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IT’S A DISASTER! e-news  9-Sep-2011

Our opt-in e-newsletter shares ideas and stories, program and product announcements, and other resources we hope you find of interest. (Note: Some links open a new window or tab.) 

This week's (w/e 9/9/2011) topics:

 IN THE SPOTLIGHT: So ... are YOU vigilant?





THE SPOTLIGHT: So... are YOU vigilant?


vig•i•lant /ˈvijələnt/ – Adjective: Keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 we have repeatedly heard officials say “be vigilant” or “stay vigilant”. And now with the 10th anniversary almost here, those warnings are being repeated – for good reason since there are radical extremists out there who want to disrupt and destroy the Western way of life.

But how many of us really know what “being vigilant” means?

The above definition comes from Dictionary.com … and our dictionary defines it as “watchful, alert, observant, guarded, attentive, awake, cautious, careful, wary, on the alert, on the lookout” … among other things.

So now the question is … how many of us actually are vigilant in our day to day lives?

Here’s a test for you. Next time you’re walking around out in public take a few minutes and pay attention to what you do.

Are you one of those people who go around with a phone (or bone) against your head chatting away constantly … or do you stuff buds in your ears to drown out traffic and people noise with tunes? Or maybe you daydream a lot … or worry about upcoming business meetings or how you’re going to juggle all the errands and get your kids to ball practice on time.

All of these are typical, normal thoughts and it’s true – a majority of people don’t pay attention to their surroundings. And that’s a strong testament to how great our country is since we don’t live in fear.

Plus Americans are very fortunate since we have a strong, talented network of First Responders who rapidly respond to threats and incidents.

But ... keep in mind the U.S. has approximately 800,000 active Law Enforcement Officials (includes Police and Sheriff), 1.1 million Firefighters (over 70% are volunteers) and 210,000 EMT / paramedics.

That means there are about 2.1 million First Responders supporting over 300 million people..!

And yes, there are millions of active military personnel, Federal agents and observant citizens you can add to the mix … but the numbers of eyes and ears could increase exponentially if more people would pay attention.

So … what can YOU do to become more vigilant..?

  • Stay calm – Terrorist attacks are a very low risk possibility so there is no need to worry or panic. Let’s put a few risks in perspective … the chances of having high blood pressure is 1 in 4 … the odds of dying from cancer is 1 in 500 … and the odds of dying from anthrax is 1 in 56 million.
  • Be aware & watch - Sounds simple and it is. Stay current on news, alerts and threats – but don’t obsess over them – then start making a habit of being aware of your surroundings. You don’t have to be paranoid or obvious – just make a mental note of the EXITS when you go to places and watch for things that look strange or out of place especially if you walk or drive the same route day after day.
  • If you see something, say something – Many people snicker about this phrase and program, but it’s a good suggestion. We’re not implying everyone become a snitch and spy on your neighbors, but as you go about your day, watch for suspicious activities (like someone wearing a heavy coat on a hot day or unattended bags, briefcases or backpacks in odd places, etc) … and report anything that seems out of the ordinary. It may be completely harmless … but it might not. Many crimes and plots have been thwarted by citizens who saw something weird and reported it to officials.
  • Know the targets – Terrorists prefer areas that are easy to access by the public like airports, train or bus stations, military and government buildings, major events, schools, malls, etc. Some other high risk targets include water and food supplies, nuclear power plants, and high-profile landmarks. When you are at these types of facilities, try to pay more attention to activities going on around you.
  • Get involved – Talk to your local Fire, Police, Health, Sheriff and Emergency Management offices and ask if they have volunteer programs available for citizens and businesses. Some agencies even have safety classes and programs for youth and children too.

Again, people need to remain calm about the threat of terrorist attacks since they are a low risk possibility. Officials are working hard to protect communities, but there are only so many of them on the streets. If the general population would become more vigilant, it could increase the number of eyes and ears on the lookout and make our neighborhoods and country stronger. 



9/11: Ground Zero's Responders (2001) - A film by Lou Angeli -- Narrated by Kathleen Turner. Within minutes of the World Trade Center collapse on 9/11/01, emergency personnel and volunteers from around the nation responded to New York's call for help in what is considered by many as the greatest rescue mission ever. When everything could have totally fallen apart, these remarkable people revealed to the world the true meaning of the American Spirit.


