The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

December 12, 2013

Set aside complacency, craft guidelines for the next disaster

ENID, Okla. — Chances are you’re familiar with the show “Doomsday Preppers.”

In this reality TV show, Americans are preparing for an apocalyptic scenario of some sort. They all believe the end of civilization is nigh.

In a recent mock drill, a square mile of Enid was “destroyed.” This exercise was for the benefit of more than two dozen agencies and stakeholders in Garfield County — many of whom would be mobilized in the event of a disaster.

Mike Honigsberg, who is the emergency management certified director for both Enid and the unincorporated areas of Garfield County, hoped to get everyone visualizing how their organization would respond to a large disaster, and how they could best communicate.

Sadly, turnout wasn’t stellar. We wish more key players would have participated.

“Until we take a hit and people die, not much is going to get done because that’s what’s happened in a lot of other places,” Honigsberg said. “They didn’t take it very seriously until the big one hit them.”

We hope a local disaster never happens, but it could. We urge local leaders to set aside complacency. Work together to craft a general set of principles and guidelines to allow emergency responders to alter a response depending on the nature of the event.

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