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In light of recent world-wide events, citizens around the world have been coping with both natural and man-made disasters. They’re recovering as best they can; but one key question that is lingering in this blogger’s mind is, “what’s next?”

Today’s post is the 105th blog devoted to Emergency Preparedness since Sept. 7, 2006. Another 15 disaster related blogs preceded this one, using different category headings such as: Our Cyberspace, Then and Now, Our Petaluma, and Bill’s Blogs. (See Index of Blog Categories to the right.)

It was Hurricane Katrina (2005) that initiated the focus on Emergency Preparedness, and here we are seven years later “preaching” the same messages. Are you ready? Are we prepared? Can we cope with a major natural disaster in Petaluma, Sonoma County, and California? If other disasters since Katrina (Rita, Ike, and Super Storm Sandy) don’t wake us up to be better prepared, what will?

Our hearts go out to the folks in the North East who were in the midst of coping with the damage and loss of life associated with Sandy, when they were hit with another severe storm. The government first-responder agencies, at all levels, did the best they could with their available resources; but there are still thousands of citizens who still need their recovery services over ten days later. For now, that void is being filled by volunteers (far and near) as well as fellow neighbors. “Neighbors helping neighbors,” has been the main focus of all these blogs. There is nothing new to be said, except “What’s next?”

It has been stated that, “about 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Pacific Ring of Fire.” When, not if, will one 6.0+ magnitude quake strike our city, our county, and/or our regional area? I don’t have an answer to that question; but come this Thanksgiving, I will be thankful that we haven’t been struck yet and I will pray that “when” we are hit, we will be “ready and prepared” to cope and recover by helping our neighbors.

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