Be Prepared for the Worse
The images coming in this week from Joplin, Missouri, are as shocking as they are heartbreaking. Large sections of the city are reduced to nothing but rubble.
As this column is written, the estimates are that well over 100 people were killed, and at least 2,000 buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. I am certain the images on our TV screens cannot adequately convey the devastation to this town and to the lives of the people who live there.
And this disaster comes right on the heels of similar occurrences in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, St. Louis, Missouri, and elsewhere throughout the heartland. There is no explanation for these events, other than that it must be their turn.
Disaster can strike anywhere. The west coast is prone to periodic flooding and mudslides that wash away entire neighborhoods. Then the next thing you know, they’re in the middle of a severe drought during which nothing will grow and the residents wonder where their next sip of water will come from.
And, of course, here in the east we watch every summer for that hurricane that comes up the coast and makes landfall at some spot chosen entirely by Mother Nature. Our neighbors here on Maryland’s eastern shore were hit extremely hard eight years ago by Hurricane Isabelle; and they know all too well that any storm could be the next “Big One.”
Recent events here in central Maryland have reminded us that we are not immune from the wrath of Mother Nature. Although comparatively small in scope, we have over the last year seen an earthquake in Montgomery County and tornados here in Frederick County.
The worst thing anyone can do is take the attitude that “it only happens to the other guy.” We do not have this attitude in Frederick County. That is why in Frederick County the government takes emergency preparedness very, very seriously.
I would urge everyone in the county at some point to read the Emergency Preparedness section on the Frederick County Government website. It is extremely easy to find. Just go to www.frederickcountymd.gov , and on the home screen the very first prompt you will see is “Emergency Preparedness.”
You will also see a warning light associated with this link on the homepage. Right now that light is green, where we want it to stay. However, in the event of an emergency that light will change to red, and everyone needs to take emergency precautions.
Elsewhere on the website you will find links to tips for both personal and business preparedness. It is very important that everyone have an emergency response plan in one’s own home and business, and the county website gives you tips on how to prepare this plan.
In Frederick County we are fortunate to have an extremely well trained and dedicated staff devoted to keeping the county and all of our residents safe. Do your part and check out the important information on our website.
In the event the unthinkable does happen here, preparation is our best defense.