Manassas Journal Messenger | Staying prepared

Was hurricane Isabel a dress rehearsal for a terrorist attack?

It might sound a little too melodramatic, but there is an eerie similarity between a hurricane and various terrorism scenarios predicted by the Department of Homeland Security.

We often hear of the prospects of terrorist attacks on our power plants and infrastructure, including our water supply and transportation system. If such an attack occurs, it would keep many residents in the dark with no electricity or utilities. There would also be poor communications with battery powered radios as the only source of information.

Yesterday, as Hurricane Isabel struck the North Carolina Outer Banks and headed this way, the lights in Northern Virginia began to flicker as rain storms and gale force winds began to hit the area. Many in Virginia were left without power as the storm progressed on a northwesterly path through the Old Dominion.

Aside from flooding and tornadoes, extended power outages are the biggest concern when the remnants of a hurricane blow through Northern Virginia.

Only when the power goes out do residents realize how prepared (or ill-prepared) they truly are. The same is true for severe snow storms.

So as residents begin to look at the damage caused by the hurricane’s wind and rain, it’s a good idea to take note on what could have been done to be more prepared.

Keeping flashlights and plenty of batteries is not a bad idea. Bottled water is also a good idea. This is true when preparing for any extended power outage since water is needed when residents lose the use of their plumbing.

Many people spent money at the hardware stores last year purchasing plastic and duct tape. While this might help a little bit during a chemical attack, it doesn’t help when your home loses power. Emergency money is always well spent on water, flashlights, batteries, candles, extra food and even a small power generator.

While it’s good to be prepared for a chemical attack, one shouldn’t forget about the unexpected loss of electricity – whether caused by a terrorist or Mother Nature.

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