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The entire nation is facing an era where being technologically skilled is in high demand. However, some people are inevitably being left behind not just because of the high cost of computers or even the fact that there is lack of internet access where they live but, the fact they have no interest in the content causing a digital divide amongst each other.

Natural and man-made disasters strike suddenly and leave behind lives shattered by either physical injury or psychological upset. Different variables affect everyone differently. In order for the Emergency Management System to be effective they must overcome many obstacles such as the response to emergencies by the different cultures within a community. Clarifying safety measures the public should take during a catastrophic event, ensuring the public can be part of the disaster response, or not having an effective partnership with community business are some factors that can be detrimental to the structure of the Emergency Management System. However, despite the obstacles emergency management system face they play an important role during a disaster. Catastrophic loss can be minimized with early warning systems, better preparedness among the populations at risk, and having early and effective response systems in place.

Miami- Dade County experiences a wide range of natural disaster including hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. Similar to natural disaster, the increase in terrorist activities is becoming a prominent concerns among citizens because they can strike any place, any time with any weapon. Although it remains impossible to predict when and where a disaster will occur, recognizing risk before a disaster strikes is critical for people to realize.  The impacts can be reduced if personal safety measures would be taken. Every community should be prepared for different disasters and have a plan of action in place. Board range of factors influence the preparedness actions during and after a disaster. Risk perception is strongly associated with disaster preparedness because individuals must perceive a risk to be motivated to initiate preparedness actions (Sattler et al. 2000, Miceli et al. 2008).  Disaster preparedness varies by education at the community levels, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic, and community characteristics.

Cultural and religious influences can affect responses to natural disaster. Having a valid assessment of vulnerability and risk is crucial to avoid additional burdens after a disaster strikes. Broad range of factors that could influence preparedness actions within the Miami-Dade County is contingent on social factors that influence the ability to recognize the risk of a disaster no different than their everyday social conditions. For instance, minority populations live in less desirable locations with increased crime rates. Many find themselves secluded to their homes and everyday situations and tend to perceive the true risk of hazards because they may not have access to social media or even have cable television. Unfortunately, technology is sweeping the globe and causing a gap between generations and even those across poor nations (Carey, 2011). Having access to information can enhance individual cognitive and learning skills promoted better preparedness for disasters. Disaster education interventions is influential in raising awareness and knowledge of a disaster. Serious changes must be accepted within a community to increase resiliency and enhance disaster preparedness actions. As Flynn said “People must be willing to make pragmatic changes, such as relocating when their homes  are repeatedly  destroyed  or  reaching deeper into their pockets to pay for the communications and other tools communities need to improve their robustness, resourcefulness, and recovery capabilities before the next crisis. (Flynn, 2007, p. 7)

Therefore, psychological and social changes in post disaster can be minimized with early psychosocial interventions.  Of course people make adjustments, but for some it will never be the same.

Disasters can cause many people to have a hard time coping and returning to normal daily functions especially if it was witnessing some sort of terrorism event



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Carey, B. (2011, April 11). Three in 10 in South Florida dont have internet access. Miami Herald, p. 2. Retrieved from http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-04-27/business/mh-digital-divide-20110427_1_internet-access-computer-access-computer-stations

Flynn, S. E. (2007). America the Resilient Defying Terrorism and Mitigating Natural Disasters.

(1999). The digital divide bridging the technology gap hearing before the Subcommittee on Empowerment of the Committee on Small Business. Hundred Sixth Congress, second session.

Sattler, D. N., C. F. Kaiser, and J. B. Hittner. 2000. Disaster preparedness: relationships among prior experience, personal characteristics, and distress. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 30:1396-1420. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2000.tb02527.x

Miceli, R., I. Sotgiu, and M. Settanni. 2008. Disaster preparedness and perception of flood risk: a study in an alpine valley in Italy. Journal of Environmental Psychology 28:164-173. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2007.10.006