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Secretary Napolitano highlights shared responsibility for disaster preparedness

DHS Secretary Napolitano has delivered a speech marking the end of National Preparedness Month 2009, focusing on the need for shared responsibility in building a culture of readiness for and resilience against disasters
DHS Secretary Napolitano delivered a speech focusing on the need for shared responsibility
Individual and community preparedness will help build readiness

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today marked the conclusion of National Preparedness Month by delivering a speech emphasizing America's shared responsibility for preparedness and stressing the important role that individuals play in building a national culture of readiness and resilience.

"When families are prepared - when communities stand together and stand tall - so does our nation," said Secretary Napolitano. "United, we send a powerful message to those that seek to do us harm: we cannot be broken, we are America - strong and resilient."

Secretary Napolitano delivered the speech at the American Red Cross Hall of Service in front of more than 300 volunteers and employees representing the Red Cross, DHS Citizen Corps, and local and regional emergency management agencies from around the National Capital Region; as well as employees of DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"America's history is not written by the tragedies that have befallen us, but by how we responded to them," said Secretary Napolitano. "Since our earliest days, every time we have been challenged or have seen tragedy, Americans have shown a sense of purpose and resilience."

During her remarks, Secretary Napolitano recognized Citizen Corps and Red Cross volunteers who donate their time and energies to train others in critical readiness and emergency response skills while contributing to a culture of preparedness.

"We should measure our nation's security not just by the borders we strengthen and the laws we enforce, but also by the strength and resilience of the communities we build," said Secretary Napolitano.

Secretary Napolitano's remarks on preparedness today build on previous speeches outlining her approach to counterterrorism, delivered in New York City in July, and border security, delivered in Texas in August - and reflect her commitment to ensuring readiness and resilience among all citizens.

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