Bay 2 Brooklyn 2011 Firefighters Darrell Sales and Dave Lombardo are making their way from Santa Clara, Calif., to ground zero in New York City. The reason for the trip … it's in honor of the 343 firefighters that lost their lives on September 11. Sales and Lombardo said when they started this journey it was about making connections and building relationships. Now they are trying to connect the community from the West Coast to the East Coast. www.bay2brooklyn2011.org  Hat tip to USFRA

Chasing4Life staff will be participating in the Joplin 9-11 events this weekend. The New York Says Thank You Foundation is ending its historic 50-state restoration tour of The National 9/11 Flag on September 11, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri - the site of one of the nation's deadliest tornadoes in history which took the lives of 160 people and destroyed an estimated 40 percent of the town this past May 22. Learn more at www.chasing4life.org

As September 11th, 2011 approaches, the leaders of law enforcement and security organizations should anticipate the potential emotional and behavioral effects of the anniversary on personnel, especially those with direct 9/11 experiences and exposures. XBRM’s latest white paper, “Preparing for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11: Anticipating the Effects of Traumatic Stress on Law Enforcement and Security Personnel“ (10-page PDF), is intended for those in leadership positions in law enforcement, public safety and private security organizations.  Hat tip to Disaster Resource GUIDE



In honor of National Preparedness Month, Bill and Janet Liebsch will be appearing on several radio shows throughout September. (Note: links have recorded archives.) This week’s lineup includes…

On 9/8 Janet appeared on The Survival Mom show with Lisa Bedford on The Prepper Podcast to discuss the Texas wildfires, droughts and the impacts of disasters on our food supply. Tune in each Thursday this month since Janet is Lisa’s “Guest of the month” discussing various disaster topics each week. Also check out Lisa’s blog at http://thesurvivalmom.com

And this Saturday 9/10 Janet will be joining Donna Miller on Your Preparation Station on the Preparedness Radio Network at 8p Eastern / 5p Pacific. We'll be discussing 9/11, the risk factor of terrorism vs. natural disasters, CERT and how people can get involved to assist First Responders and more.

Next week’s enews will have more appearances...



...Federal authorities investigated "specific, credible but unconfirmed" threats Thursday night (8-Sep-2011) involving possible plots to attack New York City and Washington around the 9/11 anniversary?! The threat information was about three people who may have been dispatched to the U.S. to meet with associates to carry out the attacks. Source: USA Today


...DHS “answers to 108 congressional committees, subcommittees, caucuses and the like, about four times as many as the departments of State and Justice combined,” according to news reports?! “Officials and staff spent about 66 work years responding to questions from Congress in 2009 alone. That same year, homeland security officials say they answered 11,680 letters, gave 2,058 briefings and sent 232 witnesses to 166 hearings.” Source: EM magazine


...Stratophase recently announced that its two Portable Integrated Battlespace Biological Detection Technology prototypes successfully detected B. anthracis, ricin toxin and several other biowarfare factor model-agents in an exposure chamber test. The company, a spinout from the U.K.’s University of Southampton that specializes in the real-time measurement of chemicals and biochemicals, was funded by the British Ministry of Defense and led by the manufacturer Biral. Source: BioPrepWatch



CERT Fire Safety Training app for Android presents all the material from the CERT Fire Training module in a comprehensive, easy to navigate, attractive app that fits in your pocket. We've worked hard to design the app so that you easily jump to any section of the CERT fire training materials with just a couple of taps. In addition to ALL of the material from the CERT Fire Training module, the app offers informative graphics and illustrations as well as interactive exercises that make the materials easy to understand, grasp and learn. If you're a CERT member this is an essential reference guide to keep on hand, during training, or as a refresher. Even if you're not a CERT member this material can help save lives and property. Learn more

STRATFOR’s Security Weekly free intelligence reports cover a wide spectrum of analyses and data for officials, the business community and the public at large. A few examples of recent articles include Fighting Grassroots Terrorism: How Local Vigilance Can Help and  Situational Awareness: How Everyday Citizens Can Help Make a Nation Safe .

Willis Global Markets International has launched a product for companies with key locations, suppliers or customers located in the vicinity of a nuclear power station. The new offering covers business interruption costs should a plant’s safety be compromised and an exclusion zone be put in place, having been developed in response to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. According to Willis, traditional property damage and business interruption policies usually contain a radioactive contamination exclusion clause, which excludes any damage, denial of access or other consequences arising from nuclear radiation or contamination. Read more

Got a cool link or idea? Email it to Janet at info@itsadisaster.net


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We’re always looking for input, stories, news, products or services from agencies, volunteer groups, schools and others so feel free to email
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p.s. If you know an agency, nonprofit, school, church, Scout troop, or volunteer group (like a CERT, MRC, Radio Club, Rotary, etc) who could benefit from our preparedness book and/or funding ideas, please have them call 1-888-999-4325 or 
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Stay safe out there, j & B

Bill & Janet Liebsch
7739 E Broadway Blvd # 416
Tucson, AZ 85710-3947 USA
1-888-999-4325 7a-4p Pacific M-F
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