Is America Ready for Natural Disasters? Insights and Advice from Booz Allen

Jun 7, 2019 1:25 PM ET
Article

As summer approaches, so does the season of tornados, floods, and forest fires. People across America need to be ready for anything—but are they?

Booz Allen conducted a survey to find out how prepared Americans are for a natural disaster and how they would use technology in disaster response. Highlights follow, with tips for how government can help improve disaster response and community resilience.

People rely on technology—and need more information

Booz Allen’s survey of 1,000 people, conducted, with global market research firm Ipsos, revealed that:

  • Fewer than half of respondents said they have information about evacuation routes and shelters or contact information for emergency responders.
  • Over three quarters (76%) said they would rely heavily on websites and online resources to find this information and stay up to date.
  • Not everyone plans to go to Facebook or Twitter when disaster strikes. Preferred communication channels were SMS (63%), websites (47%), and a telephone hotline (34%).

How government can help

Government plays a vital role in community resilience. Through technology, real-time exercises, interagency meetings, and new partnerships, government organizations have been building the relationships, protocols, and capabilities for disaster response. 

To strengthen communications further, Booz Allen recommends that these organizations:

  • Collaborate across federal, state, and local levels to prevent misinformation
  • Maintain a national dialogue about communications in a disaster scenario
  • Take a multi-channel approach to disaster communications that includes more traditional channels like radio, TV, and SMS

Read more about how Booz Allen helps organizations build community resilience in the digital age.