Disaster Preparedness, Youth Violence Prevention among Top Issues at PSCP Meeting

By Seeger, Katie | Nation's Cities Weekly, September 22, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Disaster Preparedness, Youth Violence Prevention among Top Issues at PSCP Meeting


Seeger, Katie, Nation's Cities Weekly


Disaster preparedness and youth and gang violence prevention were the major issues addressed by the Public Safety and Crime Prevention (PSCP) Committee at its fall steering committee meeting in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Led by Chair Dan Furtado, council member, Campbell, Calif., the committee heard from experts on these topics and drafted policy language calling on the federal government to support local governments in their efforts to make their cities more safe and prepared.

Specifically, the committee addressed medical surge capacity, the ability for medical and health services to respond to the increased medical needs in a disaster situation.

Kathie McCracken, branch. chief, integration and collaboration, from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs, discussed federal medical surge activities and outlined four key components that need to be coordinated on all levels of government to build medical surge capacity: increasing hospital capacity; identifying alternate care sites; registering medical volunteers; and planning for altering established standards of care.

The steering committee created policy language calling on the federal government to fund and support a sustained effort to develop and improve the nation's health and medical readiness to ensure surge capacity.

The language will be presented to the full PSCP Committee in November for approval.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V Preparedness Division Director James Duncan presented. FEMA's efforts to create national disaster response plans. Duncan stressed the important role local elected officials play in promoting individual preparedness for residents.

During the question and answer period, steering committee members emphasized the need for more local input and meaningful dialog between the federal government and cities.

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