Friday, May 23, 2008
Fairfax County Citizen Corps Chairman Posts Editorial to Washington Post Article
The comments can be found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/16/AR2008051603735_Comments.html
Many of the programs and ideas that you mention as needed have been put in place in Fairfax County, Virginia. Preparedness goes well beyond CERT. What your article does not appear to mention is a key program - Citizen Corps. The Citizen Corps Council includes the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs), Fire Corps, Neighborhood Watch, and affiliates such as Red Cross, Volunteer Fairfax, Amateur Radio, Chamber of Commerce/Business Organizations, Religious Organizations, Government Appointees, and many others. Our Citizen Corps Council also includes student programs where we have a student representative and work directly with the local public schools, Boy Scouts, etc.Your article mentions many things that are needed. While I agree steps need to be taken, there are programs and best practices available. Please take a look at our website at http://www.fairfaxcountycitizencorps.org/ and blog at http://citizencorps.blogspot.com/ Then, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org on ways to implement these programs in towns. Our program, along with others across the county, address the majority of the items you bring up in the article.
Mr. Levy raises a good point. There are agencies available to help us help ourselves and get better prepared to respond, if and when an emergency happens. The issue seems to be that few, if anyone, actually knows or cares that such resources exist.