A few week’s ago, there was an active shooter situation at the Walmart within 10 miles of my home. As I sat watching the news, I thought I could have been there with my family shopping at the time.
Although I am not a regular Walmart shopper, I have stopped in this store on several occasions. I began to put myself in the shoes of those that were there. What would I have done? Would I have realized the sounds were gunshots? Would I have protected my children by leading them to get away? Would I have been overcome by curiosity and moved toward the commotion? Would I have found a place to hide from the terror like many people did that night? I am just not sure, but one thing I know is I would not have been prepared, and I would have been shocked if something like this had happened to me – us – our family.
The next morning, they had still not caught the shooter, but they were surrounding his home. I thought of the families of the victims and the victims themselves. I especially thought of the victims who saw it all but had no physical harm done. Is there anyone who can help them deal with the aftermath? What is next for them? How can they start to rebuild their lives – find comfort and peace again?
As I think about what’s in store for the community of shoppers, Walmart employees and emergency responders 10 miles from my home, I also think of how vital those professional resources to this community will be in the days ahead. It makes me appreciative that we have a police force, firefighters, paramedics, counselors, active shooter trainers, and citizen leaders. It really truly does take a Village, and here, in our community, we have just that. It’s comforting to know that in the face of danger and destruction we can come together for good.
I am fortunate in my life the gratitude that I have for those in my own community extends into my work at CDR Maguire. We do emergency management disaster recovery at CDR Maguire. We help communities deal with disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods.
Most people are not entirely prepared for these types of situations. Some don’t even realize what can happen until it does happen. I am so thankful in this uncertain world that our hardworking, brilliant team exists so communities can lean on them after devastating disaster situations. It makes me feel good to know that our company helps communities and people get back to their new normal.
I am thankful for Tracy who works 80+ hour weeks away from her two teenage daughters to support communities throughout Florida that have dealt with several hurricanes this year. I am thankful for Joseph who begins most days very early in the morning and does not stop until 11 PM, sometimes later, to make sure the job is done and done right. I am thankful for our leader, Andre, who burns the midnight oil often and travels almost every week to reach those communities that need us most. I am thankful for our many team members who travel away from family and friends and spend months working 12+ hour days to support our client’s communities in recovering from disasters. These people love what they do and are very good at it.
Before I started working at CDR Maguire, I did not even know companies like this existed. I now know how pivotal to an EM program consultant companies (like ours) can be for communities. I also now know how Emergency Management programs work to support their communities. It’s incredible what Emergency Management teams do. It is indeed a great example of our tax dollars at work.
If communities were walloped by disasters and did not get reimbursed through FEMA and other grant programs, municipalities would not be able to rebuild roads, bridges, sidewalks, etc. Citizens would just have to deal with all the storm debris themselves. Folks would not be able to get from place to place. Stores would be empty; people would be walking everywhere it naturally could not happen. People would die – it would not be good at all.
I imagine because the average person does not know how this imperative system works that Emergency Management workers don’t hear they are appreciated. If you work in Emergency Management and are reading this, please realize YOU ARE APPRECIATED! If more citizens knew what you did, I am sure you would hear “Thank you for your service!” all the time. You are all unsung heroes and deserve to know how important you are to our communities!
Thank you so much for all that you do and keep it up! I know it’s not easy work, but you’re doing a great thing for America. Next time you get discouraged just know that you matter to our States, Counties, and Cities and they would not be what they are without you.