Sept. 7, 2010 — Nine years ago this coming Saturday, Sept. 11 many of us walked around in a daze that fateful Tuesday morning. Just like people who said they remember where they were when they heard the news that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, people will remember where they were when they first realized America was under attack.
Sept. 11 is now known as Patriot Day and will be added to the history books along side Veterans Day (Armistice Day), the attack on Pearl Harbor and D-Day.
We encourage everyone to join the Susanville Fire Department at 6:30 a.m. at the Main Street fire station to pay tribute to the men and women who gave their lives that day trying to save the lives of others in the World Trade Center towers — police officers, firefighters and others who did their jobs bravely. As Bill Dandois plays “Taps” on his trumpet it is a good time to reflect on the innocent men, women and children who lost their lives that day, not only in Manhattan but at the Pentagon and in a lonely farm field in Pennsylvania at the hands of terrorists who cowardly took their own lives in the process.
An overall consensus from looking back to that day is that rather than destroying America’s independence and fight to survive, the terrorists strengthened her resolve to be better prepared to defend herself on her own soil. Americans no longer would become lackadaisical to the fact that she could be attacked on her own soil in unheard of means. Sept. 11 united Americans.
It also prompted a campaign naming September as Disaster Preparedness Month. It is a good time of the year to make sure homes, businesses and schools are ready for the natural and man-made disaster. Besides fire drills and earthquake drills, Californians should be ready for any disaster. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with the California Emergency Management Agency, has put together a Web site to help individuals be prepared.
Here is a small list of some things we can all do to be ready if disaster strikes:
•Identify Your Risk — What are the hazards where you live or work? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live near a flood plain, an earthquake fault, or in a high fire danger area?
•Create a Family Disaster Plan — Your family needs a plan that tells everyone: where to meet if you have to evacuate; who you’ve identified as an out-of-state family contact; how to get emergency information in your community; and how to take care of your family pets. You can also register your family's emergency contact information with the National Next of Kin Registry.
•Practice Your Family Disaster Plan — After you have sat down with your family and written your plan, practice it. Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home, as you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster and whether to stay put indoors or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routes as determined by your local emergency services office.
•Build a Disaster Kit for Your Home and Car — In order to be self-sufficient until help arrives, you need to have a disaster supply kit. Have at least a three-day supply of food and water for all family members.
•Prepare Your Children
•Keep in Mind Those with Special Needs — Prepare for those with unique needs such as small children, seniors or individuals with disabilities.
•Learn CPR and First Aid — Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on basic first aid and CPR. Your training could save the life of a loved one or neighbor following a disaster.
•Secure Your Space in Your Home and the Workplace — You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earthquake or from an explosion.
•Understand Post 9/11 Risks — Disaster preparedness must account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones.
•Get involved and Volunteer — Donate blood, join a local Community Emergency Response Team, educate your neighbor or volunteer with your local American Red Cross.
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