Being Prepared

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the US Government has taken steps to encourage all citizens to make their own survival preparations, and since 2004, September has been officially designated as National Preparedness Month. September was chosen for two reasons. First, the tragedies of 9/11 highlighted to the nation the importance of being prepared, and second, because the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is in mid-September.

The idea behind the designation is to strengthen the county’s preparedness capabilities. The national preparedness architecture encompasses prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts to prepare the United States for all hazards – whether terrorist attack or natural disaster. Considering the long list of disaster that can befall us (www.ready.gov lists 25 ranging from cyber attack  to volcanoes and wildfires), having a National Preparedness Month is definitely a good idea.

Not all disasters are “natural” or on a national scale: we all face personal disasters as well. Health issues, aging, death, births, job loss, divorce, changing seasons, and new technologies (just to name a few) are best faced with sound preparation.

The Boy Scouts have been preaching “Be Prepared” since 1907, long before there were such things as cyber or terrorist attacks, but in no way are those two words outdated. It would seem that the more technology advances and changes our lives, the more important it becomes for us to be prepared.

Fortunately, as the need to be prepared has increased, so have the tools and resources needed to keep us prepared. The website for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) is an excellent source of information, as is the website for the Regional Water Providers Consortium.

A Google search will produce an almost endless number of websites offering preparedness information and products.

How well prepared are you?

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