National Preparedness Month: A Year-Round Endeavor
by Catherine L. Feinman
Throughout National Preparedness Month many communities’ preparedness plans have been tested. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and drought are just some of the threats faced this month. Although preparedness is highlighted during the month of September, recent events reinforce the need for preparedness to be a year-round effort – especially during months when daily operations are not being overshadowed by catastrophe, and agencies and organizations are not being tested in full public view.
As the threat environment continues to evolve, preparedness professionals limit their ability to respond to new and emerging threats when they strive to meet (rather than exceed) minimum requirements. Exercising plans should not be a dreaded requirement, but rather an unusual approach to logical thinking and a way to build a culture of preparedness. Exercises with broad buy in would help communities be ready to face whatever natural, human-caused, or technological disaster may arise. Plans should be exercised and tested during daily operations. For example, special events provide many opportunities to enhance protection and security of critical infrastructure that, if affected, could have catastrophic consequences.
Catherine L. Feinman, M.A., joined Team DomPrep in January 2010. She has 30 years of publishing experience and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the DomPrep Journal, www.DomesticPreparedness.com, and the DPJ Weekly Brief, and works with writers and other contributors to build and create new content that is relevant to the emergency preparedness, response, and resilience communities. She also volunteers as an emergency medical technician, firefighter, and member of the Media Advisory Panel of EMP SIG (InfraGard National Members Alliance’s Electro-Magnetic Pulse Special Interest Group). She received a bachelor’s degree in international business from University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management from American Military University.
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