Can A Summer Intern Do The Work Of The Department of Homeland Security?
Today the Federation of American Scientists launched ReallyReady.org, a comprehensive emergency preparedness website that addresses the inaccuracies and incomplete information on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) preparedness site, Ready.gov. ReallyReady was developed in two months by FAS intern Emily Hesaltine for the price of a domain name. In comparison, it took millions of dollars and over five months to create Ready.gov.
A thorough analysis of Ready.gov is available on the site. It is a critique of the inaccurate information, generic advice, unnecessarily lengthy descriptions, and repetitive information found throughout Ready.gov, examples of which were mentioned in a previous blog entry, Ready or Not: Ready.gov Gets a Facelift.
ReallyReady.org also includes clear and accurate information for families, businesses, and individuals with disabilities. It is important to note that ready.gov does not contain sufficient information for people with disabilities despite being told that they might be in violation of Federal law. We developed our page using information from the National Organization on Disability’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative.
We hope the information will serve as a model for the essential changes that need to be made to Ready.gov. We recommend that DHS request the assistance of scientific, military, and emergency response experts to make these alterations. The Department of Homeland Security has declared September National Preparedness Month. Before then, FAS hopes to see Ready.gov updated so that it is more useful to the public that has paid for it, especially since a 20 year-old college student was able to single-handedly complete the same task in only two months.
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