The head of the Iowa Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says a big challenge facing emergency personnel statewide is trying to convince the public that the threats from natural disasters and terrorist plots are real. Division administrator David Miller says that nearly six years after 9-11 very few people have developed family emergency plans.
Miller says, "Only seven percent of the population has taken the three basic steps to prepare for a disaster or emergency – get a kit, make a plan and be informed." Miller made his comments on the opening day of the Governor’s annual conference on homeland security.
When it comes to government response, Miller says a study last year showed the state’s ability to respond to emergencies found some areas don’t have the proper resources. "Some counties lack some of the basics that form the foundation for local emergency management , adequate funding and staff, " Miller says, "while more and more is being expected of local emergency management, the supporting resources are not there for all of you."
Miller says it’s already been a rough year for emergency-management professionals in Iowa as the state has received presidential disaster declarations for a snow-and-ice storm that knocked out power to thousands, floods in western Iowa and tornadoes in eastern Iowa.