Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Mr. Prepared here, to tell you about one event that really required a lot of Preparedness – and that was the swearing in of our brand new President!

With the inauguration of our first African-American president – and the presence of millions of people in the streets of Washington D.C. – obviously, authorities had to be super-prepared for any emergency! 

That means 58 federal, state and local agencies had to actually work together.  Hard to believe that anyone could make that potential bureaucratic smash-up work, but judging from how amazingly well the day went off, they pulled it off in style.

But it did take a lot of manpower to be that prepared – including 8000 Washington D.C. police officers, 10,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 FBI personnel and hundreds more from the Secret Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Department of Homeland Security.   These security pros were deployed in the air, on the land and in the water to make sure everything ran smoothly.  There were also counter snipers stationed on top of buildings to take out potential real snipers.

Not only that – but there was a huge amount of animal power too, with horses trained to control crowds and bomb-sniffing dogs trying to smell out any attacks.  There were also the hi tech tools the pros use at these kinds of events – including thousands of security cameras and sensors that are used to detect biological, radiological, chemical and nuclear threats. 

These were all elements of plans drawn up to deal with explosive devices, suicide bombers and the potential use of a weapon of mass destruction.  Airspace was restricted over Washington D.C., portions of the Potomac River were closed, along with miles of roads and bridges leading into the nation’s capital.  In other words, it was REALLY hard to get around.

Clearly, this was a level of preparedness that not even Mr. Prepared could imagine!  But let’s all breathe a sigh of relief that everything went well, so our new chief executive can move forward with his administration and tackle all the tough problems our country faces.

By the way, I always stress the importance of leaving enough time to prepare properly.  Do you happen to know when they started planning security for this inauguration?  The moment after the last one happened, in 2005!

It just goes to show you, it pays to “Be Smart!  Be Safe!  Be Prepared!” This is Mr. Prepared, bringing Awareness to Preparedness!