New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)


Sunday, September 9, 2012

National Preparedness Month - Pledge to Prepare - Awareness to Action



Ah September!  The fall harvest is just around the corner, kids are back in school and we start hustling to be ready for winter.  Here in New Mexico, September also means roasting chili and the State Fair.  To the nation, since 2004 National Preparedness Month in September was born out of the tremendous response to the 9/11 tragedy.

The concept of "national preparedness" is really the concept of creating a nation of prepared individuals, families and businesses.  It is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security.  It is called “FEMA’s Ready Campaign” (http://www.ready.gov) and correlates ‘public education’ through disseminating information and points us citizens to various national Citizen Corps volunteer groups (like CERTS) for specific training and information.  

All the military branches participate in National Preparedness Month and stress the importance to all the civilian dependants of military personnel and contractors.

“Responsibility for the safety and resiliency of our Army lies with each member of the Army Family. Engagement among Army leaders, Soldiers, Families and Civilians is pivotal to highlighting the role each individual plays in preparedness. Preparedness planning serves as a force multiplier, allowing leaders to dedicate time and energy on the most significant needs of the Army community.” Per Raymond F. Chandler III, Sergeant Major of the Army; Raymond T. Odierno, General, Army Chief of Staff; John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army in a letter to the forces.

Individuals as well as organizations are encouraged to become involved, as a crisis or disaster can strike anywhere, at anytime, can be large or small and long or short in duration.

The U.S. has had numerous other natural disasters, even since 9/11 and although they have, thankfully, not been as severe as say the Japan earthquake and Tsunami, they have been devastating to many of us as a nation. 

In 2005 we had Just Katrina where the up & running response time of FEMA providing aid was 6 days and the communication and coordination between the various levels of government (local to federal) was a disaster in and of itself.

2011 saw more billion-dollar natural disasters than any year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Some of which were: Major storms from Hurricane Irene which battered the U.S. East Coast, to the spring tornadoes which brought devastation from Wisconsin to Texas.  During the first 11 months of 2011 there were 97 major disasters declared. 

Recently we have had the drought through much of the lower 48 states and the category 1 hurricane – Isaac, which was a very slow moving, extremely saturated storm, whose remnants are still wrecking havoc with continuing power outages and flooding.  All these natural occurrences point to the fact that we don’t know and can’t really predict where or when emergencies or disasters will strike.

Here in the U.S. we have gone from a loosely knit civilian entity, that eventually was ‘guided’ by Department of Defense as Civil Defense; to still a loosely coordinated group of local, state, federal governmental and civilian groups called Civil Defense; then onto a consolidated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and finally to an overly bureaucratic federally dictated Department of Homeland Security.

Despite all this (or maybe because of some of it), history has shown us that the government can’t do it alone when it comes to: preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. DHS/FEMA is only part of our nation’s ‘emergency management team’ – along with other federal partners, state and local governments, nonprofit and voluntary organizations, the private sector and most importantly: the everyday citizen

Yet, as of 2009, the Citizen Corps National Survey revealed that only 57% of Americans surveyed report having supplies set aside in their homes just for disasters, while only 44% have a household emergency plan.  National Preparedness Month serves to encourage individuals across the nation to take important preparedness steps including: getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about the different emergencies that may affect them, as well as taking the necessary steps to get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts.  (See the 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey @ http://www.citizencorps.gov/ready/2009findings.shtm).

Today it is estimated that over half of Americans have emergency supplies set aside and less than half have a plan. Even fewer have the knowledge and skills to utilize their emergency supplies or can guarantee that they are still viable, nutritional and or functional.  This is something you have to work at and maintain.

"Just like no coach would bring a team onto a field without a game plan, every family needs a game plan for emergencies. When disaster strikes, it’s too late," says Russ Paulsen, Red Cross Executive Director of Community Preparedness and Resilience.

 This year’s campaign is called:  Pledge to Prepare – Awareness In Action and there is a great little game online that many states are encouraging people to participate in called; ‘30 Ways, 30 Days to Prepare’.  Go to http://www.30days30ways.com/ to sign up, join and get prepared!


This is an emergency preparedness game that was started by the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) during National Preparedness Month in 2010 and is again being "played" nationally for 2012.


Ok I can hear people screaming “Your working with FEMA?!!”   Despite my lack of trust and respect for our government and that its own actions and reports consider ‘Preppers’ as potential threats to national security (http://prepperphil.com/2012/07/15/the-hb-nation-declares-janet-napolitano-top-domestic-terrorist/),  I firmly believe that Citizen Corps and Ready.gov, along with the Red Cross are excellent places for basic ‘getting started’ preparedness information.  Besides if one actually reads the citizen slandering DHS documents, they do draw a fine line or ‘split hairs’ between preparedness and domestic terrorists in their ‘deffinition’.  There is an excellent article about this at http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2012/09/national-preparedness-month-npm-september-2012.html which states:

“To summarize this, FEMA/DHS are good with Preppers when everything can be framed as preparing for a disaster.  Where they diverge is when you are preparing for an attack.”

On top of that preparedness is truly an individual responsibility and not that of any government.

Bottom line:  Organizations like the Red Cross and governmental instruction from DHS, FEMA, CDC, etc are valid and precise,  yet short-sided in that none of their instructions promote self-reliance for longer than 72 hours and ‘disasters’ since 9/11 have shown that the average timeframe is actually 5-7 days, with Isaac now taking us into weeks!  So please keep that in mind as you and yours prepare.

Check out the American Preppers Network (APN) at http://americanpreppersnetwork.com each day this for daily insight on “Prepper Disaster Preparedness”.

Read more on tips to get your started, additional non-government resources or continue to have your family prepared and not scared ;-}  @ http://www.scribd.com/doc/105388481/National-Preparedness-Month-2012-Pledge-to-Prepare-Awareness-to-Action

Don't forget your Fall To-Do's @ http://www.scribd.com/doc/65838445/Fall-to-Do-s-Preparing-Winter

Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday

TNT

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