With the bombings in New Jersey and New York this past weekend, this September, which happens to be National Preparedness Month, has already tested our preparedness. Saturday morning, a garbage can exploded near the starting line of a Marine Corps charity run in Seaside Park, New Jersey. What authorities believe to be a homemade bomb exploded on a crowded sidewalk in Manhattan on Saturday night, injuring at least 29 people. On Sunday night, a backpack with multiple bombs inside was found in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As investigations began, one of those bombs exploded.
Authorities acted quickly to scour the surrounding areas for other explosives, successfully finding and removing another bomb blocks away from the initial Manhattan explosion. But how can communities themselves be a part of preparation for potential disasters or terrorist attacks?
Last year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is returning for another year: “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” At Veoci, communication is the foundation that our software is built on. With the founding members of our team coming from GE, all working together to develop and run SupportCentral, the largest enterprise collaboration platform, we know a thing or two about staying in touch. So when our customers use their own creativity to implement new methods of communication and information sharing within their communities, as Susquehanna County did in our previous blog, it makes us think of all the possibilities for other communities to do the same.
Attacks like this weekend’s bombings in close-knit communities are not something to be left to authorities alone. Susquehanna residents now work together to report drug activity to the district attorney’s office using a custom, public form, creating watchful eyes all over the community. Any other city, town or county can apply the same method for reporting suspicious activity or questionable packages or devices witnessed by residents.
National Preparedness Month implores community members to do their part in being prepared for any type of danger. While small actions like preparing a supply kit of food and water for yourself or your family are always encouraged, at Veoci, we believe that bigger acts of prevention can be accomplished if community members communicate and work together. Simple things like Susquehanna’s suspicious activity report form can turn a scattered community into a unified team, fully aware and prepared for anything that can happen.