Wayne P. Bergeron
Cultural collaboration in Emergency Management is important! Because culture profoundly affects human behavior, it is important Emergency Managers build cultural collaboration into their planning, preparations, education and training from the very beginning to ensure that when the crisis hits, the response efforts undertaken will at a minimum not disregard culture or make situations worse because of a lack of cultural understanding, and optimally will use the consideration of culture to frame the most effective response possible to save lives and relieve suffering. Whether it is recognizing that in some traditional societies burial practices of victims will require certain specific practices and time-frames or the fact that female victims may be reluctant to reveal the extent of their wounds and injuries to a male medical first responder, it is these (and many more) small cultural considerations and an overall understanding of the effect that culture has on behavior, that can enhance the overall effectiveness of a culturally aware emergency management and disaster response operation.
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