DAP was created to change the way disaster preparedness and emergency management are viewed, understood, and prioritized. Donating money and volunteering to help disaster survivors are the top ways Americans traditionally “get involved” when it comes to disaster preparedness and response. Unfortunately, this approach has provided the organizations and agencies responsible for disaster work with a blank check to maintain status quo in their activities. And, as a result, opportunities for public oversight are limited given the few ways the general public is routinely involved. The existing paradigm must change if our nation hopes to learn lessons from the failures showcased before, during, and after Katrina.
By engaging concerned citizens in new ways, DAP hopes to not only raise awareness about the importance of disaster accountability, but educate concerned citizens in the areas of emergency preparedness and response and train them to ask questions, access information, review local and state emergency preparedness and evacuation plans, and participate in training exercises. Increased citizen engagement will help ensure emergency planning is more inclusive and comprehensive; and it will also force government agencies and nonprofit organizations to be more transparent. Transparency will enable problems to be faster realized and, as a result, require them to be addressed.
Monitors will not only help provide the critical oversight, discussed above, but they will also provide real-time information about gaps in critical relief services during disasters. Recognizing that even the most well planned disaster response may not run perfectly, the public interest is served by reporting gaps in services so those responsible can address them as quickly as possible.
Through the group’s work tracking the status of post-Katrina recommendations and providing on-line tools that allow the public to assist, DAP maintains the most comprehensive, public list of post-Katrina proposed improvements. Through these public oversight opportunities, we are working to generate public interest in disaster accountability issues and change our nation’s approach to emergency planning reform.
Disaster Accountability Includes:
- Evaluating National/State/Local Evacuation and Disaster Plans
- Reporting Gaps in Critical Disaster Prevention, Response, Relief, Recovery Services and Programs.
- Ensuring Sufficient Disability Accommodations in Disaster Prevention Response, Relief, and Recovery Systems.
- Increasing Citizen Participation in Training Exercises
- Reporting On Whether Lessons Learned Have Been Learned
- Recruitment and Training Disaster Accountability Monitors
- Advocating Transparency in Disaster Prevention, Response, Relief, and Recovery.
- Expanding Whistle-Blower Protections for Disaster System Workers and Volunteers.