September 11, 2016
I was at work in the hospital at Newark Beth Israel Department of Emergency Medicine. We were having a conference on the top floor of the hospital and we saw smoke coming from the first tower to get hit. Everyone thought it was a fire and started gathering intel on what was going on. Suddenly, we watched the second plane hit the second tower. Before I knew it, I was in an ambulance responding to the disaster, unprepared for what was to unfold that day.
I remember thinking about my wife, 16 month and 2 month daughters at home, wondering what else was going to hit us and if I was going to make it home that day. If you were not there, I can tell you that you probably can't wrap your head around the totality of that disaster unless you've been involved in something of that magnitude. That's not a bad thing if you have not been part of one, trust me. But, what I will say on this 15th anniversary of 911, is that you need to learn from that day and you need to not forget.
Don't let your guard down. Terrorism is part of the world we live in now. Being prepared for disaster or terrorism is a normal and intelligent thing to do. It's not a question of politics, gun rights or religion. The fact exists that evil has existed since the dawn of time and will continue to exist. We need to be vigilant and prepared for evil people from all walks of life, religion, race and color. So what does this mean?
- Get yourself ready to leave your home at the drop of a hat. Prepare a "Bug-Out-Bag". This will give you the things you need to survive for a few days in a single pack, including food, water and shelter. This is for one person only typically. Everyone in your family should have one that they can carry. Good lists are available all over the internet. Whether you call it a Bug-Out-Bag, Tornado Kit, Earthquake Kit, Hurricane Kit or Act of God Kit, have one ready for you and your family members.
- Have a real first aid kit ready on your person at all times. You decide what you need and what you can carry, but every adult or teen should be carrying a tourniquet and know how to use it. I carry two in my left pocket at all times.
- Have something in your vehicle that will bridge between your first aid kit and your Bug-Out-Bag. You may not have time to grab your stuff, so you should have something in your car. If you have a car accident, you may need it anyway. You should have a day or two of food and water in your vehicle at all times that is not perishable. Keep your fuel tank half full if you can and a spare fuel can in your vehicle as well.
- If you choose to carry a weapon, make sure you know how to use it and that it is in good working order. We're not talking about just guns here. Guns may not be your thing and that's cool. But in a terrorist attack, you're going to want to have something, whether it's a golf club or a knife. There is a lot of violence at the center of a terrorist attack. It is your responsibility as a legally armed citizen to not only know how to use your weapon, but to be responsible and PROFICIENT with it. If you are proficient and effective, you can alter the face of history in a good way.
- Train your body and mind! One of the reasons I became a Police Officer and devoted my life to training SWAT Medics, as well as starting SWAT Fuel, Inc was my experience on September 11, 2001. Law enforcement needs the cooperation of our citizens to police our communities and to respond to any kind of disaster. We're on the same team. If you're going to survive, much less respond and help deal with a disaster, you need to be in shape! SWAT Fuel, Inc. is based on simple Darwinian Science - Survival of the fittest! If you don't watch what you eat, train your body and train your mind, you've waded over to the shallow end of the gene pool. Darwin's rules apply to all of us!
- Please consider watching the special presentation of "The Best Defense" with Michael Bane on the Outdoor Channel on September 28th, 2016. You'll learn from the experts in the world on terrorism and how to survive. You'll see again providing the medical perspective on the show as well. It's a scary dose of reality, but you may learn what you need to survive. Please consider watching our special episode.
Looking back at September 11, 2001, I'll never be unprepared. Lessons I learned from that day I will NEVER UNLEARN.
Dan Olesnicky, MD
President and CEO
SWAT Fuel, Inc.