Last week, the Kennedy School of Government’s Arnold Bogis gave me a copy of a terrific pamphlet, “We All Have A Role: Working With Your Community to Prepare For Natural and Man-Made Disasters.” It was published by the Commission On The Prevention Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction Proliferation And Terrorism when I was in the hospital, and therefore I am posting it now.
The Commission concluded its work as a congressionally-mandated organization on February 26, 2010. The chair was former Senator Bob Graham (recently chosen to co-chair the presidential commission on the Gulf oil spill), the vice chair was former Senator Jim Talent, and the executive director was Col. Randy Larsen. The trio have formed The Bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center to continue work on these issues
“We All Have A Role” is a concrete result of the WMD Commission’s public outreach effort, which was central to the group’s mission. Senator Graham told me last year in an interview that informing the public on weapons of mass destruction was an “urgent” priority. And the Commission dedicated the final chapter of its report to the “Role of the Citizen.”
What I think is particularly special about “We Have A Role” is that it not only offers advice to the public on personal preparedness and response. But it also gives them guidance on how to take a leadership role as citizens to determine if their community is prepared for weapons of mass destruction, and if not, how to get it ready.
“We Have A Role” concludes with suggested questions “specifically for nuclear and biological attacks.” To me, that underscores a point I’ve made previously on the blog that the term “WMD” should be clarified for the public with the catastrophic nuclear and biological weapons in one category and serious but lesser weapons (also normally placed within the WMD rubric) such as chemical and radiological, placed in another.