Panolian Editorial

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2008

Homeland’s security under threat from unexpected source

With billions recently spent on Homeland Security in preparation for disastrous incidents whether natural, man-made, large or small, we got reminded Thursday to be thankful for our local men and women who are on call around the clock to protect us from harm.

We are probably not going to see heavy damage from a hurricane here in North Mississippi. Although we are near faults that could potentially cause serious earthquakes, it has been a long time since serious damage has been caused locally by a tremor.

What we do have are serious wrecks — such as the one that took the life of Panola County’s Emergency Management Director Son Hudson — ice storms and chemical spills.

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While no agency can be prepared for every type of disaster that could possibly be thrown at us, Thursday’s response reminded us that we have people who are not only trained extensively to deal with the unexpected and unanticipated, they bring with them an “own-the-problem” attitude as well.

As plans were underway to flush the sewer system, school officials were working to take care of children whose homes were on streets that were blocked by officials attempting to dissipate the volatile fuel vapors. Evacuation plans were put in place at the Head Start Center in the affected area and the school’s mass call system alerted parents that students may not be delivered home on time.

While there is no way to perfectly prepare for every emergency, we saw responders, both paid and volunteer and from the public and private sectors mesh smoothly during Thursday’s response.