MDW Emergency Preparedness Expo 2013
September 18, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Recent tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard have focused attention on surviving a crisis in the minds of every federal worker and military member and certainly heightened attention at this year's annual Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's Emergency Preparedness Exposition held at Fort Lesley J. McNair's Fitness Center, Sept. 18.
"The United States Army promotes a culture of readiness that stresses knowing what to do in the event of a natural or man-made disaster," said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, JFHQ-NCR/MDW commanding general during his opening remarks at the Exposition. "This EXPO is the beginning of our own Emergency Preparedness Initiative. The exhibits on display today are designed to help you increase individual, family, and command preparedness."
Every September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) celebrates National Preparedness Month to emphasize the importance of being prepared for emergencies. The Army observes National Preparedness Month by emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture of preparedness to strengthen Soldiers and families' ability to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond and recover from all emergencies.
Charsaree Clay is a program officer with Serve DC, a community emergency response team (CERT) in the Nation's Capital and one of the many exhibitors.
"CERT is a nationwide model that gives people a chance to do something themselves before first responders can get to them," said Clay. "After Katrina, the CERT program really took off and expanded."
Serve DC is a volunteer program that provides free training to citizens preparing them to respond to emergencies in their communities. CERT members can provide critical support to first responders, immediate assistance to victims and can help organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site.
Just a few of the other participants this year included the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Civil Air Patrol, Red Cross, Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency and Andrews Air Force Base Family Services Center.
"I urge you to use the resources that are being shared with you today to develop a personal plan for your family that you can also share with your neighbors and friends," said Buchanan. "Let's all become better prepared for emergencies."