In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

First Installment Of New Blog Video Series “What Should We Tell The Public?” — Randy Larsen

June 26th, 2008 · 9 Comments

Today, I am kicking off a new video experiment on the blog. It is the premiere of a feature I’m going to call “What Should We Tell The Public?” I will be asking leading people in the homeland security/emergency management/public health preparedness community for their tips, recommendations, and ideas on what they think it is important that citizens should know and do in order to increase their own, their community’s and their nation’s readiness.

I am lucky that the first subject I asked to participate in the series, Col. Randall Larsen, USAF (Ret.) agreed to do it, because there isn’t a more informed and accomplished commmunicator in the area of preparedness. Among many other credentials, Randy is the host of the public radio show, Homeland Security Inside & Out, which I have written about previously. 

In his segment (below), Randy suggests everyone consider keeping a N-95 dust mask and a small head lamp (or other kind of mini-flashlight) with them at all times — he carries them in his briefcase. As Randy points out, both are very light and inexpensive, but potentially can be very useful for a range of possible emergencies which he has experienced first hand.


Randy and I just spent a couple days together as part of a Aspen Institute/Ford Foundation/McCormick Foundation roundtable on homeland security preparedness in Chicago, and we shot this just after yesterday’s session at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. (A regular and practiced media professional, Randy finished his answer exactly at the 60 second mark.)

I hope you like this feature. (though the camera work will be a little iffy in the beginning as I learn how to use the new portable Flip camera I just got as a birthday present from my kids.) I will be collecting and posting all of the segments on the site.

If you have any suggestions on people to interview for this feature, or if you would like to submit a video of your own that I can post, please email me at

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Tags: "What Should We Tell The Public?" · Preparedness Tips

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lise Harwin // Jun 26, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    John, this is a terrific idea! We might have to copy you on our blog or, better yet, get one of our experts on video for you to post.

    I think our new Emergency Services director, Eric Corliss, would be fabulous.

  • 2 John Smith // Jul 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    He was riding a New York City subway and went under the Potomac River?! We got the Hudson, the East River, the Harlem River, never heard of the Potomac!

  • 3 admin // Jul 1, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Just checking to see if you were paying attention -:).
    I think Randy got his rivers mixed up and trying to keep the video camera steady I didn’t catch it. Thanks. I’ll reshoot it when I see Randy next.

  • 4 Bruce Curley // Jul 2, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Under the Hudson or Potomac or on an airplane or building when the electricity goes dead, Randy Larsen has reduced the hundreds of items you could use to two of the most important.
    Remember that everyone’s cell phone (when opened in the dark) also provides good light in an emergency.

  • 5 Quickly Noted: Interviews with the Prepared « In Case of Emergency // Jul 2, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    [...] John’s first interview is with Ret. Col. Randall Larsen, who recommends folks carry around a flashlight and respirator mask – just in case. I couldn’t agree more. I personally carry around a flashlight, an N95 mask, a couple of Sharpie markers, a backup laptop battery, and a double-A battery-powered cell phone charger. Like they say, just in case. [...]

  • 6 “Homeland Security Inside & Out” Radio Show Interview // Jul 26, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    [...] fan of “Homeland Security Inside and Out” – which is hosted by Dave McIntyre and Randy Larsen from the studios of KAMU Radio in College Station, Texas — and I subscribe to its weekly [...]

  • 7 Weekly “Biosecurity Briefing” E-Newsletter Is Becoming A Daily // Feb 5, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    [...] the co-host of the informative Homeland Security Inside & Out radio show. Both Monica and Randy were kind enough to participate in this blog’s “What Should We Tell The Public?” [...]

  • 8 150 Fellow CERT Members & I Play ‘Victims’ In “Operation Safe PATH” Train Bombing Terrorism Drill At World Trade Center Site // May 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    [...] He also suggested that participation in the exercise might lead some of us to think about carrying a small flashlight or a snack/granola bar in our handbag or briefcase. (In fact, as I have mentioned previously on [...]

  • 9 The New “Biosecurity Blog” // Jun 12, 2010 at 8:21 am

    [...] a friend of this blog, has an illustrious and varied career in the military, homeland security and communications. Most [...]

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