Reducing risks, enhancing resilience

One way to reduce the impacts of disasters on the nation and its communities is to invest in enhancing resilience–the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Enhanced resilience allows better anticipation of disasters and better planning to reduce disaster losses-rather than waiting for an event to occur and paying for it afterward.

Airports and Seaports

When severe weather damages airports and seaports, local and regional communities face a cascade of hardships extending far beyond the original crisis. Medical evacuations are delayed. Food and supplies cannot reach vulnerable populations. Regular trade slows or stops, resulting in long-term economic distress. PReP’s fundamental approach is to help airports and seaports identify and address logistical and strategic weaknesses and build on existing strengths. Participants are coached in evaluating their unique risks and current plans as well as identifying gaps in preparedness. The program guides airports and seaports as they strive to close identified gaps through custom-tailored training, exercise, monitoring, and mentoring. A continuous improvement cycle ensures that best management practices are shared as more and more ports are served.

Airports and seaports are vulnerable in a crisis, as they are large, publicly accessible, fixed entities. In addition, ports are complex and multifaceted: each is uniquely operated and regulated depending on geography, politics, and local regulations, and is comprised of a wide variety of facilities and functions such as terminals, delivery areas, storage areas, communication and information systems, security, process control coordination centers, customs and border control, emergency response, and public and protected areas. Although disasters will continue to occur, actions that move ports from reactive approaches to a proactive stance will eventually reduce many of the broad societal and economic burdens that disasters can cause.