Emergency Preparedness and Response: Economic Factors

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Input: Economic Factors

The need for enhanced preparedness to respond to disasters, both natural and man-made, and the threat of terrorism has resulted in both a positive and negative effect on resources available for occupational safety and health initiatives. Increased attention on specific topic areas following various disasters has supported some initiatives, but this has, in effect, reduced the priority of other programs that have not been the recent focus of attention.

Across the Sectors

The threat of disasters and the need to prevent and prepare for such responses have changed business practices, required the implementation of new training and procedures for employees, and diverted resources into new areas of occupational safety and health.

  • Preplanning is critical to all industries to improve the ability of employees to function in a safe manner during difficult circumstances.
  • Industries are taking additional measures to protect personnel and goods from security threats.
  • Aided by recent infusions of resources, emergency response organizations are continually expanding response capabilities, capacity, and diversity, including management methods, personal protective equipment, and other materials needed during responses.
  • Increased costs for preplanning, improved response capabilities, and intensive security measures are reducing profit margins and may be passed on to the economy.
  • Increased spending to monitor, combat, and respond to terrorism or natural disasters may require businesses to cut spending in other areas, including other facets of worker safety and health.


NIOSH [2004]. Protecting emergency responders, Volume 3: safety management in disaster and terrorism response. Cincinnati, OH: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication NO. 2004-144. RAND Publication No. MG-170.  /niosh/npptl/guidancedocs/rand.html

U.S. Department of Homeland Security [2007]. National Infrastructure Protection Plan. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  http://www.dhs.gov/xprevprot/programs/editorial_0827.shtmexternal icon  Date accessed: March 19, 2007.


Page last reviewed: May 23, 2011