An alternative approach to emergency preparedness: a descriptive case study evaluation
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The Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepares (SNAP) program offers an alternative approach to emergency preparedness from more conventional programs. Program participants, staff and other associated individuals in this descriptive case study evaluation, identify the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of SNAP. In addition to providing information and skills to prepare individual households for an emergency event, SNAP also emphasizes connections between neighbors as an important component of the program. Such connections are associated with the concept of social capital as articulated by sociologist Robert Putnam (2000). In turn, social capital is a resource supporting a community’s resilience (Norris et al., 2008), the process enabling a community to effectively adapt to an emergency event. The SNAP program utilizes existing, and creates new social capital connections in communities as it assists citizens to prepare for an emergency. Social capital is also identified for its function as a weak tie (Granovetter, 1973) connecting individuals particularly in the context of social media. After identifying associations between SNAP and the theoretical concepts of social capital, community resilience and weak ties, this study concludes with a measure of the value the program provides for the community beyond the emergency preparedness practices and knowledge it teaches.
- MA in Policy Studies