Elected officials in each jurisdiction have a responsibility to protect its citizens from hazards and ensure their safety. When threatened those citizens expect leaders to take immediate actions to resolve the problem. Citizens expect these officials to activate resources, direct the response efforts of the entire community, including nonprofit and private organizations, and if necessary to seek assistance from outside the community. At the same time every citizen has an inherent responsibility to protect the community, themselves and their property, as well as their families, businesses and organizations. Therefore, planning that involves the entire community ensures a more prepared and resilient community. By taking the appropriate steps to plan, develop, and implement a thorough and comprehensive counterterrorism plan this can be accomplished.
Planning for counterterrorism must be community based. This means that the planning must not only represent all citizens in the jurisdictional area, but it must also involve those citizens. In order to do this, planners must understand the composition of the community and incorporate this understanding into the design from the beginning. This includes planning for disabled persons, children, pets, elderly persons, and others who may have access and functional needs. These factors can affect how citizens will respond to protective action procedures that officials implement. Area businesses must also be taken into consideration. It is possible that the area being planned for has a business that serves as a unique resource, that must accounted for, and given increased protection or support, such as a national burn center or a regional trauma center. All of ...
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...ns needed for the area, which can lead to wrong assumptions on capabilities and ineffectual courses of action.
By understanding the community, including them into the planning process, and adequately planning for their needs, planners will be able to better identify the hazards and potential threats when developing counterterrorism plans. Conducting proper demographics will allow the planning group to better anticipate the needs of the jurisdiction, and performing proper analysis of the jurisdiction will enable planners to implement efficient courses of action into the counterterrorism plan. No plan will be perfect for every situation. However, by conducting community based planning, leaders can leverage all available resources within their jurisdiction in order to develop the best possible counterterrorism plan to ensure the safety and security of the citizens.
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