Small Town America: Post 9/11- Part Two

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"Are we 100 percent prepared? I'm going to have to say no. I don't think any community can say they are completely ready for what happens."

Warren County Emergency Management Director Ronnie Pearson said while South Central Kentucky is still vulnerable to attack, the area's far more ready than it’s ever been.

"Today, I would say Bowling Green, Warren County, and the Barren River Area Development District is a lot better prepared than it was three or four years ago."

Warren County officials say this area has been working on anti-terrorism initiatives for several years since the Oklahoma City bombings back in 1995.

After the tragedy of Sept. 11, area officials once again stepped up their efforts to keep us safe.

Every year regional exercises are hosted in Bowling Green for all surrounding counties. These exercises are conducted to allow community officials and first responder teams the chance to simulate situations such as a terrorist attack.

That's not all.

Local safety branches are constantly working with each other to upgrade safety standards in the ever-changing war on terrorism.

"There has been an opening of intelligence sharing at the local law enforcement level. There's meetings on a regular basis sharing ideas and information," Pearson said.

Law enforcement officials are also being prepped to stop a terrorist attack or deal with the aftermath.

However, Emergency Management officials also want you to be trained in how to deal with a crisis as well. So they have started a program called "Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT.

The program is aimed at neighborhoods, businesses, clubs and organizations to help them be able to take care of themselves and each other in the event of a terrorist act.

CERT teaches citizens how to perform head-to-toe assessments, select and set up treatment areas, and identify planning and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations. To learn more about CERT click here.

Citizens are also being encouraged to prepare on their own.

You are also being encouraged to create your own individual disaster kits. The kits should include water, three's day worth of non-perishable food and a first aid kit. This should help you make it through the first few days after the initial attack.

To learn more about how to better prepare yourself visit the following links.

www.homelandsecurity.ky.gov

www.redcross.org/preparedness/cdc_english/CDC.asp

www.ready.gov

www.protectyourfamily.ky.gov


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