The devastating tsunami that hit Japan last week is a reminder for all of us to take stock of our emergency plans. Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world. Its infrastructure is designed to withstand incredible stress, and its citizens are well trained for emergencies. The tsunami caused incredible damage, but it could have been even worse had its citizens not known how to respond effectively.
An article by STRATFOR titled “Taming Chaos with a Personal Plan” offers a prudent reminder for individual citizens to familiarize themselves with national and local emergency procedures. For those living in Chicago and other parts of the US, how prepared are you and your loved ones from unexpected emergencies?
The National Strategy Forum has long promoted personal safety and emergency planning procedures. Our 2003 report titled “Prudent Preparation: What Can I Do in the Event of a Mass Casualty Incident” provides practical resources and information for individuals and families to develop a plan. In addition, a copy of the 2007 McCormick Foundation report titled “Civic Leaders Speak Out About Emergency Preparedness” provides information for both families and communities to build stronger emergency responses. Finally, for parents interested in school safety procedures in the event of an emergency, the National Strategy Forum publication titled “School Safety in the 21st Century: Adapting to New Security Challenges Post-9/11” may be informative for evaluating your child’s school system.
Government emergency management is vital in the immediate aftermath of an event. However, personal safety and security is the ultimately the responsibility of the individual. Being prepared and having a plan multiplies the efforts of local and federal government in response to catastrophic events. Take the time to evaluate your level of preparation and the threat environment that in which you reside; the future is unknown, but early preparation mitigates the consequences of unexpected events.