State of Emergency
A number of readers have asked me to comment about the state of our emergency preparedness. And while I don't have any specific insight to add to the issue, AP writer Maura Kelly Lannan did a good job of reporting on where Illinois and Chicago officials think that they are at should disaster strike. In the aftermath of recent disasters, it's understandable for officials to hedge their bets. Local officials are sticking to this same game plan.
"I believe that we are as well-prepared at this point as we could be. We're better prepared than we were Sept. 11, 2001," said Mike Chamness, policy adviser to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. "I think we would handle any disaster well in Illinois, but I am not at all content to say we're just going to sit back. We have to test our system and find out what parts work and what may not work."
Monique Bond, spokeswoman for Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, believes the state and city of Chicago are well-prepared for a disaster.These days, with the ever-present threat of natural disasters or terrorist activity, we must do all that we can to function normally yet responsibly in our daily lives. We must learn from the mistakes of others though, and make sure that people in positions of responsibility are qualified to be there and are vigilant in their jobs. At the end of the day though, what it boils down to is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
"But we have to continue to do more. We're never going to be 100 percent prepared," she said. "It's critical that we constantly revisit the (evacuation) plan, look at it, refine it, see what are we missing here, what have we overlooked."