Is preparedness not on this year’s list of resolutions? Maybe it should be. This year’s flooding events in Maricopa County make the question timelier than ever. The Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management is releasing its annual survey and encouraging residents to provide input into the planning process while gauging their own readiness.
The County released the 26-question survey, which is available in English and Spanish, today at www.surveymonkey.com/s/maricopaemergsurvey2015. It will remain open until Feb. 6. The survey is offered in a fully accessible format and takes around 10 minutes to complete. Maricopa County is also working to ensure a wide distribution so the survey reaches, and is representative of, the whole community.
The questions are great at breaking down what all is involved in general preparedness. “That’s why it’s a good tool to help identify gaps in individual preparedness,” said Director Pete Weaver. “You start by thinking you’re pretty set, and then a question pops up that you didn’t expect. It makes you take a second look.”
Emergency planners will use the information to refine estimates of resources and services that could be required during an emergency. Services could include things like sheltering, transportation, and alert and warning communications. “We always encourage residents to be self-sufficient for 72 hours,” said Weaver, “but this will give us insights to the realities in our community.”
The department is also hoping the survey prompts the public to take additional steps to ready themselves for emergencies. “It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you take preparedness one step at a time,” said Weaver.
Individual responses will be kept strictly confidential, but the data collected across the whole community will be studied and shared with municipalities and response agencies. Weaver noted that collaboration is key. “We’ll find weaknesses to address and strengths upon which to build together.”
For TTY/TDD, please call either AZ Relay Service 711 or the departments TTY at 602-244-1409.