the loss of life and property, indeed among our most vulnerable populations. The strategy applied to the Continuity of Operations/Government could apply to the – Continuity of Neighborhood strategy. Many so-called initiatives have been thrown at the community but with little results. Charity Productions has worked for decades to provide training by certified instructors and practitioners to augment the personnel in local neighborhoods connected to the local jurisdiction’s public health and safety efforts.
The point is to close considerable service gaps, that government is not designed to provide to taxpayers but advertises as providing. The government is not in the customer service business. Traning and Exercises are designed to improve participants skills and situational awareness. The policy that provides the language to implement a more robust joint exercise with citizens was established and embedded in Presidential Directive 5 and 8. National Priority 4.8, Community Preparedness: Strengthing Planning and Citizens Capabilities, were one of several policies designed to engage citizens in Houston’s multiple HOT ZONE of natural threats. Our focus is to extract critical federal protocols as accepted practices and transfer some of them to citizens. The Emergency Support Functions are perfect, transferable skills training (EFS).
There are at least three reports that strongly indicate, suggest, and point blank states, better execution of engaging citizens to augment governments shortage of personnel. The General Accounting Office, GAO Report 10-193, Regional Target Capabilities List (TCL) Report 2006 page 25, and the 2016 Report still has gaps. Citizen’s Corps, press release and Fact Sheets also identifies gaps. The National Plan Review released June 16, 2006, identifies service gaps and a state correspondence dated November 2008, reminding the local government that FY 2009, HSGP funds guidelines require up to 25%, collectively applied toward Strengthening planning training and exercise activity for citizens preparedness priority. A corrective action plan is part of the efficiency process. However, it appears that the local jurisdictions are comfortable in avoiding the vulnerable populations. Local jurisdictions (city and county) advance the narrative that Citizens Corp or Citizens Emergency Response Training is adequate, (CERT), not so as well as the HSPD 8 does not limit local jurisdictions from including other community-based efforts, in fact, the policy encourages using a variety of engagement strategies. Please see the following websites for additional references: Lessons Learned, Idea Scale and Best Practices on FEMA’s Website For Additional recommendations.
In closing, the Ready Campaign and Whole Community were two slogan ideas with a half-baked implementation strategy that local government is not held accountable to engage. Therefore we have 27 of the most vulnerable zip codes have repeated catastrophic experiences, in Houston’s Hot Zones of Threats. See Continuity of Neighborhoods Report – Community Reports section of www.charity-productions.org.