Planning for the Last Disaster: Correctional facilities and emergency preparedness

Source: Jeffrey A. Schwartz, Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 7 no. 1, January/February 2009
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From the abstract:
This study uses hurricanes Katrina and Rita to illustrate the phenomenon of “planning for the last disaster,” in which public agencies become so transfixed by a profound crisis or disaster that they begin to prepare for another occurrence of the same event. In doing so, they abandon or ignore their ongoing and more generic emergency planning and deny the obvious, that the next emergency or disaster has a high probability of being a very different situation. The same counterproductive results can be obtained if an organization is swept up in media hype and public concern about an “emergency du jour,” such as Y2K or pandemic flu. Although this article examines these issues in correctional organizations, the same principles apply to almost all public agencies.

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