Commentary: Being prepared
October 8, 2009
This month we remembered the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks with two solemn events, a memorial service in our Edgewood Area chapel and a retreat ceremony in the post's Ball Conference Center. September 11th is designated as a national day of service and remembrance.
We must not forget that September morning. We went to work that day. The kids went to school. It was by all accounts a typical day in the work week. Then, tragedy struck. Quite literally, destruction, harm and shock came out of the blue.
We did not anticipate the terrorist attacks that day, and to some extent, we were ill-prepared to deal with them. That is not to say there was a lack of heroic response in the midst of destruction, there were many examples of heroes stepping forward. But, as a whole, America was not as well prepared as possible for the tragedy.
Following those attacks, the Department of Homeland Security established a national emergency preparedness campaign called "Ready" and as part of that campaign has designated September as National Preparedness Month. We should use the passion brought on by our 9-11 observances to focus our organizations, our Families and ourselves on proactive efforts to prepare for acts of terrorism, flu pandemics and severe weather, as well as manmade and natural crisis of all kinds. After all, Hurricane Katrina pointed out the tremendous power of nature and also re-emphasized in 2005 the need for us to be alert and prepared.
The Army supports national preparedness objectives and recognizes that emergencies may affect mission continuity, the safety and security of our Families and the peace of mind of those deployed. To support the highest state of readiness within our communities, the Army has instituted a program that brings together emergency management, law enforcement, Family support groups, chaplains, schools, medical personnel, and public affairs, and joins installations with the local community to promote emergency preparedness. This initiative is called Ready Army.
The intent is to overcome the traditional barriers that prevent people from taking steps to prepare.
Many of us are simply complacent. So, we must become motivated and help empower our Families to make decisions that will better ensure their safety and resilience in emergency situations.
Preparedness is a year-round effort in which everyone can play a part. Make your preparedness a symbol of respect for those we lost on that September day eight years ago.
Remain vigilant toward the threats facing this nation and keep the Army strong by preparing our community for any kind of hazard.