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Preparing for 'D Days'

As you read this, there are thousands of aircraft in the skies over the U.S., and millions of Americans are traveling in buses, trains and subways. There are also millions of people sleeping or resting in hotels, hospitals, condominiums and nursing care facilities.

At the crack of dawn, millions of children will take their seats on school buses and sit at their desks in schools, ready for the many challenges that lie ahead of them. Most will not be thinking about some disgruntled student, ex-employee or terrorist barricading doors, setting off explosive devices or holding them hostage. That’s our job.

It is our responsibility to think about unfortunate, often horrific, aspects of “daily life” in this time of unrest throughout the world. We must envision all the ways unstable individuals, religious zealots and others with “axes to grind” will express themselves by attacking us and other innocent people. We must also develop our own “battle plans” to counteract disasters (“D Days”) and minimize the deaths, injuries and destruction that can occur during the predicted domestic and foreign attacks against us.

And, as always, it is our responsibility to be proactive and prepare for the cargo plane loaded with hazardous cargo, crashing in limited-resource areas after 20 birds get sucked into its engines shortly after take-off.

This editorial supplement, featuring some of the brightest minds in disaster and terrorism preparedness response in America, was developed with input from the Department of Homeland Security and other advisors whose job is to conduct risk assessments and predict what threats we must plan for in the immediate future.

These experts, as well as the sponsors of this supplement, “have your back” and have stepped forward to give you the latest perspectives on these important topics. Read them all carefully, think about strengths and weakness in your training, response and operational plans, and close those gaps before we are hit by predicted “D Days.”

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