On May 15, 2014, we paid tribute to the victims, firefighters, first responders and our great country by memorializing the tragic events of 9/11. The author of this article personally knew one of the victims of Flight 11, the first to strike the World Trade Center Twin Towers. Tears of sorrow and remembrance ran down many faces as the ceremony progressed. The strength and will of our country endured this terrorism, and brought the spirit of the Stars and Stripes to a new vitality.

World Trade Center Memorial
World Trade Center Memorial Courtesy http://huffingtonpost.com

“We will never forget” the almost three thousand that perished that day, nor will we forget the lives lost at Pearl Harbor when we were attacked on another sunny Sunday morning, drawing us into World War II. Terrorism seeks to disrupt our way of life.

Terrorism wants to destroy what we hold close to our hearts, our freedom, our will to succeed and our passion to protect, defend and assist those in need. Terrorism represents everything we, as Americans, abhor. Similar to the thug on the street that threatens, mugs and steals from an unsuspecting person, terrorists threaten us, make us their victims and steal our security.

We may never again feel the freedom we once had on September 10, 2001, (the day before the Twin Towers were razed), as our heightened security restricts the who, what, where, when and how of our lifestyle. However, we stand united as one nation with a determination stronger than the cowardly acts of individuals who do not cherish or value life as we do. Our hearts are burdened with the onslaught of bad news, lost lives and the passing of our freedoms, but are lightened by the fact that Firefighters, Police, First Responders and our Armed Forces are willing to risk their lives to assist us and save us in our time of need.

Have you ever pointed a loaded rifle at someone being certain you were protecting the interests of the United States? Have you ever rushed into a burning building? Have you ever climbed into an overturned vehicle immediately after the accident? Most of us would say “NO.” The author has, and most first responders and many of our military can claim to have done at least one or more of these actions. All of our Firefighters, Police, first responders and military can proclaim, “I have signed a blank check to the United States of America for an amount up to and including my life to protect, to serve and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

San Diego wildfire 5/14/2014. Courtesy CNN.com
Home engulfed by the San Diego wildfire 5/14/2014. Courtesy CNN.com

In addition, on May 15, 2014, nine fires in the San Diego County threatened lives, destroyed homes, closed schools, shut down businesses and restricted our freedom to move around freely. Many of our Marines from Camp Pendleton, California were evacuated. Ironically, San Diego is nearly 3,000 miles from New York City, almost the same number of people that perished on 9/11 as the miles between these two cities. How many lives were affected by the fires that once again caused our courageous first responders to react without regard for their lives, (or for the lives of their loved ones), to save others? We are extremely grateful for their sacrifices, their courage and their willingness to do a job that they may not return from on a daily basis.

Oddly, terrorist acts and fires implement the same fears, the same life threatening scenarios and the same reactions from first responders. Terrorism and fires are the same except for one thing, putting out a fire, as dangerous as it is, does not involve murdering someone because they have achieved a better status in life as terrorism does. Therefore, we give thanks and recognize the strength and courage that is so prominent in our fire, police, military and first responders.

On the other hand, what do you do, personally, when faced with a fire, told to evacuate, and only have a few minutes to respond? What do you do when a “home grown” terrorist threatens your child’s school or your workplace and causes a shelter in place order? These events do not wait until you are ready. They seem to happen more and more frequently since that tragic day on September 11, 2001. Not every home, workplace, or school is safe, and as time keeps ticking by, the catastrophic event continues to unfold. Some people believe in the “It will not happen to me,” attitude, until a disaster happens. Then when a disaster does occur, such as a fire, terrorist act, or storm they find that they are unprepared. Only then do people realize that they are their own first responder and they should have prepared because as the events unfold, the clock keeps ticking and tragically, lives may be lost.

Your own emergency disaster preparedness plan is key to your survival and your survival depends on how well prepared you are. In other words, it takes time for the appropriate personnel to respond to your situation. Time you will need in order to survive. Time that may be the difference between grabbing a survival kit or emergency kit and running or staying put as the situation warrants, or facing a major injury or death. Not all emergency disaster preparedness plans work in all situations, but not having a plan can lead to undesirable consequences.

If you need assistance in developing an emergency disaster preparedness plan, or an emergency survival kit for yourself, your family, your child’s school or workplace, just contact us. Just Us Enterprises, the Emergency Disaster Preparedness company is a BBB accredited business, registered with FEMA and is syndicated with the CDC.

Stay Safe America.

Just Us Enterprises, the Emergency Disaster Preparedness company