I've been expounding this concept for years now...reminding us to get back to the Civil Defence mindset. My meaning has been simple: prepare the individual and the family, provide for save shelters in public areas (a.k.a. Fallout Shelters) to give people a place to go when out in daily life, and we'll greatly improve our ability to mitigate natural and intentional events.
Someone must have been listening...finally.
DHS and FEMA have announced the creation of a Disaster Shelter System to house civilians in the event of a natural disaster. Details are still drifting in, but we are moving in the right direction!
Check the source materials from Los Angeles Times and National Terror Alert.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Craig Fugate mentioned that we will only be as successful to the level of preparedness of the family - and I agree. September is National Preparedness Month and we should all be making plans, keeping informed and getting involved as best we can to prepare ourselves, our families, and our communities for crisis. Remember - local efforts will save lives!
Now, onto some interesting statements:
Craig Fugate, the new director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, further stated “We are only going to be as successful as the public is prepared,” and “There are a lot of folks who are going to need very specific help that should not have to compete with the rest of us.”
I agree with the first quote here - public preparedness make for an efficient and successful (as much as can be expected) response to emergencies and disasters. But what is FEMA Director Fugate talking about in the second quote? “There are a lot of folks who are going to need very specific help that should not have to compete with the rest of us.”
Who is competing with whom? Moving towards a shelter system is an excellent idea...but, yet again, we will overwhelm those resources if people are individually prepared! Even the best Nation-wide shelter system will fail under the strain of an uniformed, unprepared community.