While we think about preparedness all year round, National Preparedness Month is an important time to take stock of the value it has to first responders, emergency managers, communities, and many other entities. At S&T, we provide the tools and technologies to facilitate planning before disasters happen so our stakeholders are empowered to be more resilient against natural and manmade threats.
I mentioned in the blog last week that our National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) is working with responders to ensure their equipment is tested and evaluated before it is put into action to save lives. NUSTL also provides training on best practices for response to radiological and nuclear events—for any law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or emergency manager responding to such an event, this is their preparedness. They need to be protected when saving lives, and our efforts prepare them to be safe and ready to get to work.
In communities, we make sure information is available to emergency managers to make the best decisions for their community. Our hurricane modernization program, discussed recently, provides tools and training that simulate real-world events. When natural weather incidents occur, emergency managers can rely on their advance knowledge to apply techniques to keep the general population safe.
When it comes to preparedness and technology, S&T also listens—to responders, to those who have experienced disasters—to learn how we can continue to help. Through the National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology, we have hosted several dialogues to get people talking. Currently, we are hosting a National Conversation on Flood Resilience where we are learning from personal testimonies and experiences of the organizations leading response efforts in their communities.
We are also featuring, for the duration of National Preparedness Month, advice from responders on how to plan before an event happens. This week, we are kicking off National Preparedness Month with Captain Randy Bittinger of Fairfax (VA) County Fire and Rescue Department, also a member of our First Responder Resource Group.
Randy talked with us about “Knowing Where to Go” in the event of a disaster. Tips like Randy’s are not only valuable for citizens, but they help responders in the event of a disaster.
Watch Randy’s video and the many others that we are posting throughout the month of September. If you are a pet owner, have a medical condition or just want to know what you can do to be prepared, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more tips!