My experience has always been that preparedness is a tough sell. The value seems to go up after there has been an event and a bad outcome was a result. The problem with fixing something after a problem occurs is that people have gotten hurt or worse when they didn’t have to. Organizational spending on preparedness because it’s the right thing to do seems to not be working all that well.
I wonder what the result would be if we offered a monetary incentive based upon an organization’s elective participation in a no-notice exercise lottery. Most states have a lottery and each state has its own formula to determine where the money collected from lotteries goes. In 2014 Americans spent a total of over $70 billion playing lottery games. States pocketed about 30% of this total, roughly 6% went to the retailers selling tickets and the rest was paid out in prizes.
My idea would be to let organizations (public or private) individually and/or as community coalitions opt-in to the exercise lottery. By doing so they would be eligible to win various prizes based upon the complexity, scope and their performance if they are randomly chosen over the course of the year.
Each year there would be 12 (one per month) organizations chosen from all those that opt-in. Since no organization will know if they might be selected any one year , I expect they will maintain their level of preparedness at a high level just in case. Organizations would not know when the exercise might take place and would be required to submit their existing plans, policies, procedures and past training efforts. Scenarios would be chosen based on their hazard vulnerability analysis or some historical event in the area. Organizations not chosen will have their entry weighted slightly in future lotteries to increase theirs odds of being chosen.
Funding for the administration, development, conduct and evaluation would come from existing lottery funds. Monetary prizes would range for a minimum of $150,000 just for participating upwards to $3.5 million. All proceeds would be required to be dedicated to correct findings in the plan of improvement that organizations would receive.
Traditional means of promoting preparedness appears to produce traditional results. What do you think about using innovative ideas to help organizations achieve and maintain a higher level of preparedness and reward them for doing so?