In his “Disaster Preparedness & Recovery” blog, posted 2-1-12, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate highlighted three emergency management lessons he believed were learned from the many disasters that occurred in 2011.

#1- Not all disasters come with warnings. Regardless of the type of disaster (flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake), we need to be ready.

#2- We can’t underestimate the importance of the entire team. All of the response and recovery efforts from federal, state, and local groups (private sector, nonprofits, faith-based community, volunteer groups and the public) make a remarkable difference.

#3- We must be prepared for worst-case scenarios. For example, Japan’s tragic earthquake and the resulting tsunami and power plant meltdown was a real wake-up call.

At the local community level, volunteer groups like Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams (NERT), Community Emergency Radio Teams (CERN), and Neighborhood HamWatch (NHW) can make a significant difference.

In Petaluma, the key emergency readiness question is, Do you live in a STAR neighborhood? (STAR = Safe, Trained, Alert, Ready)
Stay tuned for additional blogs that will announce local community “disaster preparedness and recovery” educational and training opportunities throughout 2012.