Activating Responses to Triggers

Actions associated with each trigger point should also be predetermined and should have multiple phases or stages. True, there will always be unanticipated issues that come up that will need to be addressed, but fleshing out the who, what, and how beforehand helps create clarity when a drought crisis begins to develop and provides a road map for immediate, but gradual, action. It also helps to identify key actors as people move from position to position; as long periods of time can pass between drought events, individuals may not have had to respond to a drought during their tenure, or even know that such a response falls under their purview.

Predetermined triggers and responses tied to those triggers can also help to depoliticize decision-making since there is a clear, phased, data-driven framework for action that addresses a wide array of potential impacts and sectors. Examining possible actions to be taken at each stage of drought and who should be the lead on those actions can eliminate the lag period in which decision makers are trying to determine what to do. It can also reduce hasty, uninformed decisions that may not be the most beneficial use of resources. In short, including drought triggers in the drought preparedness planning efforts will likely reduce impacts and response time to an event.

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