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Leadership Journal

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Building a Ready and Resilient Nation

Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training in New York/Photo larryosan Flickr Over the past few months I have been laying out the five main areas of responsibility of the Department.

In July, I outlined our approach to our first priority – countering the threat of a terrorist attack. In August, I spoke about the new approach we’re taking to border security.

Today, in remarks at the American Red Cross, I’m speaking about another important mission: readiness and resilience.

Our nation may be better prepared than we were before 9/11. But there is much more we can – and should – do. And to get there, we must treat our nation’s preparedness as a shared responsibility, one where everyone has a role to play.

Civilians are usually the first to arrive in a crisis, and history shows that they are critical in those important first minutes. And these citizen responders can be an even more potent force by:
  • Taking CPR training from the Red Cross
  • Training with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
  • Knowing when to take shelter or evacuate
  • Pre-planning evacuation routes and where to meet after a disaster strikes
If a disaster struck your hometown, that training, those skills, and those plans would free up first responders and emergency personnel to focus on those most in need.

So today, I’m calling on all Americans, across the country, to do two things.

First, take these basic steps:
  1. get an emergency kit;
  2. make a family reunification plan; and
  3. become informed about the types of emergencies your community is most likely to encounter.
Second, I’m asking all of us who are in book clubs, prayer groups, school boards, alumni associations, or other community organizations, simply to raise your hand and ask, “What’s our plan?”

Together, we can build a culture of readiness and resilience, and together we can build a more secure future.

Janet Napolitano

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  • I would like to appreciate about your efforts in reorganizing the USCIS which really needs drastic overhaulling specially at the Atlanta District office which they seems to lingering the cases for no reasons at all ( ) There should have some task giving force who could monitor their working and the time they are taking in deciding the cases which tentamount to considerable delay on their part some time they took 2/3 years time ( ) All other offices are working efficiently and the customers are getting timely services ( ) I qould request you to kindly send some Auditors who are responsible in assessing the efficiency of the different offices of USCIS( ) Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 30, 2009 7:45 AM  

  • Ms. Napolitano, thanks for the 287g program. It has really been working great in my daughters state of Oklahoma. It has really helped clean up the schools and many homes.

    Your home state of Arizona is really working with a great Sheriff and he is using it to great advantage.

    We urge you to expand the scope and get more funding for it. I have been helping various Police depts to become aware of the 287g program and they are always excited to get help with the terrible illegal alien and gang,drug issues we have.

    Thanks again and help us increase the use of 287 g. The taking of our jobs by illegla and legal aliens has got to stop....

    by any means we can.

    Thank you

    By Blogger mrbill, At October 3, 2009 4:49 PM  

  • This is an important program, everywhere in the civilized world, we are threatened by such group pushing their agenda. We are all looking to US in what is being done

    By Anonymous florist, At October 13, 2009 10:34 AM  

  • "Civilians are usually the first to arrive in a crisis, and history shows that they are critical in those important first minutes." - So true! It is most important for neighborhoods to be prepared. Government agencies and NGOs cannot be everywhere at all times.

    By Anonymous Californiality, At October 16, 2009 7:27 PM  

  • I do not think we will see a meaningful increase in resilience at the local and state levels until the threshold for a Presidential Disaster Declaration is raised. Additionally, incentives are needed for individuals and governments to take action in anticipation of disasters and not simply wait for federal assistance post-disaster.
    contract management

    By Blogger markinson, At October 24, 2009 5:56 AM  

  • This initiative is excellent. Threats are not over yet, specially terrorist attacks. Also natural disasters are escalating like there were never before due to global warming issue. Nobody can predict what is going to happen in the future. So better be prepared for anything that is going to take part in the future. Readiness is extremely important in facing any natural phenomena.

    By Anonymous quality web hosting, At February 5, 2010 1:42 PM  

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