Rapid Response - Solutions for Economic Transition
Oct 21

Essential Elements of Great Rapid Response

I’ve been thinking lately about some of the elements that are necessary when creating an innovative Rapid Response system in your state or local area.  Took a crack at jotting down a few ideas—please add to this list any thoughts, ideas, concepts, etc that you think are important to achieving a Rapid Response system that lives up to its potential.

Apr 28

Are You Ready?

By Rob Gamble and David Prickett

“Don't go to the fishpond without a net.”
Japanese Proverb

*This blog is being reposted in response to the ongoing violent storms across the United States.  The value of disaster prep and the role of Rapid Response remain of a highest priority.

As a concept, we all understand the value of being prepared. The recent earthquake in Japan and the subsequent and shocking impact of the tsunami that followed is just another reminder to all of us that preparedness is much more than a concept to admire. It is an absolute necessity in being able to provide an effective, efficient and comprehensive response to natural disasters.

Figuratively and quite literally, the affects of a disaster can be far reaching.  Beyond the devastating damage and loss of life that wrenches our collective hearts, businesses and jobs have quite literally been swept away, creating enormous economic challenges to come– in Japan and beyond. Even the United States did not escape unscathed. Nearly half a world away, the tsunami shot across the Pacific and pounded the shores of Northern California and wrecked havoc on the already struggling fishing industry in Crescent City. We can add this to the list of other recent challenges that test our preparedness, including the on-going massive flooding in many northeast and midwest communities.

References to Crescent City, CA:

  • Article: Tsunami surge deals blow to struggling Calif. Town
  • News Video: The Crescent City harbor is expected to be unusable for the foreseeable future, impacting jobs and business.

Without the foresight to prepare, we’d be lost. But we’re not lost; fortunately there are many tools and programs available to address natural disasters and their often harsh affects. Chief among them – at least from the perspective of the workforce system – are Rapid Response and Unemployment Insurance (UI). But having the tools and programs available is not enough, the practitioners of Rapid Response and UI, as well as their many partners and stakeholders must work together in an ongoing basis to develop plans and ensure an up-to-date state of preparedness. It is critical to dedicate staff time and resources in developing a disaster response plan. The time spent planning will pay enormous dividends should a disaster occur. This includes building a broad network of partnerships (see link to sample resource guide below) and gaining a sound understanding of how to coordinate your efforts when needed.