NCORP Chairman Gilmore: community preparedness essential
| 05.03.2006 | 14:34:09 | Views: 5556 | ID:
May 3 '06: Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore, Chairman of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, addressed over 300 police chiefs, responders and members of the private and community sector at the Midwest Summit 2006 (www.midwestsummit2006) , stressing that the state and local responder community in cooperation with the federal government and the private sector is the most important tool in the fight to stay prepared against natural and national emergencies.
Gilmore's comments come on the heels of new announcements from the Bush administration concerning fears of a avian flu pandemic. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that in addition to measures recommended by the White House, state and local governments were told that the federal response would be one of cooperation with local efforts because of the nature and the speed of an outbreak.President Bush said of the avian flu plan that every citizen's role in helping to slow the rate of infection in communities was essential. "No less important will be the actions of individual citizens," the President said, "whose participation is necessary to the success of these efforts." Additionally, natural emergencies like the 2005 hurricane season and Katrina have highlighted the necessity for greater cooperation among all levels of government and community. A 600-page report released on the failures of the government to respond to Hurricane Katrina found that communication and coordination broke down resulting in stunted response and recovery efforts. Because of nature and immediacy of threats both natural and national, Gilmore said, it is important to understand that, "This country is too big to be protected only by Washington DC," and that state and local communities must do their part. That sentiment was mirrored in the Bush administration's avian flu report which read, "Local communities will have to address the medical and non-medical impacts of the pandemic with available resources." And White House Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend said, "We depend on everyone outside of the government to take this as seriously as we do."
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