The primary driving force for risk management is determined by the culture of the organization. I say this because the policies, procedures, and guidelines used to eliminate or respond to risk must be practiced daily in every facet of the organization. These underlying beliefs and values that contribute to mitigation directly relate to the competency of the individuals implementing them. On the complacency end of the spectrum agencies may believe that certain things will never happen in their district, so why prepare for them. Using the growing concern of active shooters as an example, some departments are not spending the time or purchasing equipment for a nationally excepted rescue task force model. Their mentality is that “we are a small, family town” and there is no need to spend money on something that will never happen here.
Unfortunately, I have witnessed this type of culture carry over to the critical infrastructure for public safety in these areas as well. For example, adequate fire suppression requires a couple of factors such as people, water, and equipment. The risk of destruction from fire is mitigated through the local fire department which relies on CI to be in place during catastrophic events. If a city does not have any systems in place for secondary back-up on water pumps and communications. A single storm event can take out all the hydrants along with the radio service for the fire and emergency services. Crippling the ability to provide needed services.
The reason for not having plans, procedures, and equipment in place is directly related to the leadership attitude. Risk cannot be managed with a complacent mindset. The question should not be “if” something should happen; instead managers should view it as “when” something happens.

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