About the Theme: Fixing Our Fault Lines: Addressing Systemic Vulnerabilities
Disasters and emergencies expose the fault lines in our nation’s health security. In these times of crisis, the vulnerabilities that exist in individual and community, infrastructure, health, and environmental systems intersect and become intensified – especially for the most at-risk communities. While much has been done over the past decade to build and strengthen existing systems, these systems have continuously evolved to keep pace with the everchanging threat landscape. As a result, the underlying systemic vulnerabilities also look different than they once did, and so must our approach to addressing those vulnerabilities.
A whole and fully functioning national security system is only as strong as its weakest component. That’s why this year’s theme, Fixing Our Fault Lines: Addressing Systemic Vulnerabilities, will focus on methods to identify systemic weaknesses and highlight tools and policies that can empower all communities, and particularly the ones that are most vulnerable, to address those weaknesses and become more resilient. By bringing our hindsight to the table to assess how our preparedness and response efforts have fallen short in the past, we can create collective foresight that allows us to anticipate, address, and stabilize current fault lines to prevent them from shattering the communities we aim to protect.
About the Preparedness Summit
The Preparedness Summit is the first and longest running national conference on public health preparedness. Since its beginning in 2006, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has taken a leadership role in convening a wide array of partners to participate in the Summit; presenting new research findings, sharing tools and resources, and providing a variety of opportunities for attendees to learn how to implement model practices that enhance the nation’s capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other emergencies.
Over the last decade, the nature of threats to our national health security have changed significantly. As professionals in the public health preparedness space, we can expect these threats to continue to evolve. It is imperative that we adapt our public health practices to meet the demands of an ever-evolving threat environment. But how do we, as preparedness leaders, help our communities become more prepared to respond to and recover from uncharted catastrophic events? We can start doing so by discovering new and creative solutions to address events like pandemic diseases, the opioid crisis, active shooter emergencies, and cybersecurity threats.
Each year, the Preparedness Summit will feature experts from the healthcare and emergency management fields in addition to public health preparedness professionals to address the gaps between these life-saving industries in an effort to work more collaboratively and efficiently in the face of emerging threats. Reaching across these sectors will leverage diversity of thought and advance the capacity of our communities to respond to and recover from emergency events. We hope that this conference will provide an opportunity to build stronger partnerships and encourage us to find innovative solutions with our allies.