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Home News-Telegram News Editorials EMERGENCY PLANS: You never know when the worst will happen

EMERGENCY PLANS: You never know when the worst will happen

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently unveiled his five-year Homeland Security Strategic Plan that sets the protocols and procedures for the state response to events from hurricanes to increased drug cartel violence. Critics immediately said the plan was over-the-top and unneeded.

We feel it is one of the smartest moves made by the Governor.

In today's world, we must learn to expect the unexpected — Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina painfully taught us that lesson. And that is just what Perry is doing — planning for a problem that may never happen. There is nothing wrong with that action.

If and when another major hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, wouldn't it be better to have an emergency plan in place than to try and wing-it like Louisiana and the federal government had to do when Katrina struck New Orleans? And would anyone be surprised if the drug war in Mexico — where cartel thugs are brazenly killing each other in the middle of the street — spilled over into Texas border towns? Wouldn't it be a good idea for state officials to have a plan in place to deal with such a problem?

That is exactly what Perry is trying to accomplish.

Emergency response personnel across cities in Texas plan for major catastrophes all the time. We've seen it in Sulphur Springs almost every year — when police, fire and EMS responders simulate an emergency situation and "practice" proper procedures. This is basically the same thing — only the response in on paper and the emergency situations would be much larger in scope.

We've had our issues with Gov. Perry since he took office, rarely agreeing with his heavy-handed approach and many of his policy decisions. But this is one decision that should be lauded — not criticized. Hopefully, the Homeland Security Strategic Plan will sit gathering dust for many, many years. But realistically, it is going to be needed. And when that happens, we'll be glad the Governor put the plan together.

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