The development of a disaster preparedness plan is a priority for all states, and Miami, Florida, is no exception to the rule. The initiative intended to deal with events that can threaten the health of communities is known as the Public Preparedness Plan Program, and it combines all activities aimed at addressing such hazards (“Public Health Preparedness,” n.d.). However, to ensure the proper work of this program, it is vital to consider various elements. They include its accessibility and understanding by citizens, appropriate management of information, informatics tools that can be used, and the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourced social media for this purpose.
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Accessibility of the Plan and It’s Understanding by Citizens
The first component of the plan assessment is the accessibility of data for healthcare specialists and citizens. From this perspective, the program of Miami, Florida, seems to be quite efficient. On the website, one can easily find information on emergency management and public preparedness (“Emergency management,” n.d.). It is divided into sections facilitating the search for specific details and ensuring the provision of comprehensive instructions for each particular case of emergency. They include evacuation, community work, healthcare facilities, preparation for various events, and the actions during disasters (“Emergency management,” n.d.). Hence, all types of necessary data are accessible to communities and their members.
Moreover, the presented information covers all possibilities regarding emergencies related to specific occasions and promotes its understanding by people. They can easily find detailed instructions on how to act in each particular situation. Thus, for example, in the case of a disaster, the website recommends following the directions such as finding a shelter, taking care of pets, reporting damage, recovering, and others (“Emergency management,” n.d.). All these categories are divided into steps that one should take while pursuing the goal (“Emergency management,” n.d.). Therefore, the method of presenting data to citizens enhances their understanding of problems and corresponding actions.
Management of Information in the Plan
The next parameter for the assessment of the Public Preparedness Plan is the management of information. From this point of view, the website’s section devoted to emergencies and strategies applicable to them also seems to be efficient. It states that the plan prepares community members to deal with various events, including hurricanes, floods, wildfires, severe weather, disease outbreaks, and biological terrorist attacks (“Public Health Preparedness,” n.d.). Another fact that contributes to the proper use of the plan is the involvement of numerous participants such as volunteers, healthcare providers, organizations, and region and state partners (“Public Health Preparedness,” n.d.). Thus, the principal factors enhancing the efficiency from the perspective of management are the participation of different organizations and individuals and the coverage of all possible emergencies.
Informatics Tools for Incorporation in the Plan
According to the analysis of the plan’s accessibility, it’s understanding by communities and their members, and the management, it seems to be optimal. Nevertheless, it can still be improved with the help of informatics tools. They are primarily related to the adoption of new technologies in monitoring natural hazards (Ogie & Verstaevel, 2020). These methods include satellite and remote sensing, risk modeling and simulation, and land planning and management (Ogie & Verstaevel, 2020). Their inclusion in the program will be beneficial for informing citizens in a timely manner. However, these technologies need to be regularly updated so that communities could improve the situation with emergencies with the help of modern tools.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Crowdsourced Social Media
Another technique allowing to manage natural disasters and other emergencies that imply the threat to the health of people is the use of crowdsourced social media. However, it is not necessarily a positive phenomenon since it includes both advantages and drawbacks. Its positive effect is related to the provision of extensive information on the upcoming emergencies and, therefore, timely warnings for communities (Ogie et al., 2019). Moreover, it allows organizations involved in the program to monitor public opinion regarding such crises (Ogie et al., 2019). In this way, crowdsourced social media is an invaluable source of data for both researchers and citizens.
Nevertheless, the situation becomes less optimistic when it comes to assessing the disadvantages of this approach. They are connected to the lack of credibility, which consequently leads to losing trust in such sources (Ogie et al., 2019). As a result, people can remain uninformed about the danger to their health and lives. Another circumstance that adds to the negative side of the matter is the inaccuracy of data published by various organizations and individuals (Ogie et al., 2019). This case is quite the opposite of the one with the lack of trust since it misleads people in making decisions on the actions they need to take. Therefore, the problems are connected to the credibility of information and its perceptions by communities.
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To sum up, the Public Preparedness Plan Program in Miami, Florida, is efficient in terms of its accessibility and understanding by communities and people as well as regarding the management of data. The only changes that can be made are related to the need to regularly update informatics tools for emergency predictions and adopt new techniques to monitor these events. As for the use of crowdsourced social media, it can be applied to disasters but only with caution since it lacks credibility and undermines the trust of citizens.
Emergency management. (n.d.). Miami-Dade County. Web.
Ogie, R. I., Clarke, R. J., Forehead, H., & Perez, P. (2019). Crowdsourced social media data for disaster management: Lessons from the PetaJakarta.org project. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 73, 108-117. Web.
Ogie, R. I., & Verstaevel, N. (2020). Disaster informatics: An overview. Progress in Disaster Science, 7, 1-11. Web.
Public health preparedness. (n.d.). Florida Health Miami-Dade County. Web.