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Everyone is a Component. Everything is Important

Homeland security has many components and they are all critical. For example, no matter what type of incident, whether it is a storm, earthquake, flood, tornado, man-made disaster such as a train wreck with deadly chemicals aboard, or terrorism, without communications, information cannot reach decision-makers and direction cannot be conveyed to the people in the position to take action. Without good information, those in charge will not know the best actions to take, regardless of whether they can communicate. Without trained, prepared, and properly equipped responders to take action, communication and intelligence are meaningless.

That everyone is important is a more important point than it might appear to be at first glance because “everyone” is a lot. It includes not just the decision-makers, intelligence officials, and first responders mentioned in the preceding paragraph. ‘Everyone is a component’ means the entire community. For example, communications requires electricity (infrastructure) which requires transmission lines (infrastructure) and a generating plant (infrastructure) which requires fuel which requires roads… (infrastructure). All of these require people.

Another example. If there is a major catastrophe and if members of the community know basic first aid, they become a homeland security component that will free up overwhelmed first responders to deal with major injuries. FEMA’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team, sometimes it goes by other names) training is an excellent resource that increases the number of people who can contribute. Also, do not underestimate individual citizens. They can be awesome Americans without wearing a badge.

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