Today at 2:15 (eastern) Secretary Napolitano gave a capstone speech for National Preparedness Month. It was billed as a “focus on the important role that citizens must play in building a ready and resilient nation.”
For whatever reason, my connection never really held and I was unable to watch the webcast. As of 3:30 eastern the transcript has not yet been made available. But the Secretary has provided a preview of her main points via a post to the DHS Leadership Journal. She writes,
Civilians are usually the first to arrive in a crisis, and history shows that they are critical in those important first minutes. And these citizen responders can be an even more potent force by:
- Taking CPR training from the Red Cross
- Training with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
- Knowing when to take shelter or evacuate
- Pre-planning evacuation routes and where to meet after a disaster strikes
If a disaster struck your hometown, that training, those skills, and those plans would free up first responders and emergency personnel to focus on those most in need.
So today, I’m calling on all Americans, across the country, to do two things.
First, take these basic steps:
- get an emergency kit;
- make a family reunification plan; and
- become informed about the types of emergencies your community is most likely to encounter.
Second, I’m asking all of us who are in book clubs, prayer groups, school boards, alumni associations, or other community organizations, simply to raise your hand and ask, “What’s our plan?”
Together, we can build a culture of readiness and resilience, and together we can build a more secure future.
According to a DHS news release, the Secretary’s remarks included, “We should measure our nation’s security not just by the borders we strengthen and the laws we enforce, but also by the strength and resilience of the communities we build.”
When the full transcript is available we’ll see if it is worth some exegesis and, maybe, even some exposition.