Is America Prepared for a National Emergency?
With growing fears of economic collapse, national disasters, and terrorist attacks, the United States government in association with private entities is increasing efforts to ensure the safety of its citizens in the event of a national emergency.
Despite these ongoing efforts, however, many average citizens and experts alike question whether America is truly ready for a major disaster. These concerns were heightened in November of 2011 when the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) was issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Communications Commission.
Though the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains that there was never any intention of evaluating the test on a pass/fail basis, TV stations were barraged with complaints from concerned viewers who reported various problems with the test including no audio in some places and audio difficulties in others. Some reported not receiving the broadcast at all while other confused viewers recounted seeing the broadcast set to Lady Gaga’s pop song, “Paparrazi.”
As if this weren’t enough cause for concern, earlier this year, hackers hijacked the EAS and broadcast an alert that warned of zombies infiltrating several Montana counties. Despite the public outcry over the nation’s seemingly ill-preparedness, there has yet to be another national test of the Emergency Alert System. Of course, all of this calls into question the competency of other disaster preparedness initiatives.
Clearly, there’s a lot of work left to do before U.S. citizens can be reassured that the federal government is capable of protecting their lives and property in the event of a national emergency. That’s why the field of Crisis and Disaster Management is a growing one. Individuals interested in pursuing a career in this field have a variety of educational options available to them, including the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Crisis and Disaster Management from Everglades University. This program provides students with a sound general education background as well as career-specific instruction in classes such as Emergency Preparedness and Response, Basic Emergency Planning, and Disaster Health Management. Prospective students interested in the degree program can contact the University with questions or view the full program description online.