by Avagene Moore, CEM®
Although most of my adult life was spent working in emergency management, I am disappointed in the status of our national preparedness. My dream for this country is Americans prepared for anything that comes our way. Despite years of various programs and more money than I can comprehend, we are not A Nation Prepared.
While working at the city/county level, I worked with our county Board of Education, individual school Principals and teachers to get some type of program into science or health classes to train our young people about the threats in our area and how to be personally prepared for them. My dream made sense to me: Raise up generations of prepared children from very young ages and let them take it home to Mom and Dad. In other words, teach the principles of preparedness along with reading, writing and arithmetic and prepare children to take on the world and its risks. I called it teaching “Life Skills”.
I preached the ABC’s of awareness, basic first aid and the three C’s: communication, coordination and collaboration. I expounded on natural and manmade disasters and the limitations of our local infrastructure when the BIG disaster hits – “It is up to you to take care of yourself!” I was welcome at any and all schools and could deliver my message to every class as long as I was the one who did it. After all, it gave hard-working teachers a needed break. However, no school administrator or teacher was going to take on another subject to teach because of the current teaching load – I can only hope a few teachers and students learned something from my efforts.
The good news is that the Safe to Learn commitment to safety and learning is a new day. Its practical approach drives preparedness into the very fiber of our school systems and all the personnel working with our children. Yes, it can instill preparedness and readiness in our young people. With the advent of this very special program, I believe my dream of A Nation Prepared is within reach.