CNN is reporting on the rising anger people feel as they wait for the Government and the Red Cross in Staten Island New York. This situation highlights why communities must come together to come up with their own solutions. The Federal Government is clear about their response times (3 days), while State and Local governments and organizations are better equipped to respond in the short-term. Sandy devastated communities and it is unimaginable that people can wait for help with no power, no water and no food for three days. Local governments and local initiative is the clear answer to the what people need.
All communities need to press the issue of citizen involvement. Some communities like the one I live in do not have a fully functional Red Cross because citizens do not want to volunteer their time. Each President tries to highlight the need for citizen involvement. Bush one (Thousand Points of Light) Clinton (Citizen Emergency Response Teams) George two (Faith Based initiatives) Obama (United We Serve). Clearly I am a fan of Community Emergency Response Teams because the needs are expansive and aggravated when disasters occur.
Communities need to learn from the volunteer fire fighter model and build up their emergency management capability. The Federal Government has a role to play but local and State Governments need to be held accountable by their citizens to ensure their communities are resilient.