Community preparedness: alternative approaches to citizen engagement in homeland security
Kirk, Philip M.
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Since the events of September 11, 2001, there has been an increased emphasis on citizen preparedness in the United States. But over 12 years later, the overall level of preparedness for individuals remains basically unchanged. Americans remain largely unprepared to take care of themselves and their families following a disaster or a terrorist event. There is evidence of success in citizen engagement and community outreach in other safety campaigns, such as fire prevention and safety, as well as seat belt safety. This thesis asks what strategies, methods and practices are used in these successful models to effectively change individual behavior and prompt citizens to take action, and how can these models be applied successfully in the homeland security mission space in the area of community preparedness. In addition, this thesis examines a small set of best practices (fire prevention and safety and seat belt safety) and a comparative case study of community preparedness in the United Kingdom. These best practices are then applied to the United States homeland security discipline, specifically in the area of individual, family and community preparedness. Finally, this thesis provides recommendations for practical applications to increase citizen engagement in preparedness in the United States.
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