3:43pm

Thu September 1, 2011
The Commonwealth

Preparedness Ten Years After 9-11

The recognition of the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks has also focused attention on emergency preparation.  September has been proclaimed ‘preparedness month’ at both the national and state levels.  Over the last ten years, Lexington director of the division of emergency management Pat Dugger says central Kentucky has built a good line of communications.

“So we do health and medical planning, whether that’s procuring equipment, doing responses, doing protocols and procedures, in-operable equipment.  We’ve done that regionally for the last eleven years in about 17 counties,” said Dugger.

Dugger says concerns over the aging stockpile of chemical munitions at the Bluegrass Army Depot in Madison County also forced an improvement in communication between counties.

 In the ten years since the 9-11 terror attacks, millions of dollars in federal money has been spent in Kentucky on emergency preparedness.  Dugger says in the years after 9-11 much of the funding focused on homeland security.  Now, Dugger says it gets equal attention with other natural disasters..

“Now it’s getting the same billing, especially with locals except with those cities like New York and Los Angeles…you know they still have that focus….but for the rest of us….we’re now able to take the funding we receive and factor terrorism into all the rest of the hazards that we have to plan for,” added Dugger.

 Preparations for another 9-11 style terror attack means the nation now does a better job responding to natural disasters.  For example, Pat Dugger says tornado recovery efforts in Joplin, Missouri are going well...

 “The recovery there is going much quicker, swifter, and faster.  So there are a lot of questions going on,..Is that the result of preparedness, so that if you are prepared in the beginning, the impact and it’s easier to pick up because you have plans in place, you know what to do, you have things together.” Explained Dugger.

Pat Dugger says it’s been shown about half of businesses without a survival plan never reopen after a disaster.