The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, were aseminal moment for our nation, as one of the worst days in American history also brought out the very best of the American spirit.
People from across the country came forward with donations of time, blood and money to support the victims and survivors of the attacks. Together, we responded, recovered and rebuilt.
As America marks the 13th anniversary of the attacks, we should remember the victims, honor the brave responders and renew our commitment to help our families and communities prepare.
It should also remind us that the unimaginable can, in fact, occur, and that we all must do more to prepare our families and make our communities ready for human-caused and natural disasters of all kinds and sizes.
No one was prepared for the events of 9/11 or for the lengthy disruptions the attacks caused across our nation. We must do more to prepare our families and make our communities ready for disasters.
A prepared nation has every person, business, school, organization and house of worship ready to take care of themselves and their neighbors.
• Families should plan how to deal with the kinds of disasters that are most likely to
occur where they live, what to do if family members are separated, and how they can be informed before, during and after a disaster. At least one member of every family should be trained in CPR and first aid.
• Businesses, schools and organizations should have proper safety and emergency supplies on hand, as well as staff trained in CPR and first aid. Businesses need to plan on how they will continue to operate in a disaster, and work to ensure their employees are prepared at home so they can return to work as soon as possible after an emergency.
To help prepare the nation, the Red Cross has developed readiness programs to help people and businesses and given thousands of presentations on preparedness across the country.
While we don’t know where or when, we do know that large disasters will strike America again, and that preparedness steps taken today can save lives and livelihoods
tomorrow. September 11, 2001, was an unforgettable day, but even as we look back and remember the victims, we also should look ahead with a renewed commitment to be prepared for the future.